At Anne Arundel County Public Library, the Community Pantry at Discoveries has been remarkably busy since it opened in July of 2021. The Community Pantry is a library initiative to provide free baby and menstrual supplies for anyone who needs them.
In the 2022-2023 Fiscal Year, we had 2,201 visits to the Community Pantry. We gave out 4,111 packs of diapers (approximately 82,220 diapers!), and 1,634 packs of menstrual pads, tampons and incontinence supplies were distributed; there is a clear need for the items we provide.
The Discoveries staff is happy to add pantry distribution to the other library services and events we have at our location inside the Westfield Annapolis Mall. We have also been able to offer library cards and Storytimes that coincide with Saturday morning pantry distribution.
This past fiscal year, the pantry hosted the following monthly partners: SNAP, AACPS (Anne Arundel County Public School) enrollment, Centro de Ayuda and free immigration lawyer consultations. Our partners helped connect families with invaluable state and county resources. A big thank you to those in our community, as well as businesses who have come through every time we have put a call out for items that are desperately needed.
Did you know that a family with a newborn spends $1000 or more a year just on diapers? Or that nationally, 57% of families that rely on childcare have had to miss multiple days of work staying home with their child because they haven’t been able to provide diapers to their care provider?
Diapers cannot be purchased using SNAP benefits, so many families are left to make hard decisions regarding these purchases. This is where community support is so important. We can contribute to meeting people’s basic needs so that their children are ready to learn and parents are ready to work or finish their education.
The week of September 16th through September 24th is National Diaper Needs Awareness Week. During Diaper Needs Awareness Week, all 16 branches of Anne Arundel County Public Library will be collecting supplies to support The Community Pantry at Discoveries.
We accept the following items as donations:
diapers & pull-ups of any size (opened packages ok!)
diaper cream & baby lotion
toothbrushes & toothpaste
children's shampoo & body wash
If you don’t need help right now, please consider helping those in your community who need extra support. If you could use some of the supplies offered by the pantry, please come to our monthly distribution on the first Tuesday of the month from 6pm to 7pm and the first Saturday of the month from 10 am to noon at Discoveries: The Library at the Mall. No ID is required.
For further information, feel free to reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published September 11, 2023