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COVID prompts two Shreveport women to open diaper & period supply bank


July 7, 2020

SHREVEPORT – Basic Necessities, a new local nonprofit, will provide diapers, period products and incontinence supplies to low-income individuals & families in the ArkLaTex.

These items are available to clients who are experiencing unemployment, illness, and/or temporary economic difficulties. Items will be provided at no charge to clients; however, clients will need to provide proof of need and a state-issued ID to receive services.

SNAP, WIC, Medicaid, and other publicly-funded assistance programs do not cover these non-food items unless they are part of a doctor-prescribed treatment plan.

Basic Necessities will serve as a centralized hub for collection and distribution of these items. They are working with the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and the Alliance for Period Supplies to plan for best practices and certification. Basic Necessities will be the only nationally-recognized, certified diaper bank in our region. The nearest NDBN diaper bank is in McKinney, Texas near Dallas.

Pamela Rowell and Debbie Hollis, the two women who created Basic Necessities, have already begun receiving generous product donations from the community. A nonprofit application has been submitted to the IRS and, upon approval, will allow them to accept financial contributions and support.

“A dear friend of ours has been providing food and supplies to our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His actions inspired us to create Basic Necessities to fill a gap in services that exists in our area,” states Rowell. “This is a long-standing need that will continue even after COVID-19 subsides.”

Northwest Louisiana’s above-average poverty rate, lack of access to reproductive healthcare & education for low-income people, and increasing job scarcity all contribute to a growing need for the services that Basic Necessities provides.

Rowell and Hollis are currently seeking out community partners - including social service organizations, faith-based groups, and government agencies - who will refer pre-screened clients for assistance.

If you have a need, or would like to donate, please contact Basic Necessities via email at, call 318.751.8540, or visit us online at

You are invited to drop off donations during Basic Necessities’ first diaper/period supply drive on Saturday, July 18, from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM at 451 Kings Highway/Red Handed Tattoo in Shreveport. Volunteers will be stationed in the parking lot to receive no-contact donations.



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