Like clothing, diapers are a necessity. But the cost adds up quickly. The Kennebec Valley Community Action Program (KVCAP) is holding its annual Diaper Drive to ensure all parents have access to diapers when they need them.
Diapers can be a major expense for families, easily costing $100 a month or more. In the United States 1 in 3 low-income moms report suffering from diaper need. Studies reveal that mothers who lack an adequate supply of diapers are more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety than do other low-income mothers. Maternal depression and anxiety can have long-term and debilitating effects on children’s well-being and their future success in school.
KVCAP’s Social Services department is joining organizations across the country to collect diapers from September 23 to 29, coinciding with National Diaper Need Awareness Week. Many local businesses are hosting collection sites throughout Kennebec and Somerset counties. All diaper sizes and brands are accepted. The donated diapers are repackaged with information about additional resources, and distributed to numerous sites, including doctor’s offices, town offices, shelters, and other non-profits that work with families.
“Parents needing diapers should have access, wherever they live,” said Lanelle Freeman, KVCAP’s Director of Social Services. “And communities can solve this problem. Last year’s Drive collected and distributed over 21,000 diapers, supporting the health and wellbeing of hundreds of families.”
Babies who remain too long in a soiled diaper are exposed to potential health risks including infections and skin conditions, as well as longer periods of crying. Without disposable diapers, parents cannot bring their children to most childcare providers, leaving them unable to go to work. Thus continuing the cycle of financial instability and creating more stress and anxiety for the entire family. The benefits of eliminating diaper need extend outward to the entire community.
In addition to the collection sites, two Live-Drive “Stuff the Cruiser” events are also scheduled. The Pittsfield Police Department will be at Bud’s Shop ‘N Save on September 26, from 3pm-6pm. In Oakland, the local Police Department will be at Buddies Groceries on September 28, from noon-2pm.
“The need for diapers directly impacts the physical, mental and economic well-being of children and parents. Donations will ensure that more babies will be happier and healthier, and parents will have a local resource to turn to when their budgets are just too tight to make ends meet,” said Freeman.