Three items you didn’t know some food pantries distribute

Ana and her family
August 31, 2018

by Hugo Alvarez

Picture yourself waking up on the day of your interview for your dream job. How do you prepare? You’re probably overlooking the most important thing to prepare for your interview. It’s your personal hygiene. Yes, getting practice, a resume, and a nice outfit is important, but none of that matters if you don’t look clean.

Now picture the 41 million people in America that struggle to put food on the table, much less buy other necessities needed for everyday life. Many of the Feeding America network food banks help those struggling not only with meals but personal hygiene items as well. These items can be pricey and are not currently covered by SNAP (formerly known as food stamps).

Here are some examples of the personal care and household items food banks provide:

Diapers Sisters in wagon

Any parent knows that diapers are expensive. But you may not know that going without diapers can harm an infant’s health like an increased risk of contracting a bacterial infection.

Laundry Detergent 

All families need clean clothes for school and work. That’s why many of our food banks give out detergent to families in need.

For kids, wearing unwashed clothes can lead to being bullied at school.  It makes it more difficult for kids to engage because of their concern that their clothes are dirty. Studies show that access to clean clothes can improve a child’s performance and attendance.

For adults facing poverty, not being able to have properly washed clothes can damage opportunities for employment. You may not realize how important it is for people to have access to laundry detergent.

Feminine Hygiene products Teen girl

Every day, millions of women go without important personal care items because of shrinking household budgets.

Going without period products can lead to severe health issues such as HPV and more life-threatening problems like cervical cancer. Also, 1 in 5 girls left school early or missed school entirely because they didn’t have menstrual products available.


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