The demand for diapers doesn’t slow down in a pandemic.
And with the current economic downturn, the need for access to basic baby care supplies is only increasing. Because of this demand, the Puget Sound nonprofit Babies of Homelessness is hosting a diaper drive on Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Church of the Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Woodinville.
“Without diapers, parents cannot send children to childcare or early education programs. Without childcare, parents cannot go to school or work to attain long term goals,” Babies of Homelessness Executive Director Brittan Stockert said in an email. “COVID, unemployment, and evictions have exacerbated these inequities.”
The organization delivers directly the families who live in small towns, are couch-surfing, or staying in car parks. Additionally, it’s partnered with 19 different agencies and performs scheduled drop-offs in Seattle and Everett. Stockert said the group has seen a growing need on the Eastside as well. There are 197 students in the Northshore School District who meet the definition of homelessness, which can include families that are staying with friends or living in a hotel, according to the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction data.
Babies of Homelessness has delivered 88,000 so far this year but is on track to double that by the end of the year, Stockert said.
“Now with COVID-19, we have seen the demand for basic needs services increase while operating with limited volunteer staffing, negotiating diaper shortages and dealing with price spikes,” she said.
The group also delivers formula, pull-ups and wipes. The greatest need it has now is for diapers and pull-ups, according to Stockert. Electronic Benefit Transfer cards, which used to be known as food stamps, cannot be used to purchase diapers, which is why organizations and efforts such as Babies of Homelessness are vital for children's health and hygiene.
It can cost families between $80 to $100 a month to purchase enough diapers, and those costs increase with a lack of access to transportation, according to a Babies of Homelessness press release.
The organization has the biggest need for diaper sizes four to six, and open packages will also be accepted at the drop-off site on Sept. 26. Online donations may be made through Amazon at https://a.co/1D7eMi1