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Need for diaper assistance growing amid pandemic and inflation

Diapers inside the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank (KATV Photo).
Diapers inside the Central Arkansas Diaper Bank (KATV Photo).
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A basic necessity for babies has risen in cost over the last few years. Today the average Arkansas family spends $80 dollars a month on diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank Network.

The Central Arkansas Diaper Bank is helping families bear that burden.

Allyson Pittman Gattin is one of the founding members of the Central Arkansas Diaper bank inside the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church.

Public assistance programs like SNAP and WIC don't cover diapers. They saw the need was immediate.

In the beginning, they served about 50 children a month, giving away around 4,000 diapers.

"Last month, so this is four years later, we gave out 14,000 diapers to 199 children,” she said.

The diaper storage and processing has now been moved into a much bigger room. The pandemic and inflation have only increased the growing need.

"They have lots of other needs. They're trying to feed their family, they're trying to find jobs, they're trying find childcare, so to be able to alleviate one burden they're dealing with is just a real blessing for all of us,” Gattin said.

Channel 7 will be collecting diapers for the bank all through September. Gattin says the influx of diapers is a big help, but it goes quickly.

"That goes a couple of months and it helps us restock our shelves but this goes all year, it's not just something we need in September. It's a continuous need because we are entirely donations and volunteer based,” she said.

They hope to continue to serve more families as the only dedicated diaper bank in Central Arkansas and one of only two in the state.

"So there are families out there that don't know about us, so if anything happens this month, I hope we get donations, but I hope families learn that we are a resource that families can turn to in need,” she said.

For a list of drop-off locations, click here.

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