KALAMAZOO, Mich. — While diapers may not be at the top of your list when you think of necessities, for some west Michigan families, it's an essential.
St. Luke's Diaper Bank said they distribute around 20,000 to 25,000 diapers each month, reaching close to 300,000 each year for families in need. Those families said it's a lifeline, especially during the pandemic.
"You know, it’s one of those essential things, you just can’t not have them," said a father to a 5-month-old baby Nick Love.
Nick Love just had his son back in April and came to St. Luke's diaper distribution for the next size up.
"We didn’t realize he would go through so many different stages," said Love.
For some families, St. Luke's Diaper Bank is a much needed resource, saving families money on essentials when they're already struggling to make ends meet.
"We exist to hopefully be able to make it so folks don’t have to make the decision of ‘am I going to have to buy food or diapers?’...or even to buy something else to maintain their families safety and health," said the Logistics Coordinator for St. Luke's Diaper Bank, Evan Asher.
One mom-to-be said her first born son hasn't been in diapers for a while, but does remember they can be pricey.
"I knew then about 10 years ago, they were high still then," said soon-to-be-mother Bryanna Calvin.
That's why the diaper bank said they hold a distribution each week.
"You don’t have to worry about paying for diapers so you can shift that money to whatever you need to help your family and/or help yourself," said Asher.
Asher said the distribution helps take a little bit of weight off for those families already working hard to provide their kids with other necessities.
"What we’ve found is that instead of trying to address all of the needs that might be needed for a family, we can try to address this one specific need to kind of take one thing off of their plates," said Asher.
"It means a lot to the community, to the state actually to help people during these times," said Calvin.
St. Luke's Diaper Bank is funded through donations and some grants. They said they are always accepting donations to help families in need.
If you are interested in donating, click here for their website.
Click here for a list of distribution locations if you are in need of diapers.