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Waco Diaper Bank to Help Those Families in Need

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The need for diapers isn’t very well known if you’re not a parent, you might be unfamiliar with the need and costs associated with diapers. But now the Waco Diaper Bank - a newly founded non-profit - is working to change just that. KWBU’s Carlos Morales has more on the diaper bank and what it means for Wacoans in need. 

According to research published in 2013, more than 30 percent of mothers surveyed struggled to pay for diapers. Additionally, more than 8 percent of low-income moms reused soiled diapers on their children. These numbers stuck with Ellen Filgo, an e-learning librarian at Baylor University libraries, who established the Waco Diaper Bank this year.

“There’s no existing federal or state social safety net program that allocates money towards diapers," Filgo said. "You cannot buy diapers with food stamps, with snap. You cannot use WIC to purchase them, and they’re very expensive.  And it’s not like you can tell your child to stop peeing and pooping. It’s not, you can’t say “you need to cut back on that this month” or something."

For these families in need, there are several existing social service programs in Waco, however the emphasis of these organizations isn’t specifically diaper need, but it is a secondary resource offered. And that’s where the Waco Diaper Bank steps in. Filgo says they’ll follow a collaborative-model and work as a diaper liaison of sorts, collecting donations of diapers to supply to existing social service agencies and organizations that already work with families in need.

“So if they’re working, maybe their main focus is hunger, homelessness or abuse, pregnancy – whatever it is, diaper need comes along with those kind of things," Filgo says. "People who struggle to afford food can also struggle to afford diapers."

According to the National Diaper Bank network, 1 in 3 American families report experiencing diaper need. The organization also estimates that disposable diapers can cost anywhere from $70 to $80 per month per baby.

While some have suggested cloth diapers as a more economic alternative to disposable diapers, the initial cost for switching to cloth diapers can prove to be more difficult, especially for families in need. Pamela Marcum is the director of Klaras Children’s Center ECI, a group that helps children with developmental delays. She says that diaper-need is a concern that some of the families at Klaras face.

“I think it’s just kind of assumed that people will have food and shelter and clothes and diapers, but that just isn’t always the cased," Marcum says. 

The Waco Diaper Bank begins its community-wide diaper drive today until Dec. 14th. To see a list of drop-off locations, you can visit the Waco Diaper Bank's website