If you’re a parent or grandparent, you know that diapers can be expensive. An organization is working to help families in Sullivan and Orange counties pay them.
The Baby Steps Baby Pantry held a diaper pop-up in Monticello outside the Sullivan County Federation for the Homeless, where families were able to pick up a week’s worth of diapers and wipes for free.
“That pack of diapers is probably $40 at Walmart,” said South Fallsburg resident James Paterson, who has a newborn son at home and goes through a lot of diapers.
She noticed the Baby Steps Baby Pantry sign and walked over. He left with a bag of diapers and wipes.
The Baby Steps Baby Pantry is a Newburgh-based nonprofit that has been handing out free diapers, wipes and washes to families in need in Orange and Sullivan counties for the past seven years.
“Especially when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we knew there would be an increased need for community support with diapers. Diapers are very, very expensive,” said Laura Donovan, Baby Steps Baby Pantry volunteer.
Inflation has made things worse.
Seconds Bloomberg news According to Nielsen data, the unit price of diapers has increased by 14% from January 2020 to January 2021. This has made it difficult for families on tight budgets to pay for diapers.
“Everybody needs help. It doesn’t matter how much you make or how much you earn, kids are a struggle,” Paterson said.
Last year, Baby Steps Baby Pantry received a grant from the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan County that allowed them to purchase more diapers and expand their giveaways.
Now, they do diaper pop-ups in every county, in addition to their monthly giveaway in Newburgh.
“We show up with trucks full of diapers and give them to community members who come in,” Donovan said.
According to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three American families experience the need for diapers, and this could have a ripple effect on families.
“Without access to dry diapers, it makes a lot of other things difficult,” Donovan said. “It could cause health problems for the child. It also means that sometimes the nursery requires you to show up with a certain number of diapers. So if a family doesn’t have that, the child might not be able to go there. childcare, and then maybe the parents can’t go to work.”
Families are also feeling the pinch when it comes to infant formula. But there are sources of relief.
Dutchess County hosted a baby formula drive in May in partnership with the Community Action Partnership for Dutchess County. In Ulster County, the Salvation Army in Kingston also has a diaper and baby formula pantry for parents in need.
Parents like Paterson are just thankful that programs like this exist.
“It’s good when people need something and they can actually get it,” he said.
Baby Steps Baby Pantry is always looking for community groups in Sullivan and Orange counties that are interested in partnering with them to host diaper pop-ups like this one.
To find out how your organization can join them, or where their next pop-up will be, check out their website.
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