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Port Chester nonprofit: Youth clothing insecurity skyrocketing

According to The Sharing Shelf executive director Deborah Blatt, the organization received 1,863 applications for donations in 2018 compared to 5,579 last year.

Jonathan Gordon

Jun 7, 2024, 12:10 AM

Updated 12 days ago

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Newly released data by a Port Chester nonprofit found the number of applications for children's and teens' clothing items is three times higher now than it was five years ago.
According to The Sharing Shelf executive director Deborah Blatt, the organization received 1,863 applications for donations in 2018 compared to 5,579 last year.
"Clothing insecurity needs to be tackled in conjunction with the better-recognized food insecurity and housing insecurity,” she said.
The Sharing Shelf is a nonprofit clothing bank serving Westchester County that was founded in 2009. Volunteers collect new and gently used clothes, screen them for quality and distribute them for free to low-income children and teens through social services, schools and other non-profits.
In addition to the number of applications, Blatt said partnering organizations (123 vs. 53), winter coats distributed (2,294 vs. 702) and wardrobe packs provided (5,579 vs. 1,809) were all up in 2023 compared to 2018.
She said all of these data points paint a concerning trend.
"We're seeing what the future statistics are going to tell us which childhood poverty is not just increasing based on two years ago but to today is maintaining that growth unfortunately and more and more families are struggling at the bottom end of the economic ladder," Blatt said.
Blatt said the only way to get ahead of this issue is to prioritize the need for clothes as much as the need for affordable housing and food.
The Sharing Shelter is already seeing a 7% increase in demand halfway through 2024 compared to last year.


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