"Are diaper need & period poverty really *that big of a deal* in the ArkLaTex?"
We hear that question a lot at the diaper bank. Recently, one long-time local US Senate aide scowled at our Co-Director, "I've been on the Hill for 30 years, and I've never even heard of 'diaper need!'"
The truth is, these are huge problems for local families.
So far this year, the diaper bank has served 750 clients - including schools, community service organizations, and families. That is five times more clients than we served between January - May, 2021. Families have received 65,542 diapers from the diaper bank so far this year; last year at this time, we had distributed only 16,190 diapers. That's 4X as many diapers distributed compared to 2021. And - since its Period Poverty Awareness Week - what about period supplies? Between January - May, 2022, the diaper bank distributed 26,718 period pads, tampons, and menstrual cups to people in need. That's nearly double the amount of period supplies distributed during the first 5 months of last year.
The biggest surprise to our Board & staff has been the demand for assistance with incontinence supplies in our community. Medicaid doesn't cover the cost of incontinence supplies unless a doctor prescribes them for a patient to treat a medical issue. Medicare doesn't cover incontinence supplies at all - elderly patients have to pay extra for a supplemental policy in order to have access to these basic sanitary supplies. Since January, the diaper bank has provided 15,190 adult diapers, pads, and bed pads to people in the ArkLaTex area. That's a 700% increase in need since May 2021. The supplies that are donated to the diaper bank today will be distributed to people in need by next week. The need is that great. As we all know, diapers and pads are basic sanitary supplies. Everybody needs them - just like toilet tissue! These aren't luxury items - they are needed by folks just like you in order to work, go to school, and do other ordinary day-to-day things like shopping for groceries & going to church.
We encourage you to serve your neighbors in the simplest ways: Give to the diaper bank. Host a diaper or period supply drive. Donate clean, unused supplies for repackaging & distribution. The need is great - and you can help!