Helping Families Fill Their Diaper Needs
What is Diaper Need?
Diaper Need is the lack of a sufficient amount of diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy. This is a real problem in Erie County affecting 1 in 3 working families before COVID-19 and has significantly increased since the shut down of non-essential business and skyrocketing unemployment rates.
What are some consequences of not having enough diapers?
Babies who remain in a soiled diaper too long are exposed to potential health risks including skin infections, open sores, urinary tract infections, and other conditions that may require medical attention.
While diapers are a basic necessity, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic one in three mothers reported struggling to provide enough diapers for her child.
Diaper needs force many parents to take unsafe measures, including delaying changing a diaper to make their supply last longer (48%) and reusing a disposable diaper (32%), according to a survey of food bank clients.
In addition, there is a strong correlation between maternal depression and diaper need, according to a study conducted with researchers at the Yale School of Medicine. This study found diaper need to be an even greater stressor for mothers than food insecurity.
48% delay diaper changing to stretch their supply.
32% Reuse disposable diapers to stretch their supply
Diapers are Essential Needs
Diapers are as essential to a child’s health as food and shelter. Yet, state and national safety net programs such as WIC and SNAP (link) do not recognize diapers as a basic need.
The Erie Family Center is helping end the diaper need in the Erie community. The program started by providing one week’s worth of diapers for each child to anyone that needs them once per month, but due to the large demand, we immediately doubled the distribution to every two weeks.
Diapers distributed in Erie County
The Erie Family Center launched the Diaper Depot diaper program on January 27, 2020. Since then, we have distributed more than 500,000 diapers and serving over 350 families per month.
The Diaper Depot in Erie County is currently distributing an average of 50 diapers per month per child.
Thank You to our Community Funding Sources
We’re here to help you provide the very best for your children. This program is open to any family regardless of income or family situation.
Helping our community takes a village and there are many ways you can help the Diaper Depot such as donating diapers to hosting a diaper drive.