Community Maplewood

Maplewood Teacher Solicits Diaper Donations for Food Pantry

Diaper donations. Photo by Claire Sinclair

When Maplewood resident and Tuscan School teacher Claire Sinclair heard that the Interfaith Food Pantry in Orange hasn’t been able to give out diapers for the last few weeks due to lack of supply, she sprang into action.

“I decided to post it and see what would happen,” wrote Sinclair. “I am going to have it run through Tuesday, August 22, and if it is a success, maybe try to do one every few months. The response has been AMAZING!”

According to Kate Cahill of the OLS Food Pantry and MEND (Meeting Essential Needs with Dignity), sizes 4, 5, and 6 are in most demand.

Those who wish to donate diapers can drop them off at Sinclair’s house through August 22. Email Sinclair here or reach out to her via Facebook at Claire Gianni Sinclair.

“We have until Tuesday, August 22 to drop them to me,” said Sinclair. “If this is a big success, we will see how we can make it happen more often. Some people are actually SHIPPING boxes directly from Amazon to me. It has been amazing!

Sinclair said she was particularly moved by this story:  “There have been women who show up at the pantry with their babies in plastic grocery bags because they cannot afford diapers. The thought just makes my heart break.”

Cahill noted that she and Sinclair were talking about plans for South Orange-Maplewood-based Facebook public group Feed SOMany “when I shared the situation about the diaper shortage at the MEND pantries, and Claire stepped up with this fabulous initiative.” Cahill noted that locals have gotten used to calls for peanut butter and pasta, but were excited to see a call for new items particularly related to babies.

“Not all MEND pantries distribute diapers bc you need a lot of space and a special commitment. OLS does not, we simply don’t have the space for all the sizes and the wipes and ointment etc. But our sister MEND pantry, Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges (IFPO), does this every month. They are a food and diaper pantry. Typically they buy the diapers from CFBNJ [Community Food Bank of New Jersey], but the food bank ran out before the summer started and has not yet re-stocked. Everyone is hoping they restock in September, but we are not certain.”
Cahill continued, “The women who run IFPO have been soliciting ‘diaper angels’ to donate diapers plus they’ve been buying them out of their own pockets. They distribute food every Wednesday morning except the first week of the month, and they distribute diapers just the last week of the month. Last month they had 205 moms show up for diapers, up from 165 the month before. It’s just a huge effort for them to do this every month, plus all the food, and we wanted to support them.”

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