By Kyra Conatser
When I graduated college, I didn’t envision myself working for a food bank – after all, my degree is in child development and family studies. However, I quickly learned when working in the classroom that not all children have access to what they need to reach their full potential. This is when I became passionate about organizations like Second Harvest, and am grateful to be here as the Youth Initiatives Manager in efforts to help prepare the next generation to move past resource insecurity.
Diapers are essential to a child’s healthy development, yet one in three U.S. families struggled to provide enough diapers to keep their children clean, dry, and healthy on a daily basis. During the pandemic, nonprofit diaper banks are seeing this demand increase by 400%. An average supply of diapers cost $80 a month – yet the only federal assistance program that can be used for diapers is TANF, which has to also cover many other expenses such as utilities, rent, and other basic essential needs.
By working together, we can ensure that all children have access to clean diapers and other necessities required for them to thrive and reach their full potential. Second Harvest became a member of the National Diaper Bank Network in December 2019. Since then, we have purchased close to 4,500 cases of diapers, dispersed over 220,000 individual diapers to agencies who then provided them to over 2,800 children.
Diaper Need Awareness Week is September 21-27. To find out more, visit out Facebook page that week or visit the National Diaper Bank Network’s Website here!