BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Jill Hinde looked at the dozens of cars lined up for the weekly diaper drive and said with a smile ‘this is crazy.’
Wednesday afternoon, vehicles were lined up, bumper-to-bumper, around the Battle Creek Family YMCA where Hinde and others were giving away free boxes of diapers to whomever drove by.
“It is more people today than we expected. The line has backed up to Capitol [Avenue],” said Hinde, CEO of the YMCA. “The past few weeks that we’ve been doing it, we have never had it stretch around the corner. So, I don’t know if this is indicative of what’s to come but clearly people need diapers.”
Hinde said it’s the third week they’ve been doing the drive at their facility on Penn and Cherry Streets. They typically do meal distributions there. However, since closing their facility due to the governor’s stay-at-home executive order, the Battle Creek Diaper Initiative has been using the garage to give away diapers.
And, as word has gotten out about the drive, more and more people have showed up, Hinde said.
“This is really awesome. It helps our family a lot,” said Tiffanie Wensauer, a mom who picked up some diapers. “We’re struggling right now with income. We’re out of work so any little bit helps: the food pantry, the lunches for the kids.”
Hinde said the drive happens once a week but they give away up to 5,000 diapers a week.
She considers it an honor to serve the community in this way during the coronavirus pandemic, she said.
“People go through a lot of diapers,” Hinde said. “I think part of what complicates it in today’s world is that people aren’t wanting to go to the grocery store. Grocery store times are limited.”
She added that people’s funds are running low, just like the Y's diaper stockpile.
She said the Y works with a couple of retailers and they buy their diapers in bulk. However they're accepting donations and are hoping the public will help pitch in to keep the drive going.
“We are in constant need of diapers,” Hinde said. “Obviously we can only buy a certain amount. And, if this need keeps up I am not going to have enough diapers to go for next week.”
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