Healthy Start Issues Call for Diaper Donations
Stuart, Fla. - Babies go through a lot of diapers in a month. That puts a real strain on the budgets of families who are already just squeaking by financially. A new national report by the National Diaper Bank Network, the NDBN Diaper Check 2023, found that nearly one in two American families with babies are experiencing difficulties in providing diapers for their infants.
Martin County Healthy Start Coalition staff know that this is true locally as well. “In the past we were giving out 8,000 diapers a month to families at the financial margins,” says Healthy Start CEO Samantha Suffich. “This spring, we gave out a record breaking 17,000 diapers a month!”
Families eligible for the Healthy Start Diaper Pantry frequently have to decide between buying diapers or paying utility bills or even putting food on the table. “Not being able to provide your baby with clean diapers is emotionally stressful,” Suffich says, “but it also leads to health problems.”
The statistics from 2022 tell the story. The Martin County Healthy Start Coalition served 3,561 clients; 145,000 diapers were distributed; and 507 new clients were added to the service.
To meet the growing need, the Healthy Start Coalition operates its free Diaper Pantry at each of these locations: the Healthy Start offices on US 1 in Stuart, the Golden Gate Enrichment Center in South Stuart, Booker Park in Indiantown, and the House of Hope offices in Indiantown.
“We always need more diapers for the pantry,” Suffich says. “We welcome donations of diapers or dollars to help us with something as simple and as urgent as diapers for a baby.”
Any Martin County resident with a child under the age of 3 can enroll in the diaper pantry. For a complete schedule, go to the Healthy Start website, www.mchealthystart.org, or call 772-463-2888.
About Martin County Healthy Start
Martin County Healthy Start is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that every baby is born healthy. It provides educational and health services to pregnant women, new mothers and their families at no cost, particularly expectant mothers who are at risk for late or no prenatal care.
Part of a statewide coalition, Healthy Start connects pregnant women and young mothers with essential services including prenatal care, home visitations by a nurse or social worker, breastfeeding support, parenting education, car seat and sleeping safety, a free diaper pantry, and access to other community partner agencies through the Betty Moore Prenatal Outreach Center. The David Cardno Father and Child Resource Center, also part of the Martin County Healthy Start Coalition, helps fathers to become more involved in parenting and offers legal assistance to fathers who are separated from their children.
The programs of Martin County Healthy Start Coalition are voluntary and available to all Florida residents at no cost.