Meal box program offers families a way to give back together

Meal box program offers families a way to give back together
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When Laurie Martin met Bart Noonan in November, he had a mess of coats to give away.

His organization, West Boulevard Ministry, which serves 250 families, was just two days away from its annual Coats and Cookout event, and Bart was struggling with how to organize the donations he’d received.

Laurie, who founded Simplicity Organizers and Simplicity Serves, had the set of skills he needed. She and her team sorted, hung, and displayed the hundreds of coats. They became friends after that.

Then came the coronavirus. As the city shut down and people lost their jobs, Bart told her the needs of those 250 families have become more pressing.

“Right now, all our families care about is food,” Bart told her.

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Once again, Laurie’s brain began buzzing. Her basement and garage were full of boxes for an annual book drive to benefit local schools, and she no longer had a need for them. She looked at them and thought they’d be good for food deliveries.

Box of Love volunteer family

Laurie Martin of Simplicity Organizers partnered with Simple Wellness to create Boxes of Love for West Boulevard Ministry to supplement its hot meal program for 250 families.

Box of Love was born, creating nonperishable and healthy meal boxes to support the West Boulevard Ministry community.

As a mom of three, Laurie wanted the idea to be easy and family friendly. Already her children, Allison, Blake, and Coby have packed boxes and even starred in a video to encourage other families to pack their own and drop-off boxes at six locations throughout the city.

While the past weeks have been overwhelming for many, Laurie has been energized through this new Box of Love project. “That’s the beauty of this time,” she says. “You see everyone come together and you recognize our deep need for connection.”


Want to help? Visit the Box of Love webpage here. Consider donating and packing a box, volunteering to transport boxes, and/or simply sharing this idea with others on your social media.

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