The Louisville Metro Council Women's Caucus is hosting a diaper drive throughout the month of March among its Women's History Month initiatives.
The drive may benefit St. Bernadette Diaper Bank, a ministry of St. Bernadette Catholic Church near Norton Commons. It's hosted together with the city’s Office for Women.
Deanna Hornback started the effort with a few boxes of diapers stored at her house. She quickly outgrew that setup.
Now, Hornback uses a Sam Kinnaird's Flooring warehouse to store donations. This past year, St. Bernadette supplied a lot more than 100,000 diapers. That was about 50 % from the requests the financial institution received.
Hornback provides diapers to 13 local organizations including Golden Arrow and La Casita. Each organization distributes them within the communities they serve.
\”Our mission for the St. Bernadette Diaper Bank would be to keep babies clean, dry and healthy, of course,\” Hornback said. \”But our purpose would be to give the agencies the opportunity to order the diapers that they need.\”
Because each organization they use serves a distinctive community, St. Bernadette can reach more people who require diapers when they combine services.
Gretchen Hunt, executive administrator using the Office for ladies, asserted while everyone is impacted by the problems that originate from \”diaper need,\” women and other marginalized people carry the most heavy burden.
\”Without adequate diapers, kids cannot go to daycare, Mom cannot go to work or college,\” Hunt said.
\”Diaper need costs our community. It results in higher rates of postpartum depression, higher rates of ER visits for butt, higher rates of referrals for child neglect, lowered attachment between mother and child.\”
Diapers are expensive. Based on the Office for Women, diapers for one child cost $80 per month, on average. The COVID-19 pandemic has only put into financial strain resulting in even higher rates of need.
\”There's a Connecticut study that found every dollar committed to diapers, there is an increase in family income of $11,\” Hunt said.
Hunt said there are efforts at the federal level to assist offset diaper costs by developing a fund specifically for families on social plan to purchase diapers. But that process is slow-moving as the need continues.
This month’s diaper drive hopes to be a stopgap.
\”We will have a big diaper bin in City Hall, people can fall off diapers anytime during work hours,\” District 8 Council member and Women's Caucus co-chair Cassie Chambers Armstrong, a Democrat, said. \”If people want to get in touch with my office, I will even come and pick them up in your porch or wherever those diapers may be.\”
Hornback said the diaper bank is especially looking for diapers sizes newborn, five and 6. People may also make monetary donations towards the St. Bernadette Diaper Bank.