Many families are faced with a difficult, if not impossible, choice between buying diapers or paying for other essentials.
In Stark County, one in five children younger than five live in poverty. Diapers can cost $85 or more per month. And no state or federal safety net programs—including WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) or food stamps—cover that cost.
Without diapers, babies can’t go to childcare, parents can’t go to work, babies are less happy and healthy, and families are more stressed.
The Stark County Diaper Bank is working to change that. The nonprofit launched in 2018 with a goal of making sure that every family in Stark County has the diapers they need.
The diaper bank works with partner organizations to distribute diapers to families in need throughout the county. They’ve recently expanded that network to reach families outside of Stark’s city centers.
“If we can be that little stop gap in a time of need, that’s what we’re trying to be,” said Shannon Hexamer, board chair.
Folks can donate clean diapers—open packages are OK—at drop boxes at Once Upon A Child in Jackson Township and at Akron Children’s Health Center in North Canton.
The bank also accepts donations online at StarkCountyDiaperBank.org and through its Amazon Smile wishlist. The website also offers information on how to volunteer to sort and wrap diapers, or host a diaper drive to gather donations.