Denver Newsroom, Jun 13, 2020 / 11:00 am
The organizers of diaper drives aim to help the parents of young children meet a need that can get costly: diapers.
With the arrival of the new coronavirus and mass unemployment, that need is even greater.
"Since the outbreak, local diaper banks are reporting that diaper distribution to families in need of support has as much as quadrupled," Troy Moore, chief of external affairs for the National Diaper Bank Network, told CNA. "The federal programs that low-income families rely on to help them pay for groceries – SNAP and WIC – do not cover diapers. In most of the country, diaper banks are the only option for families struggling with diaper need."
"Many diaper bank programs throughout the country are adjusting their distribution models and now hosting drive-thru diaper distributions, and handing out 15,000 - 25,000 diapers within hours," Moore said. "The demand for diapers is unprecedented, and more support is needed."
Even before the arrival of the new coronavirus, 1 in 3 American families faced shortfalls in the number of diapers needed, and some 5 million children age 3 or younger lived in poor or low-income families, according to the diaper bank network.
The National Diaper Bank Network, whose founding sponsor is the diaper company Huggies, supports the development and expansion of diaper banks. Its members number over 200 diaper banks, diaper pantries and food banks in 49 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. At least ten of these members are Catholic institutions, including the Bottom Line Diaper Bank of Catholic Charities, Denver; Archdiocese of New York diaper distribution program; and Kentucky Catholic Charities.
In 2019, the network's members distributed almost 85 million diapers, helping over 187,000 children each month.
Disposable diapers can cost up to $70 to $80 for each baby. An infant requires up to 12 diapers a day, while toddlers require about 8. Families with poor transportation often pay a premium for diapers at convenience stores. For many working families, there is another reason diapers are a must-have: daycares often require parents to provide a daily supply of diapers.