UPDATE ON EFFORTS AROUND DIAPER NEED …
THE UNITED WAY OF HAMPSHIRE COUNTY’s ANNUAL DIAPER DRIVE WAS HELD AUGUST 1-29, 2018
More information here.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HOW THE AMHERST SURVIVAL CENTER HAS ADDRESSED DIAPER NEED
Since holding its first community-wide diaper drive in early 2015, the Amherst Survival Center has included diapers in its monthly Pantry distribution and has been a leader in the effort to address diaper need in the region. You can learn information on the 2015 drive, access information and social media resources here. In June 2016, the Amherst Survival Center announced that as a result of the efforts of The Honorable Ellen Story, State Representative, the Center received a state grant of $10,000 to support its diaper distribution program for families who use its Food Pantry.
Currently, we make an allocation of about 40 diapers/month per diaper wearing child to every household using the Center’s Food Pantry.
What Can You Do? We continue to accept donations of funds to purchase diapers and donations of diapers to distribute to our neighbors. Sizes 4,5,6 are always in big demand.
Social media resources are below, scroll down.
On March 10, 2016, the Obama White House blogged about diaper need and the diaper gap and the effort to make diapers affordable for low-income families. You can see the blog post here.
Following the post, First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted about the post:
A bill was introduced, HR 4055: the Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act of 2015, to address diaper need on the federal level.
Diapers are as essential as food and shelter. Yet, they are not often recognized as a basic need. Diapers cannot be obtained with food stamps or WIC, and are classified with cigarettes, alcohol and pet food as disallowed purchases.
Diaper need is the struggle to provide babies and toddlers with an essential need – diapers. Some families face having to clean out and reuse soiled diapers or have to choose between diapers and other basic needs like food. In our community, families struggle with diaper need every day and the painful decisions and trade-offs about how to afford diapers vs. rent, diapers vs. food, diapers vs. the electric bill.
The Amherst-Area Diaper Drive addresses “Diaper Need” by inviting the community to donate children’s diapers (and wipes!) which will then be distributed to our neighbors in need through the Amherst Survival Center’s Food Pantry. The Food Pantry distributes personal care items, when available, and we always accept donations. The Amherst-Area Diaper Drive helps to ensure that children’s diapers will be available to our neighbors.
The Amherst Survival Center’s Food Pantry is open to residents who live in the following 13 towns: Amherst, Belchertown, Deerfield, Granby, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, South Hadley, Sunderland, Whately and Ware. Click here for more information on the Food Pantry.
More information on diaper need (click on links below):
“The Solution to Ending Poverty Is in the Details”, US News Opinion, 8/15/16
Editorial: Diaper drives help families stretch dollars, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 8/2/16.
“Distributing free diapers: The effort to keep babies clean and healthy,” The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 7/25/16
“State gives survival center a boost with diaper funds,” The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 7/5/16
“Amherst diaper program gets boost”, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, 6/29/16
“The Surging Cost of Basic Needs,” The Atlantic, 6/2/16
“Inequality Can Cause Rashes and Urinary Tract Infections,” Alternate, 5/31/16
“The Cruelest Thing About Buying Diapers,” The Washington Post, 3/14/16
White House Takes Action to Keep Babies Clean, Dry, Healthy; The Huffington Post, 3/14/16
The Diaper Divide, The White House blog, 3/10/16
The taxing problem of bringing up baby on a meager wage, Al Jazeera America, 8/7/15
Diaper banks spread across US to meet overlooked need, Al Jazeera America, 8/4/15
Diaper banks provide relief for struggling parents, starting at the bottom, Al Jazeera America, 8/4/15
The Diaper Dilemma, The Atlantic, 7/21/15
Feeding America Report (2013), In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials
Channeling a Hollywood Baby Boom for Charity, NY Times, 3/13/15
What Happens When Poor Moms Can’t Afford Diapers? Huffington Post 2/20/15
“When poor parents can’t afford diapers” St. Louis Dispatch 4/10/14
“Diaper crisis among poor families endangers children, study finds,” LA Times 7/29/13
“The shocking link between diapers for poor babies and jobs for moms,” LA Times 8/11/14
“Diaper Need and Its Impact on Child Health,” Pediatrics 7/29/13
Letter to the Editor, “Mindy Domb and Laura Reischman: Drive collects nearly 33,000 diapers, many to thank”, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, April 20, 2015.
Letter to the Editor: “Will Coughlin, Elliot Kuan, Mei Zhou: College freshmen raising awareness about diaper drive:, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, April 2, 2015
You can always drop off diaper donations at the Amherst Survival Center at 138 Sunderland Road in North Amherst!
Got cloth diapers? The Amherst Survival Center’s Community Store accepts cloth diaper donations for the store. Feel free to bring them (clean, not soiled, as per our donation guidelines) to the Store during our donation hours (Monday, Tuesday, Friday 11am-2:45pm, Thursday 11am-6:45pm).
Show Your Support: We have materials you can download to show your support for closing the diaper gap. Click here.