As the US enters its fifth month of grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, shortages have become a part of life. While things are little better, there are still a lot fewer packages of toilet paper in the supermarket aisle these days. Donated clothing, oddly enough, is in short supply too. At least that is what TASK patrons are experiencing when they make the rounds to their normal stops for clothing. But thanks to a grant recently received from Amazon, TASK has purchased new clothes for patrons with the highest need.
“People were coming to us with just the clothes on their back,” said TASK Manager of Programs Jaime Parker. “It seemed no one had a lot of clothes to give away, so we had to do something.”
Before the pandemic, TASK patrons in need of clothing were given a voucher and referred to The Rescue Mission of Trenton (RMT) which distributed donated clothing. But, because there is still uncertainty surrounding how the Coronavirus is transmitted, many non-profits, out of caution, stopped accepting clothing donations, so supply is low, Parker said.
Amazon granted TASK $2,500. The funding covered the cost of new loose-fitting clothes such as sweatpants, t-shirts, and gym shorts to accommodate a variety of sizes. TASK has also received unused clothing donations from the Hamilton-Robbinsville Rotary Club which gifted 300 t-shirts and an anonymous donor who bought over bags full of newly purchased garments. Many of those requesting clothing are regular TASK patrons, and some are also RMT clients. TASK staff has been putting together bags of clothes for folks sent to the soup kitchen by RMT, focusing on filling the greatest areas of need first.
“We are by no means doing a big distribution,” Parker said, emphasizing that TASK does not have the space for large amounts of clothing. “We work with the RMT case manager who gives us the name and size of the person; we make up a bag and then the person comes over to pick it up.”
Parker added that bags can also be put together on the spot for anyone who asks. According to staff, the soup kitchen has a surplus of size XXL on hand and could use unisex, loose-fitting, adult clothing, such as athletic wear in sizes small and medium.
If you want to donate NEW clothes only to TASK, you can have them delivered to directly to: Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, 72 ½ Escher Street, Trenton, N.J. 08605.
You can also drop them off in person, Monday-Friday between 8-10 AM and/or 12-3 PM or give us a call at 609-695-5456. Thank you in advance for your generosity!