United Way's Community Diaper Drive
Held Annually, Mother’s Day Weekend through Father’s Day Weekend
Drop off locations:
- 212 Fitness
- Aging & Disability Resource Center
- Community First Bank (Stevens Point & Rosholt)
- Nelsonville Lutheran Church
- NRG Media
- Peace Lutheran Church (Amherst)
- Portage County Business Council
- Portage County Public Library (Stevens Point)
- Precision Glass & Door
- Trinity Lutheran Church (Stevens Point)
Why disposable diapers?
According to local agencies providing basic needs, diapers were felt to be one of the top issues facing local struggling families.
According to realdiapers.org, infants need up to 12 diapers each day and toddlers need up to 8 diapers each day. Babies will use about 6,000 diapers during their first two years of life. On average, a diaper costs 29 cents. An adequate monthly supply of diapers costs $70/month or more per child. The average cost of disposable diapers and wipes per year for one child is $840.
Diapers cannot be purchased with food stamps or WIC.
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 34% of all children in Wisconsin live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. The percentage of Portage County individuals below the poverty level in 2019 was 12.1%, with 5,390 households with an income below $24,999. Of the 70,468 residents, 3523 are under give years of age.
A lack of diapers can jeopardize a family's ability to remain economically stable, as well as their child's health. One in three mothers in the U.S. (36%) report cutting back on basic essentials like food, utilities, or childcare in order to afford enough diapers for their children. These diaper-need statistics show that families do need additional support.
Infrequent diaper changes increase the risks of illness and infection.
The likelihood of abuse increases when a baby is in a household facing the stresses of poverty, and increases even more when that baby is crying due to the discomfort of a soiled diaper and the health issues that can result. Parents can become disheartened and disconnected when they struggle to care for their babies.
95% of mothers in the U.S. solely use disposable diapers for their children.
Many Portage County licensed child care centers do not accept cloth diapers and require parents to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers. Many laundromats do not allow customers to wash cloth diapers, for sanitary reasons.
Families in rural areas could pay up to $1.50 per diaper.
Parents without transportation to a grocery store or "big box" discount store must rely on convenience stores, where disposable diapers and diapering supplies can cost $120 per child per month (or some $1,440 per year). When a parent works 40 hours a week and is paid the federally-required minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, the bill for diapers is nearly ten percent of their gross salary.
How will diapers be distributed?
- Distribution will be provided through community programs serving income-qualified families. Organizations will use an intake system to confirm families meet established criteria.
- United Way's primary source for distribution is Operation Bootstrap in Stevens Point. However, diapers and supplies can be requested through other agencies as well.
- Please call 2-1-1 (or 1-800-922-5590) to find out where you can pick up supplies in your community.