Hunger doesn\u2019t obey any schedule other than its own. If your kids are hungry but you rely on food from a food pantry and it\u2019s closed, you\u2019re out of luck. The thought of that happening bothered Navod Jayawardhane, a rising senior at Wilton High School. It bothered him so much he designed and then built a box that can be filled with up to 50 cans of food available to people who need it. What makes this box special, though, is the electrical sensors he built into it that will send out an email alert when the box needs to be refilled. Navod\u2019s first box \u2014 he\u2019s working on a second \u2014 has been installed at the Jefferson Valley Mall in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and there will be a dedication ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 4 p.m. \u201cI saw that not just in Wilton, but in many communities there are problems with food insecurity,\u201d he said when asked why he took on this project. He noted that \u201cat food pantries the times they are open might clash with other things people have to do and they might find it hard to get the items that they need. And people who might want to donate might not be able to do it at a convenient time or location. \u201cI wanted to create something that solves this problem and lets people get what they need while still helping them preserve their anonymity and dignity,\u201d he said. When Navod could not find a place in Wilton where the box could be used and refilled frequently enough, he considered the mall. He approached Alexa O\u2019Rourke, Jefferson Valley\u2019s general manager, who coincidentally is a Wilton High School graduate. She and marketing manager Heather Novak were enthusiastic about placing the box in the mall. In fact, O\u2019Rourke created a special place where it will reside with a large bin nearby for donations of canned goods to be dropped off that will be used to replenish the stock in the box. Additionally, O\u2019Rourke ordered a sign for the food box to explain its purpose to serve the community along with a sign on the floor to lead people to its location. Based on the honor system, wording on the sign says, \u201cTake what you need, leave what you can.\u201d \u201cMy belief is if someone needs an item, they will take it,\u201d Navod said. \u201cIf they can purchase it for themselves, they wouldn\u2019t go to a box to take it for free. If they need items for any reason, it\u2019s just there for them.\u201d Design \u201cI started designing it in December on the computer, transferred [the design] to the box and built it from there. The bright blue box is made of MDF wood with a door on the front of clear acrylic. It\u2019s about two feet wide and three feet tall with two shelves that can hold 10 rows of cans, five per row. There is a larger shelf below for bulkier items, such as a box of rice, although those items are not tracked. Ultrasonic distance sensors keep track of the number of canned goods in the food box, and when the quantity becomes low an email alert is automatically sent to the person in charge of restocking it. The box has been getting a test run at the mall and Navod has made a few tweaks in his design based on feedback. His second box was built last week and the electronics are all done. \u201cI just have to finish programming it,\u201d he said, adding he is \u201cstill looking for a location in Wilton or nearby.\u201d He expects it to be installed within the next month or two. Navod is an honors student and co-captain of Singularity Technology, the robotics team at Wilton Library. He is planning a career in electrical engineering. For anyone interested in learning more about the food box, Navod is developing a website: navodjaya28.wixsite.com\/foodpantrybox.