For Hometown News
FORT PIERCE -- Anyone who has bought diapers knows how big a bite they can put into a monthly budget. But for families of babies, they're as much a necessity as food. Treasure Coast Food Bank has launched a program to ease this component of struggling families' budgets.
Treasure Coast Food Bank is launching the Happy Baby Diaper Bank, a collaboration of agencies that can supply diapers and so much more.
"This is one more way to fill the safety net so families are not falling through," said Judith Cruz, Treasure Coast Food Bank CEO. "We're working to remove as many barriers as we can for them."
The program is a collaboration with Head Start and Women Infants and Children, which focus on ensuring that young children are healthy and ready for learning. Happy Baby Diaper Bank supplies a small quantity of diapers when parents are coming in for the programs.
Treasure Coast Food Bank also is working to form a network of diaper pantries among places that already serve women and children. The diaper pantries may provide a link for families to learn more about such programs as Head Start and WIC.
"If a family's budget is stretched to where they're having trouble buying enough diapers, we can direct them to WIC, which provides nutritious food and health screenings for low-income women and their children. Those programs alleviate some expenses in the budget of a family with babies," Cruz said.
"Ideal locations for diaper pantries are not necessarily the same as for food pantries," Ms. Cruz said. "We're looking for child and infant organizations that can meet the specific criteria of the National Diaper Bank, which is our national partner on the project."
Organizations will be identified based on their ability to meet the criteria and work with the partner agencies, which will enable families to get all the services for which they're eligible.
For more information on Happy Baby Diaper Bank or the diaper pantry network, call (772) 489-3034.