KENT COUNTY, Mich. — It's no longer toilet paper, there's a new wave in the pandemic and supply chain shortages - diapers.
Diapers are now the latest hard-to-find items in stores and even online.
Parents with infants and young children have likely already started to see the latest pandemic and supply chain trend.
In a study done by The National Diaper Bank Network, the diaper shortage is affecting 33 percent of American households.
"Families are really needing help right now," said Nicole Burman, parent liaison with Kent County Great Start Collaborative. "We know that government safety nets like WIC and food stamps, don't cover the cost of diapers."
Kent County's Great Start Collaborative is a non-profit that helps Kent County parents find resources that are free to them.
The non-profits latest effort is a diaper drive, given the desperate need locally.
"One and four babies are born into poverty in Kent County," said Burman. "So when the pandemic hit, this made an already hard situation worse for low-income families and put a strain on those families that live just above the poverty line."
According to Burman, the cost of 100 diapers is typically around $30 to $50, but due to a supply chain shortage, that cost has risen significantly.
"Diapers for one child, for one family, is running them $70 to $80 a month. This is quite difficult for families who are on a tight budget," said Burman.
The National Diaper Bank Network reports 1 in 3 families struggle with a diaper need, but it's hurting low-income families the most.
"Families are leaving their babies in one single diaper all day to help to make that supply that they do have last," said Burman. "This is putting babies at risk of health and developmental issues."
This is why diaper drives like Great Start Collaborative are crucial to the health and wellness of Kent County infants.
"We are calling on businesses, organizations, faith organizations, agencies to host a diaper drive. Host the diaper drive for us, we need your help. Families need your help right now," said Burman.
Throughout the pandemic, Great Start Kent County collected and distributed more than a million diapers.
Now, the non-profit has a goal to hit two million diapers by the end of October.
If you are a parent who needs assistance, whether it be diapers or other needs, head over to this story on our website to learn more about the work great start is doing.