The Utah Diaper Bank
was organized in 2013 when we realized that no safety-net program covered diapers for those in need. Our community was in great need for an organized approach to collecting and distributing diapers. In 2011, local television and radio stations broadcast an urgent need for diapers at a crisis nursery that was unable to accept children when they ran out of diapers.
Over the next two years, we started personally donating diapers to the shelters, but in 2012 the local television stations again broadcast an urgent need for diapers. After this second call for aid, we resolved to do something about this ongoing problem.
We found that although there was already a loosely organized group of diaper banks in thirty-two states, Utah was not one of them. We decided that Utah should have its own organized diaper bank.
With the help of a generous community, the Utah Diaper Bank, which opened its doors in March of 2013, has grown from distributing 15,000 diapers in their first year to shipping over 500,000 diapers in 2019. We now distribute an average of 50,000 diapers a month.
The diaper bank movement began in 1994 when a small consulting firm decided to give back to their local community during the holiday season. Resolve Inc., located in Tucson, Arizona began their philanthropic endeavor by collecting diapers for a local crisis nursery. Their annual diaper collection tradition continued, and only five years later they were able to collect 300,000 diapers for 30 different agencies.
Why Do We Need Diapers?
Safety-net programs such as the Food Stamp Program and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) do not cover the cost of diapers. An adequate supply of diapers can cost over $100 per month.
Most licensed day care centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers. Low-income parents cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at childcare centers. If parents cannot access daycare, then they are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis. This leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty.
In poor and low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health and abuse risks. Cloth diapering is also not generally a viable option. Most people living in poverty do not have affordable access to washing facilities. Most shared laundry facilities do not allow cloth diapers for health and sanitary reasons.
What's a Diaper Drive?
In communities throughout the country, civic groups, churches, businesses, and concerned citizens organize diapers drives to collect diapers for donation to local diaper banks. Diaper drives are a great way to engage your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers in the fight against diaper need. They are also an important tool for educating your community about diaper need and creating awareness of this crisis. Click Here for more information about starting a diaper drive