SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — In times of need, Diaper Bank of the Ozarks is used to helping out. And even when the shelves appear full, the current pandemic has still led to some trouble keeping stock.
“In normal times the amount of diapers we have currently might last two months,” program director Kelly Papparella explained. “So in pandemic times? We’re not really sure what that looks like.”
Roadblocks for the organization have come in different ways.
“I’ve had to ration diapers,” Kelly said.
Yet with increased demand comes new opportunities – like getting to partner with Life360 to try and help more diapers reach families. Kristina Wilmoth works with Life360 and has noticed the differences.
“We added diapers to our meal pickup a few weeks ago,” she explained. “(Our meals) over tripled. We were doing about 300 meals a day; and it went to 1,000 that day and those families needed diapers.”
With more partnerships, comes a greater need, which can be tough during a pandemic for founder Jill Bright, who started the organization in 2012.
“We have been more concerned at a local level of maybe a tornado or flood, like we did with the West Plains flooding a few years ago,” Jill said. “But in a pandemic? No, this is brand new.”
In the event someone experiences issues with diaper supply, the bank has instituted a cloth diaper program to help others out, too.
“From birth to potty training, the average spent (of disposable diapers) will be about $2500,” Kelly said. “Our cloth program is absolutely free.”
If you sign up for that program, you’ll be asked to complete a course that will teach you what you need to know, and then the diaper bank will get cloth diaper kits mailed to your home.
You can learn more about it by clicking here.