Food Bank of the Rockies brings first diaper bank to the valley

Food Bank of the Rockies - Western Slope Branch
Food Bank of the Rockies - Western Slope Branch((KKCO/KJCT))
Published: Oct. 22, 2022 at 10:21 PM MDT
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Clifton, Colo. (KKCO) - Diapers are a large expense for families, and due to inflation, prices have increased. In response, Governor Jared Polis signed a sales tax exemption for diapers and feminine hygiene products into law. It went into effect on August 10.

Now, a food shelter in the valley wants to provide even more relief to families.

Hundreds of cars lined up at the Clifton Christian Church Saturday morning for an everyday necessity.

“We’ve been seeing four to 500 families every month at this distribution, and this is our largest across the Western Slope,” said Sue Ellen Rodwick, Food Bank of the Rockies director.

The drive-thru pantry is held every month, with the help of the food bank, to fight against food insecurity and, now, diaper insecurity.

“So there are a lot of families with little ones, or they care for little ones,” said Rodwick. “And so many of these families are receiving diapers today.” The Food Bank of the Rockies is the Western Slope’s first and only diaper bank.

They partnered with Weecycle, a nonprofit organization that collects diapers. Rodwick said families are struggling to afford diapers. “Just like so many other items that have increased dramatically due to inflation, diapers are right among that, and their high priced item, and so we’re able to help us offset that cost for families.”

Currently, there’s no public assistance program that helps families with diapers. Safety net programs don’t recognize diapers as a basic need. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, five million babies and toddlers under the age of three live in poor and low-income families. Infants require up to 12 diapers per day at the cost of $70 to $80 per month. Rodwick said this high-priced essential item is a necessity and knows what families are going through.

“For me as a mom, I’ve been through that stage of wondering how I’m going to make ends meet, figuring out how to get the cheapest costs on diapers. I know what that means, and so it really makes me happy that I’m able to make a difference in people’s lives or distress.”

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