According to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three families in the U.S. struggle to afford enough diapers to keep their baby clean, dry and healthy. But while “diaper need,” as it’s referred to, has long been a condition of living in poverty, it has become even more pervasive over the last two years.
Why is a product so fundamentally necessary and vital to a child’s health so difficult to buy? One reason is that government programs designed to help children do not provide funding for diapers, a basic necessity for all babies. A gap in federal safety net programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; food stamps) contribute to the difficulties of buying diapers as these programs cannot be used to purchase diapers.
Diaper Need Impacts Families
Of families experiencing diaper need, three-in-five parents (57%) miss work or school due to a lack of sufficient diapers required by childcare, day care or early education programs. Rising diaper prices are also adding to the financial strain on families brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation. Florida legislators passed a bill over the summer making diapers tax free for one year (through June 20, 2023) providing some much-needed relief for families with children.
Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida, led solely by a group of volunteers, has been supplying diapers to local families since 2020. Working with community organizations, the nonprofit distributes more than 20,000 diapers each month. That’s enough diapers to cover 400 babies!
Crystal Parks, a Jacksonville mother of two, founded the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida in October 2019 after learning about the critical issue of diaper need. Being a mom herself, Crystal understood the importance of keeping a baby clean, dry and healthy. She never once thought of diapers being the one basic need that many parents struggle to buy. Reading articles about the number of families that re-use dirty diapers left Crystal wondering how she could help ease the burden for families struggling with diaper need in her own community. After searching online for a local diaper bank and realizing there were none, Crystal decided to start one herself.
How To Get Involved with the Diaper Bank
You can join Crystal and her team of volunteers as they continue to provide families with access to free diapers. Financial contributions made directly to the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida enables the direct purchases of diapers through innovative, cost saving programs. Diaper drives hosted by individuals, special interest groups or businesses also offer a supportive effort to distribute diapers to families who need them the most. Kids can even get involved by hosting diaper drives through their school or scout group.
Here are some ways you can support local families and help the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida:
- Host your own diaper drive and donate the products to the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida
- Purchase diapers from our Amazon or Walmart Wish List. Items purchased online will be delivered directly to the diaper bank.
- Make an online donation to help cover the cost of purchasing diapers.
- Spread the word! Tell your family, friends and coworkers about our mission to tackle diaper need in Northeast Florida.
For more information about the Diaper Bank for Northeast Florida, visit jaxdiaperbank.org.