After reading a Time magazine article that described women reusing disposable diapers in Connecticut, local resident Anthony Alfano knew something had to be done to prevent this from happening in Rim Country.
Nine months ago, Alfano and his fiancee, Diana Messmer, launched a diaper drive in connection with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.
Diapers as well as toilet paper are infrequently donated to the food bank because donors simply don’t realize these supplies are needed along with food, the couple said.
“It’s important to give those things (food) to families, but babies need care to,” Messmer said. “There are babies out there who need diapers, and we want to help them.”
Because you cannot use food stamps to buy diapers, families sometimes cut corners by reusing them.
According to the New Haven Diaper Bank, which the Time article profiled, a month’s worth of diapers can cost more than $100. In some low-income families who cannot afford this, a baby can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health and abuse risks.
When Alfano, a yoga teacher, and Messmer, former treasurer of the food bank, read this, they decided to step up and do something. The pair traveled to New Haven, Conn. and met with diaper bank organizers and learned how to run a drive.
“You wouldn’t have thought it was a big deal (in Payson), but there are a lot of families in need,” they said.
So far, donations have trickled in slowly, but the couple hopes once they get a diaper drive banner up at the food bank, contributions will pick up.
Currently, donations do not fill the need.
If you would like to help, you can drop off donations at the food bank. Larger size diapers for toddlers are especially needed. On checks, donors need to designate that the money is for the diaper drive.
Anyone interested in receiving infant and toddler diapers can stop by the food bank, at 511 S. St. Phillips St., and fill out an application to see if they qualify.
The food and diaper bank is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.