On average, a child uses six thousand disposable diapers before being potty trained, and given a supply of diapers can cost $100 a month, it’s no surprise many low-income families struggle to keep their child in clean and dry diapers.
It’s a burden that motivated Pinal County District 5 Supervisor Todd House upon taking office in 2013, and he vowed to do something to make a difference. Supervisor House began what has become an annual “Diaper Drive,” taking donations to purchase diapers, then distributing them through local human-aid agencies.
“This year we’re culminating with over 35,000 diapers, which means, in the seven years I’ve been doing it, it’s a little over 150,000 diapers that I’ve been able to give back into the community to help out,” House commented in his Apache Junction office, surrounded by boxes of diapers piled up to the ceiling.
Diapers will be distributed through the Superstition Community Food Bank (formerly the Apache Junction Food Bank) and the Head Start Program of Apache Junction. The city of Apache Junction has a poverty rate of 17.5%, according to census data, and although traditionally, the holidays tend to be the time of most need, the current COVID-19 crisis has produced an urgent demand.
House continued, “It’s been quite an outpouring of people in the community to try and help me and my cause. It’s very comforting to know that we can help. This is really a time of trouble – a time of need right now. Because of coronavirus, diapers are hard to come by. So this is really going to help the local community at a level we haven’t seen in years.”
Superstition Community Food Bank Executive Director Myra Garcia says they’ve seen a 15% increase in new clients since the economic impacts of COVID-19 began to be felt, “We are getting more and more requests for specifically diapers and baby wipes,” Garcia said. “We received 103 boxes of diapers and wipes, which we’re now going to be able to assist the community. Without Supervisor House’s support, we would not be able to meet that demand.”
Supervisor House would like to pay tribute to the many groups and private individuals who have contributed to the Diaper Drive, including Johnson Charities, Rose Law Group, Superstition Mountain Country Club, A&A Cooling of Apache Junction and Hilgart Wilson.
If anyone would like to contribute to the Diaper Drive at this time of crisis, boxes of diapers can be dropped at the District 5 office in Apache Junction, located at 575 N. Idaho Road, Suite 101, AZ 85119.
For more information, please contact Supervisor House’s office at 480-982-0659.