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Anchorage organization sees increased demand for baby products

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 2:38 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Since opening the Community Diaper Pantry in July, officials from Alaska Adoption Services have seen increased demand for wipes and diapers in the Anchorage community.

“Our numbers have increased every week,” said Deputy Director Victoria Ross. “We have currently helped about 204 families and several of those families are repeats so they come back every time.”

Since the July opening, they have given out more than 15,000 diapers to families and now hand out about 3,000 diapers on average every time the organization is open.

“We just know that there’s families in our community that are struggling,” Ross said. “Diaper need is prevalent across Alaska, but also the United States.”

As costs for baby products remain high, financial stress among families is a problem. The National Diaper Bank network said that one in three U.S. families struggle to provide enough diapers for their toddler, and diaper fees are not covered by food stamps or Women, Infants, Children benefits.

The Alaska Adoption Services Community Diaper Pantry website says that diapers do more than just help promote a child’s health.

“The diapers really impact the whole family unit, everything from finances to physical health of the baby,” Ross said. “We know that a child who does not have enough diapers might sit in a dirty diaper long term, some families even reuse disposable diapers, so that causes a lot of physical ailments leading to doctor visits.”

And Executive Director Tami Watson says another benefit is just access to childcare.

“A lot of childcare centers do require that a family provides the diapers, and so we’re hoping by giving diapers that we are allowing children to be able to seek daycare and that social engagement and early education,” Watson said.

The Community Diaper Pantry run by Alaska Adoption Services is open to families every other Thursday. Their next step is to mobilize the diaper pantry to be able to bring the products directly to the families.

For more information about these services, head to the Alaska Adoption Services website.

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