News: Bring out your diapers!

Published in the August 26 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News

Bring out your diapers!

The Junior League of Edmonton is preparing to launch a giant diaper drive to battle a “diaper need” plaguing cities across North America — including here in Edmonton.

Results released in June from the Every Little Bottom study commissioned by Huggies found that a number of mothers in Canada and the U.S. have had to cut back on basics “like food, utilities or child care in order to afford enough diapers for their children.”

“There are babies in this city who are sitting in wet diapers or mothers who are giving up basic needs such as food and paying bills in order to buy diapers,” said Monita Chapman, diaper drive organizer with Junior League of Edmonton.

Over a 90-day period, the league hopes to collect at least 90,000 disposable diapers to donate to both the Edmonton Food Bank and the Terra Centre for Pregnant and Parenting Teens.

Collection bins will be set up at locations across the city while five major drives are planned from September to November.

“One of the big things is educating the public that Edmonton has a problem,” said Carol McBee, a mother and junior league member.

The league is hoping to finalize dropoff and drive locations in the coming week.

Debbie Theuss with the Edmonton Food Bank said no diaper drive of this scale has ever been done for the food bank before.

She says the bank receives requests from mothers for diapers but is rarely able to fill those requests.

“We try to accommodate but we just can’t always,” Theuss said. “Our priority is food.”

Theuss adds the league’s donation will go a long way in helping local mothers.

“We’re definitely going to benefit,” she said.

While the study reports that most mothers in diaper need are from low-income households, Chapman said the problem affects every mother.

The first local diaper drive is being planned for Sept 22.

An updated list of diaper drive locations will be added to the Junior League of Edmonton website by Sept 1.

Junior Leagues across North America have partnered with Huggies and Food Banks Canada to help put an end to what they’re calling a widespread issue.

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