Passionate About Columbus
and the Moms Who Live Here

Closing the Diaper Gap in Central Ohio

Diaper Gap Graphic

Can you imagine leaving your baby in a soiled diaper for hours just because you don’t have access to clean diapers? The sad reality is that many low-income families are having to do just that because of the challenges they face in getting access to clean diapers. For one, there is the financial burden of buying diapers. Food stamps cannot be used on diapers and they aren’t covered by Medicaid either. When there is not a financial barrier to accessing diapers, there can be a transportation issue that’s present. Low-income families have limited access to transportation to be able to go to big-box stores and purchase diapers. According to 2014 government data, families in the poorest quintile of diaper buyers spend almost 14% of their after-tax income on diapers. Families in the middle quintile spend less than 3%.

Families in the middle and upper-income brackets that have cars have the added benefit of purchasing diapers in bulk at membership stores such as Costco for additional cost savings. The digital era has also made diapers that much more accessible and cheaper to families that can afford them through services like Amazon Prime. Not only are diapers cheaper when bought in bulk online, but there is the added convenience of having them shipped directly to your doorstep. The caveat is that you must have a smartphone or other electronic device, internet access and a credit card to be able to order diapers through these digital platforms. So, it turns out that these online services have widened the price gap causing the poor to pay more for basic need items such as disposable diapers.

Children make up one-third of Ohioans living in poverty and the poverty rate of kids in Franklin County is 25.6%. What’s at stake here are the most vulnerable members of our society. Babies left with soiled diapers for long periods of time can suffer from extreme diaper rash, serious urinary tract infections, or other health problems. These babies are at risk of being shaken by their parents if they have been crying for hours on end due to the discomfort of being in a soiled diaper; increasing that child’s risk of infant mortality. Ohio’s dismal infant mortality rate is already amongst the worst in the nation.

There are many issues facing low-income families in our great state and our nation. A couple of weeks ago, the White House announced an initiative with an e-commerce company called Jet to provide nonprofits low-cost bulk diapers with free 2-day shipping. A public awareness campaign using the hashtag #diapergap on social media was also announced. There has been national and local media coverage on this issue by the Washington Post and The Dispatch and a call to action for alternative solutions and partnerships. Some local companies that have been leaders in this space include Huggies, Domtar Personal Care and Big Lots. Over 360,550 diapers have been distributed since November 2013 through nonprofits such as the Columbus Diaper Coalition. But there is still much work to be done. Every single one of us can be a part of the solution to solving our community’s diaper gap crisis. Below is a list of diaper donation drop-off locations around Central Ohio. If you don’t see one near you, please contact the Columbus Diaper Coalition directly to arrange a pick-up.

Diaper Donation Drop-off Locations

Powell:

Canvas Salon and Skin Bar 

3893 Powell Road

Downtown Area:

Fruit Of The Vine Food Pantry

181 E. Fifth Ave

Saturdays between the hours of 8:30 am – 11:30 am

CD102.5 Offices 

1036 S. Front St

M-F between the hours of 8:30 am – 5:30 pm

North Columbus:

Northside Food Pantry

4664 Cleveland Ave

Saturdays between the hours of 8:30 am – 11:30 am

Northeast Columbus:

Traxler Tees

3029 Silver Dr. Columbus, OH, 43224

M-F between the hours of 10:00 am and 6:00 pm

New Albany:

Church Of The Resurrection

6300 E. Dublin Granville Rd

Drop off boxes located in the Ministry Center Building outside the nursery door as well as a second box located in the main gathering area of the Church.

Gahanna:

GRIN Food Pantry* 

Mifflin Presbyterian Church

123 Granville St

*Pantry hours vary based on a monthly calendar. Please click here to find the appropriate time for your drop off.

Polaris:

Simply Vague

Located between Croc’s and Mastercuts on the lower level

Monday-Thursday (10:00am-9:00pm)
Friday & Saturday (10:00am-9:30pm)
Sunday (Noon-6:00pm)

, , ,

One Response to Closing the Diaper Gap in Central Ohio

  1. Megan April 20, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    Awesome article! I would also add that pregnancy resource centers also accept diaper donations. I know that PDHC in Columbus does a learn to earn program where you can earn diapers by taking childcare classes. ☺️