United Way hopes for at least 42K diapers through August collection

  • United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region Program Manager Jenny Coeur and Interim Executive Director Geoff Maunheim with diapers they have collected through the organization’s diaper drive. The local United Way donates more than 10,000 diapers each month to 15 local aid agencies. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • All types of disposable diapers at the United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region’s offices on Davis Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region Program Manager Jenny Coeur and Interim Executive Director Geoff Maunheim with diapers they have collected through the organization’s diaper drive. The local United Way donates more than 10,000 diapers each month to 15 local aid agencies. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 8/16/2022 3:59:30 PM
Modified: 8/16/2022 3:56:03 PM

GREENFIELD — United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region is striving to make a positive “change.”

The organization is holding a diaper drive through the end of the month, with contributions helping to build a collection that distributes more than 10,000 diapers each month to 15 local agencies supporting the community.

“It’s going well. We’ve been getting donations via all four avenues here,” said Jenny Coeur, the organization’s program manager. “So we’re hoping that continues through the month here.”

Donations can be made at United Way’s Greenfield office at 51 Davis St., Suite 2, as well as any of the 25 donation sites around Franklin and Hampshire counties, the organization’s Amazon wish list at amzn.to/3Anu4xS, and its website, bit.ly/3C8eWFS. A list of the donation sites is available at uw-fh.org/diaper-drive. United Way will also accept cash donations that will go directly toward supporting its cross-county Diaper Bank.

“One out of every three families with young children has difficulty getting diapers,” Coeur said. “There are a lot of families that get SNAP or WIC benefits, but that does not cover diapers, and that’s a big need in the area for young children.”

Coeur said 42,000 diapers were donated or purchased last year, and United Way hopes to reach that mark again this year.

Geoff Naunheim, United Way of the Franklin & Hampshire Region’s interim executive director, said baby wipes and diapers of all sizes are needed, but emphasis is being placed on sizes 4, 5 and 6, as well as Pull-Ups training pants because they are the most expensive.

“The costs of diapers started going up during the pandemic,” he said. “And that cost has gone up even more.”

Naunheim and Coeur explained this diaper drive evolved out of separate initiatives from the United Way chapters from Franklin and Hampshire counties, which formally merged into one entity last summer. The Franklin County Diaper Task Force started in 2014.

Coeur said not only are diapers critical for health and hygiene, but many daycare facilities and preschools require families to provide them.

According to information from United Way, the National Diaper Bank Network reported in March 2021 that of the nearly 213,000 children under 3 years old living in Massachusetts, 17% were in families living below the poverty line, while another 12% experienced near-poverty. And the number of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Franklin and Hampshire counties has increased by nearly 6,000 in the past three years.

For more information about how to donate or to host a donation drop-off box, visit uw-fh.org/diaper-drive, call 413-584-3962 or send an email to info@uw-fh.org.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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