GREAT START PARENT COALITION OF KENT COUNTY RECEIVES DONATION OF 150,000 DIAPERS FOR COMMUNITY

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH., January 11, 2019—The Great Start Parent Coalition of Kent County (GSPC) will receive a big boost of support when a donation of 150,000 Huggies® diapers arrives on January 15, 2019.  The diapers will be distributed to 30 pantries and organizations across Kent County that support families experiencing diaper need.

The donation is the result of an in-store partnership between Huggies, Meijer and the National Diaper Bank Network. A local supporter of the Coalition, Mor-Value Parts, a division of Morrison Industrial, is volunteering its warehouse space to receive the diaper delivery.

One in three families in the U.S. are in diaper need—the struggle to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry and healthy.* In Kent County, one in four children lives in poverty, and safety net programs, such as W.I.C. and food stamps, do not cover the cost of diapers. A sufficient supply of disposable diapers can cost up to $75 per month. Too often families struggling with diaper need are forced to keep their child in a soiled diaper far too long, which exposes babies to health risks including diaper dermatitis and urinary tract infections.

“In 2018 we collected right around 112,000 diapers. For us to get a donation of 150,000 diapers at the start of 2019 is amazing,” said Jessica Turk, Parent Liaison GSPC. “The need is so great, and we just want to help raise awareness of diaper need and help fill the gaps. To adequately supply our local pantries, we would need to collect over half a million diapers each year. Thanks to the generosity of Huggies and Meijer. we are well on our way for 2019.”

Many of the organizations the Coalition supports with diapers are only able to give out 15 diapers per month per family to families experiencing diaper need due to the limited supplies of donated diapers. Ongoing diaper donations by the community are needed to ensure a reliable supply of diapers for families.

“Within our food pantry at SECOM Resource Center our Neighbors receive a three-day emergency supply of food. If they are in need of diapers we are able to provide them with an emergency supply as well because of the support through Great Start,” said Chelsea Totten, Neighborhood Services Coordinator, SECOM Resource Center. “Our Neighbors cannot stretch diapers very far. You can control how much people are eating in your family, but you cannot limit the amount a child goes the bathroom. So many of our Neighbors desperately need more. SECOM would love to provide them with more than the amount allotted but due to the cost of diapers and the amount of families that are in demand at our pantry, we are unable to increase the amount our Neighbors receive per visit.”

The Coalition began collecting diapers in 2009 as a three-month initiative and has grown to a year-round drive. By the end of 2017, the Coalition collected its millionth diaper. Diapers are collected from local businesses, churches, and groups that would like to help support families in Kent County that need diapers. The Coalition has also received grants from Meijer and other generous donors. The Great Start Parent Coalition is a part of the Great Start Collaborative funded through the Office of Great Start in the Michigan Department of Education. The goal of the Office of Great Start is to ensure that all children birth to age eight, especially those with the highest need, have access to high-quality early learning and development programs and enter kindergarten prepared for success. To learn more about the work of the Great Start Parent Coalition’s Diaper Drive visit: diaperdrivekent.org.

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