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Like other nonprofit helpers, diaper banks are running low on supplies to keep up with need

“We also provide toys, school supplies, hygiene items and clothing to families. But diapers are our core mission," said the CEO of Hope Supply.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Food banks and other nonprofit agencies aren't the only organizations seeing an increase in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Diaper banks are also running low on supplies and high on demand. 

Empty diaper bins at the Hope Supply warehouse in Dallas show it's clear families are struggling to pay for some necessities.  

Hope Supply is the fourth largest diaper bank in the country.  

The organization provides diapers to 78 social service agencies in North Texas, which in turn pass them on to families in need. 

“Diapers aren’t all we do,” says CEO Barbara Johnson. “We also provide toys, school supplies, hygiene items and clothing to families. But diapers are our core mission.”

In the first six months of last year, Hope provided more than 1.3 million nappies to North Texas families. 

That number has grown by 300,000 during the same time period this year. 

During coronavirus quarantine, there has been a spike in reports of domestic violence, which has led to an increase in diaper demand. 

“More people end up in domestic violence shelters, and then those people ask us for more. I mean, it's just this domino effect," Johnson said. 

Credit: Byron Harris / Special contributor
Diapers sized 4, 5 and 6 are needed most.

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Catholic Charities, which Hope supplies, is seeing three times as many clients as normal, Johnson says.

The novel coronavirus has increased the need for diapers and has also made gathering resources difficult. 

On one hand, corporate donations have been strong, Johnson says.  

“We have had some good funding, like COVID emergency funding, and we have bought inventory with it," she said. 

But Hope also depends on diaper drives which are usually held at corporate offices. With so many offices shut down, in-kind diaper donations are nonexistent.  

During diaper drives, Hope often takes stuffed “ambassador bears” to offices to remind people to donate in-kind. These days, there are several idle bears sitting around Hope Inc. headquarters. 

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