“The cost of diapers for many families in Central Illinois is a real household budgeting problem and source of great stress,” said Rep. Ryan Spain as he traveled his district on December 17 delivering some of the last of more than 24,000 diapers and 4,000 wipes collected as part of his 4th Annual Holiday Diaper Drive. “Many people don’t realize that programs like WIC and SNAP do not pay for diapers, rash creams or other infant supplies. Short of assistance through food and diaper pantries, there is practically no help available to families to help purchase diapers. This is not only an overlooked need, but a public health problem.”
Rep. Spain has fought hard to bring awareness and community support to this issue with deliveries of diapers and supplies to area food and diaper pantries over the past four years through his Holiday Diaper Drive. Over these three years, over 44,000 diapers have been collected and distributed to area families through crisis centers, food pantries, and other community-based organizations.
Rep. Spain’s Holiday Diaper Drive collections ran from November 3- December 11 this year to help address the insufficient supply of diapers to keep infants in need clean, dry, and healthy. Advanced Medical Transport (AMT) employees contributed over 18,000 diapers to this year’s effort and has partnered with Rep. Spain for the past three years to support this cause.
“The need is so great with all of these organizations that I would encourage the community to reach out and see what they can do to help further with these organizations in fulfilling their missions. In many cases, the thousands of diapers and wipes donated as part of this drive will be distributed within hours or days with additional need already in place. Donations of diapers and baby supplies are often overlooked in donations to all pantries. There is significant need for especially sizes 4, 5, and 6 diapers,” said Rep. Ryan Spain.
Children under the age of 5 comprise 13 percent of the State’s SNAP recipients and more than 25% of WIC recipients are infants. Diapers cost an average of $18 per week or $936 per year. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, low-income families report a shortage of 50 diapers per month.
The diapers and supplies collected by Rep. Spain’s office were distributed to pantries throughout the 73rd Legislative District, which includes all or parts of Peoria, Woodford, Marshall, Stark, Bureau, and LaSalle counties. A list of area pantries in need of support is available here.