Local groups hosting ‘diaper drive’
GREENFIELD — Two local health groups are teaming up this spring to connect poor families with diapers.
Organizations throughout the county are hosting “diaper drives” over the next few weeks to provide families with the necessary, but costly, item. Disposable diapers can cost up to $100 per month and aren’t covered by any federal welfare benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, said Judith Weinthaler, of the Early Childhood Mental Health Roundtable.
So the roundtable joined forces with the Perinatal Support Coalition to fill this gap. At least five organizations have signed on to host a diaper drive this month and it’s not too late for others to join the effort, as well. The groups, with the help of Community Action and Clinical and Support Options, will deliver diapers next month to service organizations and food pantries — where families can then go to pick up supplies.
“The implications of diapers are huge,” said Weinthaler.
Parents who can’t afford diapers will often leave their infants in spoiled diapers or try to clean and re-use them a second time, officials said.
Or, even if they are changing their babies whenever necessary, the financial stress of a family’s dwindling supply associates a negative feeling with the act. Officials say that a lack of diapers may mean that both mother and child may miss out on bonding moments that could occur during diaper changing.
Mothers who can’t afford diapers may not feel like good parents and providers, said officials. And since child care centers often require that families supply their own diapers, it may force parents to spend money on diapers instead of food or even reconsider child care altogether, they said.
Diaper drive organizers say that families typically require 12 diapers per day for an infant, 84 diapers per week and 336 diapers per month. The numbers decrease as the babies grow up: to eight diapers per day for a toddler, 56 diapers per week and 224 diapers per month.
Diapers or donations
Organizers will accept diaper donations or cash contributions ($5 to fund a day, $30 for a week, $60 for two weeks and $100 for month).
Checks can be made payable to “Community Action — Diaper Drive” and sent to any of the following organizations:
∎ Baystate Franklin Medical Center, which will have collection boxes this week in the lobby until 5:30 p.m. each day and at any time in The Birthplace.
∎ The Brick House Community Resource Center, at 243 Third St. in Turners Falls, from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.
∎ Clinical and Support Options, at 1 Arch St. in Greenfield, in the first floor lobby. Please call ahead at 413-774-1000 to check on hours.
∎ Greenfield Community College’s downtown campus on Main Street, until Friday .
∎ The Salasin Center, at 474 Main St. in Greenfield, on Mondays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Fridays from noon to 3 p.m.
Organizers hope that the momentum will continue after the spring diaper drives wrap up. They’d love to see other groups host drives or for people to just remember that they can always donate diapers to local shelters or food pantries.
You can reach Chris Shores at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 413-772-0261, ext. 264, or @RecorderShores