Local church opens pantry exclusively for toiletries

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
A local church is offering a new type of pantry dedicated exclusively to providing toiletries. Stephanie Jacobson, of Faith Community Chapel in Cassville, started the pantry last year to help fill gaps she observed in toiletry needs, such as soap, shampoo, razors and toothpaste. Pictured in photo are pantry volunteers and members of the church. Contributed photo

Pantry organizer: 'Toiletries the one area where there was a gap'

A local church in Cassville has started a new community pantry dedicated solely to providing not food or clothing, but toiletries.

Faith Community Chapel member Stephanie Jacobson said compared to an abundance of pantries and resources for food and clothing, toiletry needs often go neglected.

"I spent the last six years working for Burrell Behavioral Health in Stone County, with clients who had severe mental illnesses, and one of the needs I saw unfulfilled was toiletry items," Jacobson said. "A lot of the clients that were low-income were having to do without those items."

Toiletries include a wide gamut of products used on a regular basis for personal care, hygiene and grooming, including soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, deodorant, feminine hygiene products and more. Many toiletries can be expensive, and add up at the checkout line.

"We have local food pantries [to help supply food needs], and clothing is normally pretty accessible, such as the Bright Futures program or Second Act, but toiletries were the one area where there seemed to be a gap," Jacobson said.

Now, Jacobson has a position that allows her more time, so that she could give traction to the pantry idea.

"I wanted to do something in my community to help here," she said. "The church thought it was a great idea to help people as an outreach and those who are in need of toiletries. Our motto comes from Galations 5:13 in the Bible, which says to serve one another humbly in love."

The pantry has been in existence for the better part of a year, giving it time to gain momentum and build up an inventory.

"I have been operating it through word of mouth about 10 months now," said Jacobson, who has been collecting donations from church members and others in the community. "We've had some other church members whose classes took up donations and supplies for us, too," she said.

On behalf of the church, Jacobson invites anyone in the community who would like to help to donate toiletry items, which can include soap, shampoo, men's, women's and children's toothbrushes, toothpaste, men's and women's razors, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, diapers of various sizes, wet wipes, hair brushes, denture adhesives and household cleaning products.

Anyone in need of toiletries may visit the pantry, and there are no income limits, complicated forms or hoops to jump through.

"It's for anybody in need," Jacobson said. "People can come in once a month for toiletries from 5:30-6 p.m. "Really, we just need their name, contact information and a list of the items they need. We'll do a short salvation video, and offer a light dinner like sandwiches and chips."

The church is located at the corner of Highway 248 and 13th Street. For more information, Jacobson can be reached at 417-847-7654.

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