The needs of the needy don't end with food, but until now, help given by the Salvation Army rarely included personal items most take for granted, such as diapers and toilet paper.
That has changed with the "Personal Essentials Pantry" opening on Monday at 10 a.m. in the Salvation Army's food pantry at 3030 Darbo Drive.
The Personal Essential Pantry carries such items as disposable diapers, baby wipes, toilet paper, tampons/sanitary napkins, toothpaste, shaving cream and laundry soap.
The new pantry was started at the urging of food pantry clients, because of the need for these items, which cannot be purchased with food stamps.
"Because diapers are so expensive, mothers in poverty often dry disposable diapers and place them back on their babies," said Ann De Tienne, food pantry coodinator for the Salvation Army of Dane County.
The Salvation Army is getting help in the Personal Essential Pantry from Zion Lutheran Church of Madison, a church that established its own Personal Essential Pantry in 2006.
"Zion and their partner agencies will work in conjunction with the Salvation Army of Dane County to collaborate on fundraising efforts, while raising awareness of this issue as it affects the less fortunate in our community," De Tienne said.
The two Salvation Army pantries will be at the Darbo Drive facility but since there are different guidelines for each program, the two pantries will be kept separated.
For example, clients can obtain food from the food pantry once every 30 days and clients can visit the Personal Essentials pantry once every 11 days for a 15-pack of diapers.
Anyone interested in sponsoring a personal essential products drive can contact De Tienne at 608-250-2264.