Woman starts project to end hunger - WNEM TV 5

Woman starts project to end hunger

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan woman is waging a war against hunger with Hope Chests.

She has set up boxes around her community where people can take and leave food items and other essentials.

"There's no reason that people should still be going hungry," said Shannon Benjamin, Hope Chest organizer.

She wants to open up new possibilities for those who don't have enough to eat. She has set up five boxes, which she calls Hope Chests, outside homes and businesses in Bay City. Most of them are available 24/7 for anybody who needs food.

"If you happen upon a box that says 'take what you need, leave what you can.' Do it," Benjamin said.

Benjamin has a full time job, but decided she needed to start the Hope Chest project a few months ago.

"Although we have great community resources already in place, there's still a lot of gaps and there's still a lot of people that somehow, they don't meet eligibility or they can't get there. And the bottom line is if people need food, they should have it," Benjamin said.

She calls the boxes the beginning of a community restoration project.

"They kind of create a conversation starter, get neighbors coming together," Benjamin said.

She said her goal is to set up boxes at houses all around Bay City. She said it really wouldn't be that hard to do.

"The whole idea behind it is we all took only what we needed and gave everything that could. Everybody would have enough," Benjamin said.

She originally wanted to set up about 12 boxes around the city within the first year, but her idea has taken off and now she expects more than that to be up around the city.

"It's taken off a little better than I thought it would," Benjamin said.

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