Louisville Metro Government donates 500,000 diapers to families in need
Today Mayor Greg Fischer joined representatives with the Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) to announce a massive donation of more than 500,000 diapers to the Saint Bernadette Diaper Bank. Saint Bernadette’s distributes diapers to a diverse network of more than 13 nonprofit partner agencies that assist low-income and houseless families in the Louisville area.
During the event, organizers expressed the significant need for diapers in the Louisville community, which is often an overwhelming burden often borne by women. Diapers for one child cost $80 per month on average, and one in three families lack adequate resources to buy enough, according to local officials.
Since the pandemic, diaper costs have reportedly gone up about 8.7%, due to high demand for products, supply-chain disruptions and escalating shipping costs.
The rise in prices for diapers have led to surged demand at local diaper banks like Saint Bernadette’s.
“It takes an all of government, and all of community approach to make sure that each child has a strong start and opportunity,” said Mayor Fischer. “I'm grateful for our city’s Resilience and Community Services team and the federal CSBG funding for supporting Saint Bernadette’s mission to help relieve the burden of diaper need in our community and to help ensure that every family has enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy.”
Thanks to a special allocation from federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)-CARES funding, RCS has been able to expand programming and services for individuals and families financially impacted by the COVID pandemic with increased utility assistance and other financial aid, case management for houseless individuals, as well as the purchase of diapers for today’s donation.
"When we heard about the need for diapers in our community, we wanted to help in any way we could,” said Tameka Laird, Director of RCS, which is part of a nationwide poverty fighting network. "Diapers take a big bite out of a family’s budget, and anytime there's an increase in the cost of basic necessities, it impacts people living in poverty at a more considerable rate."
Deanna Hornback founded the Saint Bernadette Diaper Bank, the only diaper bank in the state of Kentucky, nearly a decade ago. She said there are roughly 6,000 babies or small children in need of diapers across the city and surrounding counties. That is more than they can currently assist, but their goal remains to help fill the gap by providing 50 diapers per month to those 6,000 children.
“Without an adequate supply of diapers, babies are exposed to serious health risks,” said Hornback. “On top of that, babies may not be accepted into daycare without diapers of their own, and that means their caregivers are unable to work."
Also in attendance at today’s event were Eva Astudillo of La Casita Center, one of the Diaper Bank’s partners, as well as Louisville Metro Council member Paula McCraney (D-7) representing the Council’s Women’s Caucus, and Gretchen Hunt, Executive Administrator with the Louisville Metro Office for Women, who together hosted a diaper drive during the month of March. Thanks to their efforts, more than 19,500 diapers were collected and donated to Saint Bernadette’s.
"We’re so thankful for every donation, and especially grateful for the tremendous support received by Mayor Fischer's office, Metro Council and other Louisville Metro agencies that have allowed us to provide more supplies for current partner agencies and expand the number of agencies that we serve," Hornback said.
She added that the Diaper Bank is in constant need of diapers for all ages, but is running low specifically on pull-ups and diapers for newborns, size 5, and size 6.
There are several ways you can get involved to help Saint Bernadette’s, including:
- Donate funds: Donate online at https://stb2008.weshareonline.org/ws/opportunities/DiaperBank or mail checks to the Saint Bernadette Diaper Bank at 6500 St. Bernadette Ave., Prospect, KY 40059.
- Hosta diaper drive.
- Advocate: Learn more about diaper need in Louisville.
- Contact Saint Bernadette’s for more information at 502-425-2210 ext. 214.
The city’s Office for Women also convenes a diaper need working group and will host a discussion on diaper need and how to access diapers or become a participating agency with the Diaper Bank on Friday, July 8th from 10 -11 a.m., via Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/OFWLouisville. For more information, contact the office’s executive administrator, Gretchen Hunt, [email protected].
“Access to diapers is a gender equity issue,” said Hunt. “Without diapers, women are not able to send their kids to daycare and therefore cannot work. This is an important step forward to empower more women to meet their basic needs, which in turn, strengthens our entire community.”
If you are a parent with little ones in need of diapers, visit Saint Bernadette’s website for a list of agencies served and contact information at https://stb2008.org/diaper-bank.