The Junior League of Champlain Valley (JLCV) held a ribbon cutting ceremony March 7 at their headquarters on Williston Road in South Burlington. The event officially established Chittenden County’s first Diaper Bank. Partnering with the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf (CEFS) and town food shelf programs in Hinesburg, Milton, Richmond, and Williston, JLCV reports the Diaper Bank will distribute close to 100,000 free diapers annually.
“Babies are the ones who suffer most from lack of supply of clean and dry diapers,” said Diaper Bank Chair, and Hinesburg resident Amanda Herzberger. “It’s a nationwide problem, and one that we hope to help alleviate at the state level with assistance to our community food shelves that support families in need.”
The organization’s first cache of diapers consisted in part of a donation of more than 46,000 diapers from Seventh Generation.
“We believe that every baby deserves a fresh, clean start each day and we are excited to support the Junior League in its effort to alleviate that burden from families across the Champlain Valley,” said Seventh Generation Senior Brand Manager Joe Giallanella.
The Diaper Bank began distributing diapers to area food shelves from its South Burlington headquarters in November 2018.
“They have been integral in getting crucial diaper donations to our guests who do not otherwise have access to such vital goods,” said Anna McMahon, CEFS community engagement manager.
According to the Junior League of Champlain Valley, the need for diapers impacts one in three U.S. families, and it can cost over $100 per month to diaper a child. Furthermore, no state or Federal safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers; in fact, many prohibit spending money on them. The Junior League hopes to raise awareness about diaper need and will advocate policymakers to address the issue.
“No one in Vermont wants vulnerable babies to suffer,” Herzberger added. “It’s time to help people understand the problem and work together to fix it.”
The next diaper distribution to area food shelves is scheduled for March 15. Donations of diapers can be made to the Diaper Bank via drop-off bins at Healthy Living in South Burlington and Kismet Place in Williston, or through the JLCV Diaper Bank’s Amazon wish list.
Donated diaper packages may be of any type, size, or brand, and can include open packages with the size clearly labeled. Sizes 3 and 4 are currently in demand. In addition, JLCV’s website has resources for hosting individual diaper drives in offices or schools. For more information, visit www.jlcv.org.