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May 23, 2019
The Junior League of Tampa Diaper Bank hit a new milestone March 30 when they received their first shipment of 30,000 diapers from National Diaper Bank Network’s national sponsor, Huggies. The delivery marks a new stage in the growing program, coming on the heels of the Diaper Bank’s expansion to four new community agencies this month.
Since we launched in September 2018, we’ve distributed almost 40,000 diapers and expanded to work with seven community partners and what we’ve learned is, it’s not really about diapers, it’s about poverty. Diaper need affects one in three families in the United States, and there is no government safety net program that allocates dollars towards this need. Our goal is to help eliminate this need in our community.
The Junior League of Tampa Diaper Bank is doing just that. In under four hours, 30 volunteers turned the towering pallets of diapers into 1,200 diaper kits, which will be distributed to community partners like Champions for Children, The Alpha House, Voices for Children’s Guardians ad Litem and foster care case management organizations like Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services.
These kits, which consist of 25 diapers, a pack of diaper wipes and a tube of diaper rash cream, are a key component in breaking the cycle of poverty; each kit allows a child to attend a week of daycare, many of which require 5 clean diapers per day for that child to attend. Parents that cannot provide these diapers are unable to attend work or school.
“The recent government shutdown temporarily created an economic crisis for working families across our country, as they struggled to meet even their most basic needs,” says Junior League of Tampa President Isabel Dewey. “While the return of government work resolved this crisis for many, for the 200,000 households in Hillsborough County who are living paycheck to paycheck, the state of struggling to obtain these necessary products is perpetual, and it is linked to a punishing cycle of poverty.”
Children that attend early childhood education programs are three times as likely to go onto higher education and children of families that struggle with diaper need have an increased risk of sickness, child abuse and even death, due to issues like premature toilet training as a result of the stress caused by this financial burden.
This delivery marks the largest for The Junior League of Tampa’s new initiative, but it’s the first of many.