Special to Iredell Free News
Diapers are as essential to a baby’s healthy development as a caregiver’s love. Keeping infants and toddlers clean, dry, and healthy is key to building a solid foundation for all children to thrive and reach their full potential.
Yet one in three families struggle to afford a sufficient supply of diapers.
Diaper need is a silent crisis across the United States, and September 18-24, 2023, has been designated as National Diaper Need Awareness Week. The week draws attention to the issue of diaper need facing families of young children.
When parents don’t have enough diapers, they stretch the time between changes, attempt to clean and reuse soiled diapers, and improvise with diapering supplies like paper towels or napkins which can be abrasive on children’s sensitive skin. These makeshift options mean children sit in dirty or wet diapers longer than they should, making them prone to emotional and physical consequences like irritation, discomfort, persistent crying, diaper rash, and even more severe problems like urinary tract and secondary skin infections. And caregivers suffer mental anguish over making choices between buying diapers or food, paying rent, or buying medicine.
To address this need, the Iredell County Partnership for Young Children (ICPYC) offers the Pampered Pantry program, a diaper pantry to help struggling families secure the basic need of clean, dry diapers for their children. This program is locally funded and relies on community and monetary donations.
“At a time when so many in our community are struggling, no parent or caregiver should have to worry about how they will afford diapers for their child,” said ICPYC Executive Director Lisa Familio. “Donations and support from the community increase our capacity and ability to ensure that all babies have access to clean diapers.”
Parents of children birth to age five are eligible to receive one package of diapers and wipes per child per month, up to six times a year. An adequate supply of diapers is a tangible way of reducing parenting stress and increasing parenting sense of competency, thereby improving parenting quality and overall child outcomes.
“Many people don’t know that government assistance programs don’t cover the cost of diapers,” said Nicole Sutton, Pampered Pantry coordinator. “Families often come in feeling like they have no options left. Seeing the relief on their faces when they receive the diapers and wipes is confirmation that this program is a necessity in our community.”
To learn more about the Pampered Pantry, or if you are interested in purchasing items from our Amazon Wishlist or donating funds to support the diaper pantry, visit https://www.iredellsmartstart.org/pampered-pantry or contact Nicole Sutton at 704-878-9980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Iredell County Partnership for Young Children is a 501 (c)(3), nonprofit organization, dedicated to measurably increasing learning and healthy development of children birth to age five in Iredell County. ICPYC provides services focused on raising the quality of early care and education, supporting families, advancing child health, and expanding literacy. For more information, call (704) 878-9980 or visit http://www.iredellsmartstart.org/. ICPYC is located at 734 Salisbury Road in Statesville.