The Blessing Box behind St. James School on 27th Avenue was stolen over the weekend. (Contributed)

The Blessing Box behind St. James School on 27th Avenue was stolen over the weekend. (Contributed)

Vernon blessing box stolen from school

Cabinet that was stocked with food for homeless and those in need taken over weekend

Vernon’s homeless and those in need of nutrients have one less place to find food.

The Blessing Box behind St. James School was stolen sometime over the weekend.

“Somebody took stakes and all, the whole thing is gone,” St. James principal Paul Rossetti said.

In place since 2018, the box started as a project by Marley Wournell’s Grade 6 class and has since been adopted by the community as it is stocked with food daily.

“That box feeds anywhere feeds anywhere from 50-75 people a day,” Rossetti said. “And it’s not just homeless people. My understanding is there are a number of people who are definitely down and out.”

The 27th Avenue blue cabinet behind Okanagan Springs Brewery was one of the first in town, and others have been built – including one on 24th Avenue near Happy Days and another on 31st Street near Chasers Bottle Depot.

A bakery stocks the Blessing Box with day-old goods daily, a street group stocks it with labelled meals and community members put in what they can.

“It was equipped with hot water tanks and all sorts of things,” Rossetti said.

RCMP have been notified of the theft, and Rossetti checked with the City of Vernon to verify it wasn’t removed for other reasons.

Now the school is hoping that anyone who sees it can let them know, by calling 250-542-4081.

In the meantime, people have offered to rebuild it, and the school plans to get it back up and running as soon as possible to continue feeding the needy.

Note: the box once had glass doors, but they were replaced recently.

READ MORE: Food banks stretched thin as food prices rise, increasing hunger and food insecurity

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