HomeFront seeks to collect 500,000 diapers by Mother’s Day

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How do you collect 500,000 diapers and baby wipes in five weeks? One box at a time.

That’s the goal that HomeFront has set to collect by Mother’s Day on May 12 to help families that cannot afford to keep their babies in diapers.

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HomeFront, which helps the homeless and low-income families, operates its own diaper resource center in a warehouse at its Connie Mercer Family Campus in Ewing Township. The nonprofit group’s headquarters is in Lawrence Township.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was hard for parents to find enough money in the budget to pay for diapers and baby wipes, HomeFront officials said. It costs about $80 per month to provide diapers for one child, and nearly half of all families have trouble affording the diapers they need.

That’s why HomeFront opened its Diaper Resource Center several years ago, officials said. Nationally, one in three mothers do not have sufficient access to diapers and baby wipes, according to the National Diaper Bank Network.

HomeFront’s Diaper Resource Center distributed 1.9 million diapers and wipes to parents in need in 2023, marking a 39% increase over the prior year’s total, HomeFront officials said.

Providing diapers to HomeFront’s families is essential to the nonprofit group’s core beliefs, officials said. As a key basic necessity, access to diapers is vital to its clients’ health and wellness.

“We have always been committed to ensuring the cleanliness, happiness and health of every baby in our community, but the need for family support has surged dramatically in recent years,” said HomeFront CEO Sarah Steward.

The unwavering support of the community through the Diaper Drive has allowed HomeFront to consistently meet the growing need, Steward said.

There are no state of federal child safety net programs that allocate dollars specifically for the purchase of diapers. Food stamps cannot be used to pay for diapers, and that’s why HomeFront’s Diaper Resource Center is so important, officials said.

The Diaper Resource Center creates some breathing room in the budget so families who are trying to make ends meet can have help in getting diapers. If that need goes unmet, parents need to make hard choices, such as less frequent diaper changes, officials said.

But it’s more than just having enough diapers to keep a baby dry, they said. Without diapers, a baby cannot take part in early childhood education – and without childcare, parents cannot hold down a job. Most childcare programs require parents to provide diapers.

To meet the Mother’s Day Diaper Challenge, anyone who wants to participate can organize a diaper drive or purchase items off HomeFront’s Amazon wish list by visiting HomeFront’s social media pages and website at www.homefrontnj.org. Cash donations also are accepted.

As a community diaper bank, HomeFront leverages its ability to buy diapers in bulk and at a discount. Every $1,000 donated to the Diaper Challenge will result in more than 6,600 diapers, provided free of charge to low-income Mercer County parents in need, officials said.

Diapers and wipes can be dropped off weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, at HomeFront’s Donation Center at 1880 Princeton Ave. in Lawrence Township.

For more information, call (609) 989-9417, ext. 150, or visit HomeFront’s website at www.homefrontnj.org.

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