Organizers of a St. Louis-area diaper drive say they’re extending their effort another week because of enthusiastic community response.
Disposable diapers are estimated to cost up to $100 a month for one baby. Some St. Louis nonprofits try to assist families, but there is no dedicated diaper bank charity in the city.
“There are things — when you’re struggling with housing, struggling with health issues, when you’re struggling to be able to pay your bills — that have value beyond just a dollar,” Hudson said. “Something as simple as a disposable diaper can become a very big deal.”
Hudson said it’s amazing how many people responded once they learned about the hardship facing poor mothers.
“Anybody who’s been at the ground zero of taking care of a baby understands all the intangible pressures at that moment in life. So I think it’s something that resonates,” Hudson said.
“Diaper need” is increasingly recognized as a serious poverty-related problem. It can not only cause health problems for children, like rashes and infections when diapers are left on too long, but it can also impact work attendance and family life.
The diaper drive has resulted in donations of about 25,000 diapers to the nonprofit organization Nurses for Newborns so far. That’s enough to serve about 1800 families with emergency packages.
Hudson says she’s still expecting thousands more diapers to be delivered.