The Human Needs Food Pantry in Montclair has been serving the Essex County community for over 30 years and Barista Kids has set up its second Diaper Drive to give help families in need.
The pantry relies on donations from local citizens, civic groups, church groups, and other charitable organizations. Much of their food however is bought from the Community Food Bank in Hillside, NJ. The pantry itself purchases the rest of the food given out from local supermarkets or produce vendors.
“This year for the month of May, the food pantry served a total of 3,154 people. Our numbers seem to be on the increase as last month alone we added forty-eight new people,” says Human Needs director Mike Bruno.
Human Needs typically serves supplemental groceries, and while the pantry could always use pasta, canned goods, new or gently used bedding and clothing, school supplies, etc..; one thing they will consistently need are diapers.
“The diapers, formula and other related products are so important to our clients because they are so expensive. The cost of baby formula is extremely high and they simply cannot afford it in many cases,” explains Bruno. “Diapers are a basic necessity for babies that many of our clients cannot keep up with.”
“As every parent knows, diapers are not just a necessity—they are also really expensive. If you’re struggling to buy food for your family, having to buy diapers and wipes every week is a big burden,” says Walter. “When we can, we like to be able to give out diapers, wipes, and pull-ups.”
Since diapers are not given to the food pantry and their budget isn’t big enough to buy them, the food pantry asks the community to step up and buy diapers, formula, wipes, or any other helpful baby product.
“We need all sizes, but mainly 3, 4, 5, since babies’ growth slows down a little by that age, and they’re in those sizes longer. If your baby has outgrown a diaper size, and you still have half the pack left, we’ll gladly take the rest of the package,” explains Walter. “We’ll also take new pacifiers, bottles and other baby supplies as well as clean baby clothing and bedding.”
To help, Barista Kids has organized its 2nd online Diaper Drive to benefit The Human Needs Food Pantry. You can help out and you don’t even have to leave your desk:
Just visit the Barista Kids Diaper Drive Wishlist on Amazon.com. Make a purchase and ship the items directly to The Human Needs Food Pantry. Everything is already set up, so all you have to do is choose the items, put in your payment information and order. It’s easy and you will will be helping the many families in our community who need it.
Many people in Montclair and the surrounding area volunteer at Human Needs because it’s a great place to give back to the community.
Eleanor Walter, a volunteer, current member of the board of trustees, and a past president, loves being part of the Human Needs volunteer community.
“I like volunteering at the pantry because it is a way to help people directly. You know you’re making a difference when you hand people healthy food, or give a child a book, or provide sheets and towels to a family who just lost everything in a fire,” says Walter. “We serve primarily Montclair and Bloomfield residents; these are your neighbors, the kids who sit in your child’s classroom.”
Local residents can volunteer in various ways.
“If you’re available on Tuesday or Thursday morning, you can help in our upstairs area, where clients come once a month to pick out free clothing and household goods for their families,” explains Walter. “We get donations from the community, sort through them, put them out for clients, and help them shop.”