PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Having a baby isn’t cheap. Diapers alone can cost up to $100 a week and during a pandemic it’s an expense many families don’t have in the budget.
Baby Cycle Diaper Bank is doing all they can to meet the need.
According to Baby Cycle, out of Pinellas County, one in three families in Tampa Bay will have to choose between paying their bills or buying diapers for their kids.
“I have one family I deliver to and when I get there she cries every week,” said Noelle Chase, with Healthy Start Coalition of Pinellas. “It's just a blessing to see how big of an impact it has on their day to day life to be able to give them those basic essentials.”
Chase delivers an average of 250 diapers to 10 different families every week on behalf of Healthy Start. It’s one of 31 social service agencies that depend on Baby Cycle for supplies.
“During the pandemic, we are experiencing requests three to four times higher than normal right now,” said Torrie Jasuwan, with Baby Cycle. “Many of them are between a rock and a hard place and not being able to pay for diapers and wipes because they are barely able to pay for their electricity or rent.”
This month, Jasuwan accepted the COVID-19 Hero Award on behalf of Baby Cycle, from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, for all the work they’ve done to help families.
“We are super grateful and we are hoping that it will bring some new donors in and shed some light on diaper need which is a huge problem in our area,” said Jasuwan.
Chase said when it comes to essential items for your baby, no family should have to live without them, donations are more important now than ever.
“These families that have worked so hard to get to a place where they have been taking care of themselves are now what they consider back at the bottom and trying to start all over again,” said Chase.
Baby Cycle Diaper Bank is holding its annual fundraising gala virtually on August 29. For more information go to www.babycyclefl.org.