ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Anne Arundel County Public Library system opened what officials said was the first of its kind community pantry Saturday at its Discoveries: The Library at the Mall location in Westfield Annapolis.

Measuring nearly 200 square feet, the space will offer diapers, wipes, personal hygiene and menstrual products and is designed to benefit both residents and the organizations who serve vulnerable families, according to a library system statement.

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“We are excited to open this unique and much-needed service at Discoveries: The Library at the Mall,” Skip Auld, chief executive officer of the system, said in the statement. “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, according to the statement. Many pop-up pantries, set up during the pandemic, struggle to receive enough diapers to address the need.

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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, according to the statement. 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 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. An Amazon wishlist is also available.

The community pantry in Discoveries: The Library at the Mall. Credit: Anne Arundel County Public Library

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CBS Baltimore Staff