This past week we heard from Tess Hoffman from the Bottoms Up Diaper Bank program and Elaine McElwaney from Fish and Loaves Community Food Pantry in Taylor MI.
The Bottoms Up Diaper Bank program, located in Grosse Ile, operates out of the Fish and Loaves facility. Since its inception 7 1/2 years ago, the Bottoms Up program has given away over 1,000,000 diapers to families in need in the Downriver community. Because they are volunteer-driven, less than 1% of received donations go to paying for expenses.
Most people who are young and start a family are at their lowest income level. Diapers cost on average $150-$275 per month, up to 14% of new parents’ incomes. This might not be the most glamorous project we have been presented with, but glamour should not be mistaken for need.
Diaper need is an often-overlooked measure of Americans’ economic reversals. There are so many people “who do not have enough money to meet their basic needs, and what we’ve found is that diaper need is a window into poverty.”