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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

New nonprofit makes Idaho 49th state to establish a diaper bank

Idaho is the 49th state to establish a diaper bank, the Idaho Diaper Bank reports; the nonprofit is holding an open house at its warehouse in Meridian today and inviting donations to help fill the warehouse. The group reports that one in every three Idaho families struggles to afford basic necessities including diapers, which are not covered by food stamps or WIC. The group says on average, babies need 10 diapers a day, at a cost of more than $100 per month. Infants left in wet diapers all day can develop serious illnesses including hepatitis A and viral meningitis.

“The ability to diaper a child should not be dependent on a family’s financial resources. We need to be a voice for the babies,” said Shawna Walz, the Idaho Diaper Bank’s executive director. “We need to raise awareness about the need for dry, clean diapers.”

The bank is accepting donations of new, clean disposable and cloth diapers as well as financial donations. There’s more info here; in addition to diapers for babies, the bank also accepts diaper donations for adults with age or disability-related needs. The bank is initially serving the Treasure Valley, but hopes to expand statewide. Today’s open house, which starts at 4:30, is dubbed, “Bottoms Up: Building the Idaho Diaper Bank.”

The Idaho Legislature passed a resolution this year, SCR 110, to recognize National Diaper Need Awareness Week, which is set for Sept. 28 through Oct. 4; in the House, it sparked much grousing about whether diapers were a topic lawmakers should be addressing, though it did pass.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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