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Blue boxes to offer basics to needy, build community

Andalusia Police Department Chief Paul Hudson said that by installing Blue Boxes around the city, it hopes members of the community will be more involved with each other.

“Blue Boxes are a way for our community to help each other,” Hudson said. “And it is a way for our police department to get involved with our community. If someone is struggling or needs a few groceries or toiletries, they can stop by a Blue Box and get something free of charge. We are saying, ‘Take what you need, give what you can.’”

Hudson said that the idea came from the department’s Behind the Blue, the spouses of Andalusia police officers, and is modeled after the “Free Little Pantry” and “Blessing Boxes” ideas.

There will be two Blue Boxes set up in the city, one at the police department and one at the Andalusia Animal Shelter.

Hudson said that the construction of the boxes should be completed by Sunday.

“We will have volunteers from the Andalusia Animal Shelter, Behind the Blue and students from Andalusia High School,” Hudson said. “The box construction should be completed by Sunday.”

Hudson said that he encourages people to host a box in their neighborhood.

“We encourage anyone to host a box,” Hudson said. “We can find out what the cost is and we can find sponsors to help with the payment.”

The boxes need to contain nonperishable/canned food items, toiletries and paper products, Hudson said.

“We don’t need to have any perishable foods in there,” Hudson said. “No medications and of course no alcohol. We ask that it be only new items that haven’t been opened.”

The only requirement for the Blue Boxes is for those who are taking are asked to put something back in the box that may help someone else when they’re back on their feet, Hudson said.

For more information on the Blue Boxes program or if someone wants to host a location, they can contact Melissa Leslie at 334-222-1155 ext. 3106.