The Berkshire Community Diaper Project, Inc. (BCDP), is a 501(c)(3) organization that raises funds and collects diaper donations to provide diapers for parents who struggle to afford them for their children. Diaper need has been correlated with significant depression in parents, and with potential mental health issues for their children. The BCDP has established multiple liaisons with community organizations to provide diapers to local families in need.
Over 2,000 children in Berkshire County are enrolled in the three WIC programs here (Great Barrington, Pittsfield and North Adams), meaning that their parents fall at, below, or or up to 185% of the Federal Poverty Level. These children have been enrolled in WIC because of their families’ low income plus proven dietary insufficiency. Thus, at a minimum, 2,000 children in Berkshire County are experiencing dietary insufficiency, which usually goes along with diaper need as well.
One out of three low-income families struggle to buy diapers (Smith et al, Pediatrics, 2013), which cost $100/month/ child.
In the Berkshires, 2000 children from birth to age 5 are receiving nutritional help from the Women, Infant and Child Program (WIC) and likely also have diaper need.
- Families without washers/dryers must rely on store- bought diapers. If they lack gas money or a car, they must rely on expensive convenience stores.
- Children without a supply of diapers are not allowed at day care centers, so parents miss work when they can’t supply them, thus losing money needed for their families.
- Children who wear soiled diapers are at risk of rashes and infections; their irritable crying may also put them at risk for abuse or neglect from frustrated, depressed caregivers.