Diaper bank expected to help thousands of babies in the Mid-South

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Doctors say a healthy baby can go through about a dozen diapers a day costing a family more than $100 a month.

That's a lot for families living in poverty, and until now, there were few places they could get help.

"We are really going to be helping those in need in the community," Shari Douglas, the new diaper bank director, said. "Nashville has a diaper bank, and they thought it was something we could really use here in the Mid-South, so they started doing the research."

Douglas says the Urban Child Institute's research led to their donation to launch the Bare Needs Diaper Bank, and the Mid-South Food Bank agreed to house it. It will be the largest diaper bank in the Mid-South.

"It essentially runs like a food bank, so what better place to have it than the food bank," she said. "It has a ripple effect.

Douglas told WREG that right now, there's about 14,000 babies, three-years-old and younger, living in poverty in the Mid-South.

Diapers aren't covered by federal government assistance programs like SNAP and few day cares provide them.

So, these families are left trying to scrounge up the money or sadly, leave a child in a wet diaper a little longer.

"Unfortunately, that's the decision that's normally made. That leads to things like infections," said Douglas.

It can also lead to severe rashes and other health issues, and cause emotional stress for the child and the parent.

Douglas said the diaper bank will also collect adult diapers and feminine hygiene products as well.

They will all be distributed across the Mid-South to the nonprofits and agencies they've partnered with.

"To continue to provide these, we are going to need the help from many organizations and many individuals to bring those products in," she said.

On Sept. 21, they will host a diaper drive. You can drop diapers and adult incontinence products at locations, including the following.

  • Mid-South Food Bank at 3865 South Perkins (9a-5p M-F)
  • Crosstown Concourse at 1350 Crosstown Ave. (6a-12a 7 days a week)
  • Benjamin Hooks Library at 3030 Poplar Ave. (M-TH 9a-9p, F-Sa 9a-6p, Su 1p-5p)
  • Target Registry at http://www.target.com/gift-registry (First name: Bundles Last name: For Babies)
  • Other locations include: Cornelia Crenshaw library, Frayser library, Whitehaven library, Poplar White Station library
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