The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter recently established our new Diaper Bank Program to overcome a barrier to work for parents living in poverty.
The Food Bank was inspired by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher, who came to the Food Bank looking for a solution to a problem many of her low-income constituents face. The Assemblywoman shared the story of a low-income single mother who was able to get off Calfresh (Food Stamps) by getting a job (step one in lifting her family out of poverty). She qualified for subsidized day care (step two to being able to work). But she discovered that she must provide several diapers a day for her child’s day care – or they would not accept her child. She struggled to afford the diapers, missed days of work, lost her job and fell back into the poverty trap.
Are You a Family in Need of Diapers?
The Food Bank partners with 8 nonprofit organizations to distribute diapers throughout San Diego County. Each location has different operating hours, and may have different eligibility criteria to receive diapers.
CLICK HERE for a list of approved partner distribution sites.
The Impact of Diapers
The Food Bank started the Diaper Bank Program to help solve an important piece of the poverty puzzle for young parents living in poverty by giving them the hand up they need to work for their families. Diapers are expensive — a month’s supply for one child can cost between $70 and $80, and diapers cannot be purchased with CalFresh benefits or WIC. As a result, parents try to make do without diapers by stretching their supply by leaving babies in dirty diapers longer or by reusing diapers.
A diaper is a small thing, but its impact is significant. Not having diapers means parents cannot leave their children with a childcare provider, most of whom require parents to provide disposable diapers for their children. So parents cannot go to work to earn money. Not having diapers means a longer time between changes, which can lead to severe diaper rash and other health problems. Not having diapers means that babies who cry because their diaper is dirty will cry that much longer, increasing stress for parents struggling to make ends meet. And not having diapers can adversely affect a mother’s feeling of self-worth, negatively impacting the mother-child bond.
The need is significant. A healthy child will require an average of 50 diaper changes a week. That’s approximately 2,600 diaper changes a year. And with more than 48% of the nation’s children under age three living below the poverty level or in low-income families, there are approximately 5.4 million children across America who could need assistance.
Our new Diaper Bank Program will help by distributing diapers to families in need through our existing food distribution programs and through our network of 400 nonprofit partners. The goal will be to provide much-needed diapers to low-income parents who reside in San Diego County so they can remain employed, provide for their families, and lift themselves out of poverty.
Please Donate Diapers at Our Miramar and San Marcos Warehouse Locations
The Food Bank can accept donations of unopened boxes of diapers from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at our Miramar warehouse located at 9850 Distribution Avenue, San Diego, CA 92121, or at our San Marcos warehouse, located at 680 Rancheros Drive #100, San Marcos, CA 92069. If you would prefer to donate to the Diaper Bank Program securely online, CLICK HERE.
The Food Bank thanks our supporters for making a difference in the lives of those we serve.
The Food Bank is an official member of the National Diaper Bank Network who works to meet the basic needs of all children and families living in the United States.