HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — As we wait for the rebound following the pandemic, more Tampa Bay area families are finding it hard to afford basic necessities, especially diapers.
The Junior League of Tampa has seen a significant increase in the need for diapers from their diaper bank since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parents have no real options to seek help in affording diapers and are often forced to make heartbreaking decisions on basic needs.
"We heard the other day where a father had to go and return diapers for his two-month-old child because he needed to buy food instead," said Caroline Foss, a co-chair of The Junior League of Tampa's Diaper Bank.
There is no state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers. Diapers cannot be obtained with food stamps and disposable diapers cost $70 to $80 per month per baby, according to the Junior League of Tampa.
The organization has already distributed more than 90,000 diapers during the pandemic to Tampa Bay area families through partnering organizations.
The Junior League of Tampa is now asking for the community to step in and support these efforts.
"We're thankful for the community that helps contribute to our ability to purchase and provide diapers to these organizations," said Lyndsey Siara, co-chair of The Junior League of Tampa's Diaper Bank.
The best way to help is making a monetary donation on their website because this helps reduce exposure and person-to-person contact for both donors and volunteers. You can alsodonate through their Amazon Wish List.
Additionally, the Junior League of Tampa is able to purchase seven diapers for every dollar, versus just three diapers for every consumer dollar, so your money goes even further.
Due to the pandemic, volunteers are no longer sorting and packing the diapers and wipes. Instead, they are sending them directly to partnering organizations that distribute them to families.
Week 5 of our drive-thru diaper distribution for our client families! Thanks to The Junior League of Tampa Diaper Bank and individual diaper donations, we have been able to support approx. 400 families experiencing Diaper Need since these distributions began in April. pic.twitter.com/9zCyQX7Gq0— Champions for Children (@cfctampabay) May 7, 2020
Please note the Junior League of Tampa does not distribute diapers directly to individuals or families. If you are an individual in need of diapers, please contact Champions for Children at 813-673-4646.