Nonprofit needs community’s help to provide diaper and period supplies
(St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 25, 2022) — The St. Louis Area Diaper Bank is asking the community for assistance during the upcoming holiday months with its “The Big Ask” year-end campaign starting Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.
The St. Louis Area Diaper Bank – which provides access to diapers and period supplies for low-income families – needs to raise $100,000 to successfully provide essential services in the upcoming new year. Fundraising efforts will alleviate the growing diaper need that continues to be a burden for families. The efforts will also include support for its period supply program, St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies, to help end period poverty for many struggling to afford those basic need items. Specific campaign goals include financial assistance for the Diaper Bank’s many programs and services including:
- The Diaper Bank’s first period kits – each includes approximately 20 menstrual hygiene products for girls experiencing their first period – are distributed through schools and partner organizations. To date more than 800,000 period supplies have been distributed in St. Louis, with 10,800 period supplies allocated each week. Last year two-thirds of low-income women in St. Louis could not afford menstrual hygiene products, with 46% of low-income women having to choose between food and period supplies.Partners include the St. Louis County and Public Libraries, organizations (Assistance League of St. Louis, I Define Me Movement, The Little Bit Foundation, and Youth In Need) and schools (Gateway Science Academy, Parkway School District, Pattonville Heights Middle School, and Riverview Gardens School District.)
- The St. Louis County Library distribution program, which began in 2020, partners with the Diaper Bank to provide families with 25 diapers and one period kit per month. This year the partnership has already served approximately 14,000 families by distributing nearly 700,000 diapers and 3,489 period kits to those who need emergency products.There are six participating St. Louis County Library branches (Florissant Valley, Grand Glaize, Indian Trails, Lewis and Clark, Natural Bridge, and Weber Road) and two city branches (Central Library and Julia Davis.)
- The need for pull-ups – which are potty training pants – continues to increase in the community. The Diaper Bank’s cost is 23¢ to 25¢ per pull-up, which is nearly 10¢ more than a single diaper.
To date more than 10 million diapers have been distributed in St. Louis including nearly 900,000 diapers during the height of the pandemic. The Diaper Bank offers both emergency and long-term diaper distribution. This service is a much-needed resource since government programs – including food stamps and WIC – do not provide funding for diapers or period supplies. These items cannot be obtained with food stamps and are classified as luxury items along with cigarettes, alcohol, and pet food as disallowed purchases.
“Access to basic hygiene items has been growing since even before the pandemic,” said St. Louis Area Diaper Bank Executive Director Muriel Smith. “The struggle is real, which is why our work is critically important. We elevate the issues of diaper need and period poverty to a national level so we can receive essential resources for our community.” Smith added that on average women and girls “miss four days of work or school each month because they simply cannot afford the necessary hygiene products to live their daily lives.”
Founded in 2014, the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank provides diaper and period supplies to the region’s low-income families, as well as raises community awareness about the causes and consequences of diaper need and period poverty. Located at 6141 Etzel Ave. in Wellston, Mo., the nonprofit is a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need and “period poverty” in America. The St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies ensures access to menstrual hygiene products, which allows full participation in daily life with dignity.