May 18, 2024
Annapolis, US 63 F

Library Opens Community Pantry at Discoveries: The Library at the Mall in Annapolis

Senator Sarah Elfreth, Delegates Shaneka Henson, and Dana Jones joined County Council Member Lisa Rodvein, Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles, and library officials today in opening the first of its kind community pantry at Discoveries: The Library at the Mall. The nearly 200-square-foot space in Westfield Annapolis will benefit residents and the organizations that serve vulnerable families. The pantry, which will be open on Saturdays from 10 am to noon, will offer diapers, wipes, personal hygiene, and menstrual products.

“We are excited to open this unique and much-needed service at Discoveries: The Library at the Mall,” said Library CEO Skip Auld. “The community pantry is another way that the Anne Arundel County Public Library is helping to build stronger communities—from the bottom up.”

Nationwide, one in three families struggles with diaper needs with the average family spending $80 a month per baby on diapers which cannot be obtained with food stamps. Many pop-up pantries, set up during the pandemic, struggle to receive enough diapers to address the need.

During the last session of the Maryland General Assembly, Delegate Dana Jones (D) spearheaded a bill that allows a tax deduction for those who donate diapers. The bill passed and was signed into law.

“The Community Pantry will be a resource for so many who continue to suffer the ramifications of the pandemic & exorbitant costs of diapers for their children,” said Delegate Jones. “As a lover of the library and a mother, I truly appreciate the ability to go to a welcoming location where one can borrow books to educate their child and pick up basic essential needs. Yet another magical service provided by our library.”

The Container Store, which opened a new location at Westfield Annapolis in May, set up and organized the space as part of their community service program. Donations came from library customers and other community organizations.

Residents interested in donating to the pantry can drop off items at the library, located near Crate and Barrel Monday-Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. An Amazon wishlist is also available for donors who can’t get to the library.

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