When Navin Singh, Program Director for Catholic Charities Community Services in the Bronx, became a father eight years ago, he learned quickly that a large cost of parenthood was diapers.
If he was having problems paying for diapers, he knew that the low-income single mothers who come for help at the Bronx HomeBase would be even more stressed. So began Catholic Charites New York’s Community Outreach Services Diaper Bank.
The program garnered support from City Council members, this year including $25,000 from Ruben Diaz of the Bronx, as well as $8,000 from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and from local merchants, including Shop Rite on Bruckner Blvd. Last year the program served 173 families.
It’s a much-needed program, says Singh. Government assistance programs don’t pay for diapers, even though they are a necessity. He notes that babies in the Bronx suffer high rates of urinary infections, in part caused by lack of access to clean diapers.
The National Diaper Network estimates that costs can run up to $100 per month per baby, more than $1,000 per year. For the poorest, the cost of diapers can consume up to 14 percent of income.
“It’s a great thing for the community we serve,” he says. “Inflation has hurt everyone.”
The way the Diaper Bank program works is simple yet effective. If any Bronx resident finds themselves in need of diapers, they may contact their nearest HomeBase site and make a request. Individuals only need to show proof of Bronx residency to be eligible.
If you would like to help support this program, please visit our Giving Page.
If you need assistance, please call our Help Line: 888-744-7900 or visit our Find Help Page.