SPRINGFIELD, Mo -- A local organization is filling a need in the Ozarks one diaper at a time. More than 15.3 billion diapers are needed every year for babies living in low income homes in the United States. A new diaper bank in Springfield is helping out.
Most new parents know a package of diapers doesn't last long. They certainly aren't cheap. Many families in the Ozarks struggle to just put food on the table, and finding the extra money to buy new diapers can be an even bigger struggle.
Tom Carroll is a family support worker at the Parenting Life Skill Center in Springfield, a Great Circle agency. "I have such compassion for the families that I work with," said Carroll.
Right now he has 45 mothers under his wing. "So many of them are single moms. I work with a lot of teens," he said.
One of those moms is Mianna Cooper-Falls. "Her name is Ny-Nashia. She is 12 days old," Cooper-Falls said about her newborn.
Being a mother less than two weeks, she already understands what it does to her wallet. She told KY3 that it is extremely overwhelming.
According to children's charity Newborns in Need, there are some 225,000 children under the age of three in the state of Missouri. Forty-nine percent of those children are low income or in poverty. While many of them rely on government programs for food and clothing, those same government programs don't cover diapers.
"The support services where it's TANF or food stamps, they don't cover diapers," said Carroll.
"We frequently have people who come in here seeking diapers. We have not filled that need up until now. We are very excited to be able to do that," said Diaper Bank Coordinator Jill Bright.
Now help is on the way thanks to the Springfield Missouri Diaper Bank.
"We are the storehouse-the bank--as opposed to the diaper pantries that will be the agencies that we supply diapers to," she explained.
The bank hopes to deliver nearly 10,000 diapers a month to agencies like Parenting Life Skills Center in the next year. It's a number they hope to expand.
"We will be purchasing diapers in bulk as the funding comes in. We will also be relying a lot on our community to assist us," said Bright.
They are encouraging the agencies that will benefit from the diaper bank to set up diaper drives, but they are also looking for everyday people to help out. They would love monetary support, but they are also in need of volunteers.Information about how you can help Newborns in Need and the Diaper Bank