By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many mothers and guardians living in poverty struggle to pay for the basics for their babies. That includes diapers, which can cost more than $100 a month. Now, a retired Bucks county schoolteacher is collecting for change.
How many diapers can Pat Kennedy fit in her car?
“I have fit 3500 diapers in this car,” she says.
Pat started the Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank in 2011, after learning that welfare programs give struggling mothers food but not diapers.
“You can’t buy diapers with food stamps or SNAP. WIC doesn’t provide them. I thought, ‘Who knew? Oh my gosh,'” explains Pat.
Most daycares also require children to have their own disposable diapers.
“If you cannot bring your own diapers, you don’t have a child in day care. If you don’t have a child in day care, possibly you are not able to work,” says volunteer Donna Campoli.
Pat donates diapers as much as she can — thousands each month. On the day Eyewitness News was present, she and Donna unloaded about 5,000 diapers for 50 families through ActionAIDS in University City.
Megan Hannah of ActionAIDS says, “For a caregiver to know that they can rely on the Diaper Bank each month, it truly makes the difference.”
And the Diaper Bank says they will stretch a donation as far as it can go.
“We can actually buy diapers much cheaper than the average person going into the store,” Pat says.
They’re hoping for even more support from corporations and businesses. Meanwhile, they’ll take every diaper they can get and get them where they’re needed.
Donna laughed, “[It’s] A caravan of women riding all over with cars full of diapers!”
For more information, visit: www.philadelphiadiaperbank.org