Event Goal is to Collect 25,000 Diapers for Needy Families and Seniors
Seeking to ease the burden on low-income families and seniors on fixed incomes who struggle to afford diapers, St. Mary’s Food Bank is asking churches, schools, scout troops, employee groups and individuals to start collecting disposable diapers for the 8th annual Valley Diaper Drive.
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance has assumed the program from Valley of the Sun Diaper Community Bank, which has collected more than 1 million diapers since its creation in 2002, nearly 800,000 of which were collected in just the last five years.
St. Mary’s will team with Discount Tire, 98.7 FM The Peak, KTAR AM/FM and Sunflower Farmers Markets to collect the diapers and will culminate the drive with a “Diaper Dump Day” collection event from 9 am to noon on Saturday, May 1 at the Sunflower Farmers Market (3rd Street and Bell Road in Phoenix). St. Mary’s personnel and volunteers will be on hand to accept donations and offer an opportunity to enter a drawing for prizes.
Organizing a drive is as easy as asking church members to bring in an unopened package of disposable diapers to services, or holding a contest in your office to see which area can collect the most diapers. Eagle Scouts, Bar Mitzvah candidates and other service groups have staged successful drives, collecting diapers in unique ways.
Every donation helps families and seniors faced with making the decision between purchasing these items and paying for items such as housing and utilities. A healthy change of diapers can cost $100 a month or more, and the current economic conditions put this expense out of reach for many. Safety-net programs like Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Medicare and SNAP (food stamps) do not cover the cost of baby and adult diapers.
St. Mary’s Food Bank does not distribute the diapers to individuals, but does work with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies and faith-based groups.
“Even in less stressful and dire times, families struggle to pay for diapers,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Terry Shannon. “This year our partner agencies report increased demand from families and from people who have lost their jobs or homes in this economy. We are indebted to those in the community who can support this drive with their diaper or monetary donations.”