Northampton, Mass., July 11, 2016 – United Way of Hampshire County is once again teaming up with area non-profits to help wipe out diaper need in Hampshire County by holding a month-long diaper drive from July 16 through August 13. United Way is partnering with Amherst Survival Center, Easthampton Community Center, Hilltown Community Health Centers, It Takes a Village, Northampton Public Schools-Early Childhood Department, Northampton Survival Center and the Jubilee Cupboard in Ware.
Diaper need is a silent crisis across Hampshire County. Diapers are a basic need for children, as essential to their health and well being as food and shelter. Yet nearly 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their children. Government programs such as WIC and SNAP, do not cover the cost of diapers.
“On average, infants and toddlers require between eight to twelve diapers a day, at a cost of approximately $100 per month,” said United Way Executive Director, Jim Ayres. “With caregivers changing 3,000-5,000 diapers, it can become an insurmountable expense.”
Technology has given many of us instant access and next day delivery for just about anything— including diapers. Families can have boxes of diapers delivered to their doorstep with the click of a button. However, the convenience of this technology or the convenience of driving to a big box store for bulk purchases is not accessible to everyone. In fact, low-income families typically pay more for diapers.
“Low-income families may not have access to transportation to the big box store, the credit to buy in bulk at cheaper prices, or even the access to the Internet,” said Ayres. “The technology that makes life easier for many of us doesn’t provide the vital supports for families who are struggling.”
Families unable to afford diapers are forced to choose between a range of undesirable alternatives that can severely impact the health and well being of both their child and their household. Many families are forced to cut back on basic necessities such as food, utilities or childcare in order to purchase diapers for their children. Other families report leaving their children in soiled diapers for a longer period of time than they otherwise would have.
These alternatives can have severe repercussions for the health, economic and emotional well being of the child, parent and household. Leaving children in soiled diapers longer than they should can lead to diaper rash, infections, irritability and difficulty in mother-child attachment. These consequences can lead to lower self-esteem and depression among parents who are not able to provide adequate diapers. Some parents are forced to forgo employment or educational opportunities since many daycare programs will not accept children without a day’s supply of disposable diapers.
United Way of Hampshire County has set a goal to collect 50,000 diapers and 100,000 baby wipes that will be distributed to families in need through the following organizations: Amherst Survival Center, Easthampton Community Center, The Village Pantry in Cummington, Northampton Survival Center in Northampton and Goshen and The Jubilee Cupboard at Trinity Episcopal Church in Ware.
The Collection Sites Below are available July 16 – August 13
(donors are asked to check with each organization for hours of operation)
A Child’s Garden, 204 Main Street, Northampton
Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Road, Amherst
Cup & Top, 1 North Main Street, Florence
Easthampton Community Center, 12 Clark Street, Easthampton
Forbes Library, 20 West Street, Northampton
Hampshire Regional YMCA, 286 Prospect Street, Northampton
Huntington Health Center, 73 Russell Rd, Huntington
Jubilee Cupboard at Trinity Episcopal Church. Corner of Park & Pleasant Streets, Ware
Northampton Survival Center, 265 Prospect Street, Northampton
Goshen Pantry, 40 Main Street, Goshen
Paragus IT, 112 Russell Street, Hadley
Stop & Shop, 228 King Street, Northampton
TD Bank Northampton, 175 Main Street, Northampton
Thornes Marketplace, 150 Main Street, Northampton
United Way of Hampshire County, 71 King Street, Northampton
Worthington Health Center, 58 Old North Rd, Worthington
About United Way of Hampshire County
United Way of Hampshire County engages and inspires the people, employers, and organizations of Hampshire County to give, advocate, and volunteer on behalf or our community. Our vision is that all individuals and families have the tools and resources to reach their full potential through education, economic security, and wellness. Lifting together, we build strong, vibrant, and inclusive communities.. To invest, volunteer, or to obtain more information, call United Way of Hampshire County at (413) 584-3962 or visit www.uwhampshire.org.