The Brightside: Boxes of Love

DELAWARE – When schools shut their doors during the pandemic, hundreds of families still relied on them for food.

A local mom says her family waited in line for those food boxes, but it inspired her to write a thank you note in the form of a book to cafeteria workers. It’s a story of love, unity, and it talks about the meal distribution that has happened in schools since the pandemic began.

Delaware mom Jennifer Antonik is talking about her latest book, Boxes of Love, inspired by hundreds of parents who drove to their children’s schools to claim meal boxes after schools shut their doors during the coronavirus pandemic.

“My family wasn’t immune to the pandemic, so we had to take advantage of the boxes when they came out, and this is what helped us with groceries every single week,” she says.

She says each time she drove to the school and loaded up her car with the food, she knew she wanted to find a way to say thanks. Already being a published author, she put pen to paper and got to work on writing a book.

“I just thought, putting the story out there as a way to say thank you, I couldn’t offer anything to the cafeteria folks as a thank you, but I know how to write.”

After months of writing what she says is a thank you note to cafeteria workers, Boxes of Love was published. While the children’s book tells the story of the meal distribution process, it’s also sending another message: one of inclusion.

That’s why Jennifer says she made the book bilingual.

“There’s room in a book setting to have additional languages, and so that’s what we did. Here in Delaware we live in an area where there’s migrant workers, there’s a lot of immigrant families, and it just makes it so much better than we can include them,” Jennifer says.

She says since the book was released in April, she’s gotten supportive feedback. She added that even when the pandemic and meal box handouts are a distant memory, she hopes the message of the book lives on.

Categories: Brightside