Diapers are expensive. And yet, there are few resources to help families in poverty afford them -- WIC doesn't provide diapers, and "food stamps" or SNAP benefits won't cover diapers (or wipes!) either. One study found that 1 in 3 low-income families cannot afford enough diapers for their children. When you can't change your baby's diaper, you can't soothe your baby. Unsurprisingly, this leads to increased stress levels, depression and anxiety for parents.
Three years ago, Kerstin Sinkevicius and Aimee Mills - two moms who met through the Somerville Moms yahoo group - started a diaper drive to collect diapers to donate to the WIC office that serves Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, Watertown, Lexington, and Belmont. Last year, they collected 22,674 diapers which were distributed to over 200 families. This year, they hope to collect 30,000 during the drive, which is running from September 19 to October 4.
There are drop off boxes around Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington, Watertown and Lexington, including one in my building upstairs at Acupuncture Together, and the one pictured above at the Somerville Library East Branch. There are also registry links set up through Amazon, Diapers.com, and Target to buy diapers and have them sent directly to WIC. Check out the Somerville Diaper Drive website for more information.
This is an easy, tangible way to support families in this community. If you're able, please consider donating some diapers!