The Diaper Bank of the Delta believes every child deserves a healthy start in life by having a clean, dry bottom and woman deserves a life free from shame and embarrassment due to lack of feminine hygiene products.
Diaper Bank of the Delta
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We are the Diaper Bank of the Delta formally know as the Coahoma County Diaper Bank located in Clarksdale, MS within Coahoma County. Our mission is to lighten the burden of parenting for families living in poverty with children birth to age 5 in the Delta region by providing emergency baby supplies; to increase women and girls experiencing poverty access to feminine hygiene products; provide access to community resources through direct services and partnering community agencies; raise awareness about diaper need and period and childhood poverty; and advocate for policy reform addressing diaper need and period and childhood poverty.
Our location is crucial in meeting the need of the neediest residents of Mississippi. Coahoma County has one of the highest poverty rates in the state of Mississippi with nearly 35 percent of its population living at or below the poverty line. The child poverty rate is slightly higher than 50 percent. Coahoma County also has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state. Along with low median income and transportation issues, our organization provide a vital service to the community and its youngest citizens. The following national facts is why we are here to serve our community:
-1 in 3 American families reports experiencing diaper need. 1 in 4 women have struggled to purchase period products in the last year due to lack of income.
-5.2 million children in the U.S. aged three or younger live in poor or low-income families.
-One in eight women 18 and older, almost 16 million, lived in poverty.
-Infants require up to 12 diapers per day, toddlers about 8.
-Disposable diapers can cost $70 to $80 per month per baby.
-A year’s supply of period products can cost more than $70 a year.
-No state or federal child safety-net program allocates dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers or period products. Without transportation, buying diapers at a convenience store rather than a large “big box” store can significantly increase the monthly cost of diapers.
-Most childcare centers, even free and subsidized facilities require parents to provide a day’s supply of disposable diapers.
-Many girls from low-income families skip school because they cannot afford period products.
We came into existence from a brainstorming session at the February 2015 meeting of the Coahoma County Community Action Network hosted by Tougaloo College/ Delta HealthPartners (TC/DHP) Healthy Start Initiative. At this meeting, community leaders from all sector of the community convened around improving maternal/child health in Coahoma County through collective impact. Because for the high poverty rate in Coahoma County and the lack of government funding for purchasing diapers and wipes along with the knowledge of the stress of being a new parent who cannot provide the basic needs of their child, the members of the Coahoma County Community Action Network created Coahoma County Diaper Bank (CCDB). May 2015, community leaders from that meeting hosted their first diaper drive and community awareness event at the local Walmart. February 2016, CCDB opened its doors to the community. June 2016, CCDB became a member of the National Diaper Bank Network and Mississippi’s first and only national recognized diaper bank. Since opening, CCDB has served many families in our community and became the central hub for early childhood information and resources in the Mississippi Delta. CCDB has expended its reach to neighboring counties and communities. In August 2018, CCDB begin an organized effort to address period poverty by partnering with the Alliance for Period Supplies through the National Diaper Bank Network to collect and distribute feminine hygiene products. January 2019, CCDB changed its name to the Diaper Bank of the Delta (DBD) to expand its reach across the Delta region. Since our opening in 2016, we have given out over 80,000 diapers a year, served over 8,000 children, given out over 100 books, expanded our reach to 12 Delta counties, hosted two Shoes from the Heart giveaway providing shoes to over 250 children, assisted 2 participants obtain their GED and 3 participants obtain full time employment. DBD accept monetary donations for bulk purchases of diapers as well as diapers, wipes, books, other baby supplies, and feminine hygiene products. The diapers and feminine hygiene products are then distributed through an intake program as well as through local partnering agencies. The success of Diaper Bank of the Delta is dependent upon strong liaisons with community agencies as well as community involvement and participation that share our commitment to the mission of addressing diaper need and period poverty and the improvement of the quality of life for low-income families in the Delta region.