Nearly 40 percent of American families with one or both parents employed are living in poverty.
This translates to 9.6 million households described as low-income, or the "working poor." The Baldwinsville community is very fortunate to have three food pantries for people to turn to when they have used up their food stamps or run out of money. But families run out of more than just food and are struggling more than ever to make ends meet. There is currently nowhere to turn to replace those daily basic household supplies such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, laundry detergent or baby diapers.
The Volunteer Center became aware of this need through the Christmas Bureau committee who reported that when people were asked if they had any special needs when registering for Christmas Bureau, many people requested items like toilet paper, laundry products, personal care products and baby diapers. There have been an increasing number of calls to the Volunteer Center for similar items from people not knowing where else to turn.
One day, a young mother stopped by the Volunteer Center hoping that I could give her diapers; she only had two left for her baby until she got paid on the following day. The Baldwinsville Community Food Pantry, Seton Food Pantry and PEACE County West Family Resource Center have also reported an increase of requests for household supplies, which they rarely have available because these items are very seldom donated.
To help meet these needs, the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center is launching a new project called Household Essentials for Living Pantry (HELP). HELP seeks to make the community aware of this need with the hope that individuals, groups, churches and businesses will join together to help make these items available to families in need. Keeping the shelves stocked on a continual basis will ensure that families will not have to go without these basic necessities.