Although federal workers who’ve gone all month without a paycheck during the government shutdown are expected to be paid this week, diaper banks are still working tirelessly to distribute diapers to their families.
Officials at the Diaper Bank of North Carolina expect to distribute an extra 200,000 diapers to families during the months of January and February, largely because of the government shutdown that left many federal employees scrambling to pay for basic living expenses.
“We know that many of our state’s workers are already living paycheck to paycheck,” says Michelle Old, Executive Director of DBNC, which operates three regional branches and also distributes feminine hygiene supplies and other personal care items. “Going without pay, even for a short period, places these families in a vulnerable position.”
Diaper banks typically stay stocked in part through corporate partnerships, in part through local diaper drives and in part through monetary donations. Right now, those monetary donations are as important as ever for diaper banks to be able to stay stocked to help families already in need, in case of natural disasters and in preparation for another potential government shutdown.
“Every day we hear from federal workers who are having to choose between paying for housing and heating or having enough diapers for their children.” Old says. “The need for support is at a critical level and will continue for some time as families try to regroup and get back on their feet.”
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