Mercy Health - Anderson and Clermont Hospitals have partnered with Inter Parish Ministry (IPM) Food Pantry to build and install Blessing Boxes on the hospitals’ campuses. 

The hospitals announced the partnership and unveiled the Blessing Boxes as part of September 24’s Mercy Day observance, which marks the anniversary of the first “House of Mercy” opened by the Sisters of Mercy to help people in need.

Blessing Boxes are free-standing pantry boxes that host locations keep stocked with non-perishable food items such as boxes of cereal, canned foods, pasta, peanut butter and jelly, fruit cups and personal care items. They are available around the clock to those in need. 

“The economic impact of the COVID-10 pandemic really shined a spotlight on the unmet need for food assistance in the community,” said Anderson Hospital President Ken James. “Access to food is a social determinant of health and food insecure households tend to need more medical care.”

“The Blessing Boxes are discrete and allow people to seek and receive assistance anonymously. We see them as an extension of our holistic healing approach to caring for our patients, patients’ family members and our communities,” said Clermont Hospital President Shane Knisley.

“IPM Food Pantry is blessed to partner with Mercy Health to bridge the food insecurity gap for our neighbors. Having these Blessing Boxes available 24/7, right here in a Mercy Health hospital parking lot, allows families a quick, convenient and anonymous way to access food when they need it the most. IPM Food Pantry’s vision is to create a thriving, food secure community. Collaborating with Mercy Health takes us one step closer to achieving our goal,” said Alida Hart, President and CEO of IPM Food Pantry.

In addition to the two new Mercy Health Blessing Boxes, IPM currently has three other affiliated Blessing Boxes: two at Newtown United Methodist Church and one at their Newtown Pantry location. All these boxes are utilized daily, and often by unsheltered individuals, and most of them are emptied daily. IPM is actively looking for additional sites for Blessing Boxes. To learn more about Inter Parish Ministry, please visit