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Families struggling to afford diapers in Tampa Bay area

Some are paying up to $4,000 per year, per child
Posted: 3:59 AM, May 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-23 06:50:29-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- With school almost done for the year, more and more Tampa Bay area families are struggling to pay for diapers. 

Alayna Vernon, a co-founder of Joining Together, Eliminating Poverty , a local non-profit, says families in the Bay Area are paying anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 in diapers per child. Vernon also said it depends on where they live.

Vernon says in low-income areas, larger packages of diapers are often not available in stores, so families are forced to buy smaller packages which actually cost more per diaper.

"There are parents who are walking away from their jobs or are being let go from their jobs because daycares are not able to accept them without an adequate amount of diapers," she said.

Vernon and her husband, Maurice Vernon, are now working to end that struggle. They run the Super Thrift Store through their non-profit, advertising all aspects of it themselves as "The Super Family." 

They sell new and gently-used clothing to families. Everything is one dollar.

"A family of five can come in and clothe a family for under $30," Maurice Vernon said.

They are also eligible to pick up 30 diapers per child for free every three months, he said.

But as families are now preparing to feed their children more meals at home because they'll be out of school for the summer, the crunch to pay for diapers is getting worse.

The thrift store's diaper shortage is growing and they are asking for the public's help in getting diapers to needy families.

"Families need help," Maurice Vernon said. "Families need encouragement. I have four kids,  I know."

If you are able to help, the Vernons say the best thing you can do is donate diapers in sizes 3, 4 and 5 especially in any brand. 

They also are accepting cash and use that money to purchase diapers. As a non-profit, they are able to purchase diapers much cheaper than the public can, Alayna Vernon said.

DONATE CASH HERE

They also are accepting donations of new and gently-used clothing to resell in their thrift store, which is currently only open Saturday and Sunday at the Big Top Flea Market at 9250 E. Fowler Ave. They are currently working to open a brick and mortar thrift store in East Tampa.

DIAPER DONATION LOCATIONS:

The Super Thrift Store
The Big Top Flea Market, Building C Booth 404
9250 E. Fowler Ave.
(Saturday and Sunday)

Once Upon a Child Largo
10500 Ulmerton Rd. Ste. 520

Once Upon a Child South Tampa
3920 Britton Plaza

BridgePrep Academy Tampa Charter School 
2418 W. Swann Ave.
(Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4pm)

Green Mommy Store 
2746 North Florida Ave.

UPS Store South Howard
701 S Howard Ave #106