Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today proclaimed the week of September 21 through 27 as "National Diaper Need Awareness Week" and encouraged residents to support a month-long diaper drive organized by the Junior League of Lincoln and the Center for People in Need. The two nonprofits are working to form Lincoln's first diaper bank with the assistance of Community Action.
The proclamation recognizes that diaper need is a public health issue and that one in three families with children age three and under struggles with the need for diapers.
"Diapers cost an average of $80 a month per child, and this necessary expense can be a significant burden for families with low incomes," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "Many childcare programs will not enroll children who do not have an adequate supply of diapers. Research shows that this predicament causes many parents to miss work, thereby jeopardizing family economic stability."
"We estimate more than 6,000 children in Lancaster County suffer diaper need, which is an insufficient supply of diapers to keep a child clean, dry and healthy," said Chris Funk, executive director of the Center for People in Need. "We are determined to end this unnecessary hardship for the children and families in our community."
The diaper drive runs through October 23. Diapers of all sizes are welcome, but sizes 5 and 6 are the most requested. The drive also accepts baby wipes and diaper cream, and all donations must be unopened.
The primary purpose of a diaper bank is to serve existing agencies and help families in need. The establishment of a diaper bank will help stabilize the supply of diapers for existing agencies so they can better serve their own clients. Membership in the diaper bank is currently limited, but organizers hope to expand to additional agencies next year.
The public can drop off diapers for the diaper bank at these locations: