Toilet paper, shampoo, deodorant, diapers and toothpaste. Many of us use these daily, often absentmindedly as we prepare ourselves or our family for each day. While seemly simple parts of our routine, these items are much needed by our local food pantries and the individuals they serve.
The Food Pantries for the Capital District, a coalition of over 60 food pantries throughout the capital region, ensures 3.3 million meals are served annually to those who don't know where they will obtain their next meal. Pantries also provide baby formula for our tiniest neighbors in need. Also, our local food pantries strive to deliver needs not covered by government programs, such as basic hygiene, diapers and household essentials.
A 2013 study released by Feeding America, "In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials," reported that a third of "low-income families found it difficult to afford basic household necessities..."
The report also uncovered that families who can't obtain basic hygiene essentials find ways to work around those needs. Skipping showers, delaying the change of a diaper, brushing teeth with water and even cutting back on medical spending. If you are sitting at a desk or at home reading this, do me a favor. Close your eyes and imagine your daily routine without these items. Place yourself into that scene, that moment. You would be doing your best but how might you feel?
3 Ways You Can Help:
Donate Individually: Stock up on extra hygiene objects or gather those toiletry items you got free in a hotel from a recent trip and donate a box to your local Food Pantry. While all donations are appreciated, it might help to call and find out if there is a particular item they need.
Office Hygiene Drives: Run a drive in your office. Over the course of two weeks, invite
everyone to donate the below items:
- Male/Female Deodorant
- Bathroom Tissue/Paper Towels
- Bar Soap/Body Wash
- Feminine Hygiene Products
- Laundry/Dish Soap
Special Event Drives: Take to social media and invite your friends to donate the items listed above in honor of your birthday, wedding, baby shower, etc.
Learn More About The Need in The Capital Region?
- 71% of what The Food Pantries can provide comes from contributions
- There are over 96,000 individuals (including 30,000 infants and children) in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties, who are food insecure.
- Some individuals who depend on local food pantries do not receive other governmental support.
- Those who do utilize The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are usually only able to cover three weeks out of each month, as SNAP provides less than $4.50 a day to use on food.
Want to get involved with The Food Pantries for the Capital District or learn even more?
Contact them using one of the below options:
Phone: (518) 458-1167
NOTE: If you are looking to help one of your local food pantries or if you are in need of support yourself please visit the below website to find the pantries in your area.