The Liberty Community Center opened a new service Monday to help low income families with young children.
LCC, which provides early childhood education to low income families, created a diaper bank to help families who cannot afford disposable diapers. The diaper bank will hold an open house 2 to 4 p.m. March 29, and will be open regularly 6 to 8 p.m. Mondays.
“Diapers are hugely expensive and they are a huge expense for a lot of families,” said board member Kelly Cochran, who helped spearhead the creation of the diaper bank. “They can’t be purchased with WIC or food stamps, and so it’s hard for a lot of families.”
LCC reports the average baby uses 8 to 12 diapers a day, creating a $100 to $120 a month expense for an adequate supply of diapers.
Low income families struggling to make ends meet may turn to cloth diapers in some instances, but it’s not always the answer, Cochran said. Day cares do not allow cloth diapers, and many laundry mats refuse to allow laundering of cloth diapers. That makes it difficult for parents who need child care to use cloth diapers.
Families who need disposable diapers are eligible to use the service five times a year. Families are not asked to provide proof of income at this time, but do need to show an ID and proof of address. At the time of first service, families will need to fill out an intake form. Each time a family visits the diaper bank, they will be provided with a week’s worth of diapers.
According to the LCC, 1 in 3 families in Delaware County struggle to purchase diapers because of income. Surveys of low income families show 4 out of 10 mothers in America have made the choice between buying diapers and other necessities and 36 percent of mothers living in poverty regularly run out of clean diapers for their infants.
“We’re trying to help families through this tough time,” Cochran said. “We don’t want to be a handout, we want to be a stepping stone to get them past their current struggles.”
The idea for the diaper bank began with LCC’s previous director. He noticed the need, Cochran said.
“We were inspired by the need and we jumped right in,” she said.
LCC began holding diaper drives to create a supply of diapers. Their first effort to get diapers into the community was through a donation to People In Need for the Holiday Clearing House.
At this time, the diaper bank has 3000 individual diapers in stock, but the diapers can run out. The diaper bank relies on donations and volunteers to keep running.
“We’re hoping that churches and other organizations will do some community drives,” Cochran said.
The Diaper Bank will also rely strongly on volunteers and is now accepting applications.
To learn more about receiving diapers, volunteering, donating diapers or hosting a diaper drive, contact the Liberty Community Center at 740-369-3876.