Diaper Need in Mid-Missouri

1 in 3 families don’t have enough diapers.

The week of September 21st is national diaper need awareness week. Diapers are incredibly expensive, and babies need a lot of them!

Did you know? 1 in 3 families in the United States don’t have enough diapers for their child. When I first heard this statistic, I was shocked. Then I did the research on what that means for the child and caregiver’s health, and I was even more shocked.

When babies diapers aren’t changed as often as they should be, they can develop rashes and infections that are mild all the way to conditions that ongoing and will cause health issues for them for the rest of their lives. It can effect their social-emotional development too, slowing their development. These issues can have long term negative effects for the child. For caregivers, it causes problems too. When they can’t change their child as often as they need and want to, it can cause depression, anxiety, and increase their risk of perpetrating child abuse and neglect.

You might be wondering- just how expensive are diapers? Why can’t families afford them? Let’s break that down. On average a baby needs 200 diapers a month, which costs about $75. Missouri’s median household income is $53,560 or $4,465 a month. What are some other average costs for a family of 4?

  • Groceries: $1,000
  • Housing: $1483
  • Transportation: $756
  • Internet: $100
  • Child Care: $1081
  • Diapers: $75

Total: $4495

With just everyday basic expense we are already over our monthly income, and that doesn’t even take into account health care expenses, clothing needs for growing children, or other unexpected expenses. You can see how quickly a family- even one making an average income- might have to choose between feeding their children or changing their diaper as often as they’d like.

This is the harsh reality for so many families. And I believe no caregiver should have to choose between keeping their child clean and healthy or putting food on the table. That’s why I feel so passionately about the work we do at First Chance for Children and our diaper bank program called Baby Bags.

Our Baby Bags program provides supplemental diapers and so much more to families in mid-Missouri. By supporting families with basic needs, they can focus on bigger goals, like child development and getting their child ready for kindergarten.

Here’s how it works. The Baby Bags program supplies diapers, wipes, hygiene items, and other items needed to provide care and comfort to children under the age of 5. Items are delivered along with child development and safety information. We work with partner agencies across mid-Missouri to get items into the hands of more families that need them. During COVID-19 we’ve come up with new and innovative ways to support families.

  • Diaper drives are available in Ashland, Columbia, and Centralia monthly.
    • Ashland is the third Tuesday from 3-6 at Ashland Baptist Church
    • Columbia has three:
      • Third Wednesday from 12-6 at First Chance for Children
      • Third Thursday from 10-12 at Bear Creek Head Start
      • Third Thursday from 2-5 at Blind Boone Center
    • Centralia is fourth Thursday from 9-12 at Lend and Learn North
  • Other ways to get diapers:
    • Appointments can be made for diaper delivery and pick up from the Columbia office.
    • Partner agencies also distributing diapers include: Columbia Parents as Teachers, Boone County Health Department, CMCA, City of Refuge, Columbia Housing Authority, Harrisburg Parents as Teachers, Healthy Steps, Johnson Early Learning, Lutheran Family and Children’s Services, Refugee and Immigration Services, Sturgeon Parents as Teachers, and VAC

Baby bags, along with our other core programs are here for families, even during COVID-19. Being a parent is hard, and we’re here to help.

Could you use a little support? Give us a call: 573-777-1815 ext. 204 or visit our Baby Bags page.

Could you give a little support? Email us: director@fc4c.org