SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An essential for parents is getting more expensive around the country – including here in Southwest Missouri.
Diaper Bank of the Ozarks says it is seeing a bigger need, and donations continue to be a concern.
Due to the cost of basic diaper materials are going to go up soon.
From February to March, Diaper Bank of the Ozarks saw a 94% increase in distributing products to its partners.
“This definitely greatly impacts the people who are living in poverty or people who are just having issues trying to buy their basic needs,” Program Director of Diaper Bank of the Ozarks Kelly Paparella said. “Imagine trying to spend 80 dollars a month that you didn’t really have in the first place for diapers and then that price now be able to go up to 100 dollars a month.”
Paparella says her non-profit’s wholesale price is double for some of its products.
She says her group has to fundraise even more now to be able to continue serving.
Donated items help, but Paparella says money makes more of an impact.
One dollar can diaper a baby for a day, it’s a metric the group follows even with prices increasing.
There is an alternative to this problem though, the cloth diaper loan program, which Paparella says five percent of the population is interested in.
“We did give out 64 cloth diapered kits last year which equals about 600,000 disposable diapers,” Paparella said. “So, for us to be able to use cloth diapers, it actually saves us money so we’re always in talking to people about cloth diapers if you’re wanting to know.”
Paparella says cloth diapers are a reusable and sustainable option for her non-profit since doing some laundry or handwashing is better than going to the store.
She calls it a game-changer.