EWE Spirit Grant Story:
In June 2021, the Anne Arundel County Public Library, in Maryland, added a new service to help families in need. It started a community pantry in its Discoveries branch at the Westfield
Annapolis Mall. Open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, the pantry provides free infant
supplies and hygiene products—everything from diapers, baby wipes, baby shampoo and lotion and diaper rash ointment to tampons, sanitary pads, incontinence supplies and toothpaste.
So far, this new venture has been a tremendous success. The convenient location, reachable via local bus lines, makes it accessible to people from a wide region. Volunteers stock the shelves during the week, then fill orders on Saturday mornings. The pantry serves 60 to 70 families a week. In its first year, it distributed 67,000 diapers and 700 packs of tampons and pads to people from 50 different zip codes. At the beginning of the school year, it also distributed kindergarten-readiness bags to new students.
One of the added benefits of the pantry is introducing families to the library’s many other
offerings. A large number of first-time pantry clients, including many people who speak English
as a second language, aren’t familiar with these services. The library staff members guide them through the process of acquiring a free library card and then inform them about book
borrowing; storytimes; book clubs; costume swaps; music events; bingo; senior teas; Wi-Fi;
computer, printing and job-application services; and much more.
The EWE Spirit Foundation is proud to have recently supported the Discoveries Community
Pantry with a $10,000 grant. With so many families struggling to make ends meet these days,
this program is improving everyone’s quality of life, not just by providing daily necessities, but
by connecting people of all ages to enriching programs—and to each other. What better way to express the EWE Spirit?!