TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A nationwide diaper shortage is being exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s impacting families right here in Tampa Bay.
“If they don’t have diapers then they can’t go to work or school,” said Junior League of Tampa Community Director Emily Read regarding parents in need. “It’s really important they have clean diapers for their baby to put them in childcare and continue to work to keep them out of the cycle of poverty.”
Read said diapers are a linchpin in the cycle of poverty. She said the need for diapers increased 200 percent during the pandemic, and right now, one in three families are in need.
The Junior League of Tampa is part of the National Diaper Bank Network. Read said over the past three years their organization has distributed more than one million diapers to community partners in Hillsborough County.
Read said diapers aren’t covered by government assistance programs, so it’s vital they fill the gap.
“It’s really important that parents with small children sending them to daycare have clean diapers. That’s usually 25 diapers a week, and the average cost is $70-80/month, which is extremely expensive for families,” Read said.
The Junior League of Tampa said they distribute 10,000 diapers a month and the need is continuing to grow as more people head back to work.
Residents can help the cause by donating dollars or diapers to the Junior League of Tampa. The league said you can make a greater impact with your monetary donations. They said your dollar will go further by giving it to them to buy diapers as opposed to buying the goods on your own.
They said with their memberships and bulk buying they can buy about seven diapers per dollar as opposed to the normal person who can get about three diapers per dollar.