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'It is a necessity.' Diaper banks hope to help Tennessee families hurt by inflation

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Dec 28, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If there's a baby in your life, you've likely noticed the price of diapers is going up. In Nashville, that is part of the reason the area's only diaper bank gave away a record two million diapers this year.

"This is the second lowest this inventory has been since the 2020 tornadoes," said Nashville Diaper Connection President Doug Adair. "We continue to face need and then we have some supply chain issues."

Nashville Diaper Connection is one of five diaper banks in the state of Tennessee. In November, it gave away 200,000 diapers alone.

According to the organization, clients have told them receiving diapers has freed up money to buy food, attend school or work, pay rent or mortgage payments and/or pay utilities.

Right now, according to reports, the price of a package of diapers is up more than 10%.

Adair says diapers are not only essential, they're also required by most daycares.

"The economics of child care continues to just be very challenging to where it doesn't make economic sense for both parents to be able to work and afford child care which constrains the amount of money they have on all of life's necessities. Diapers is just one of them," Adair said.

1 in 3 American families with children struggles to buy diapers. In Tennessee, it costs about $93 a month to buy 200 diapers, which the average baby needs monthly. Additionally, families cannot use food stamps or WIC vouchers to buy them.

"There are no federal, state or local safety nets, so we built one, and now we have 93 partner agencies and clinics where moms can get an emergency supply," Adair said.

Every dollar donated to Nashville Diaper Connection can buy three times what $1 gets in a store. If you want to donate money, click here to visit the organization's website.

"It is a necessity. There are many other things you can try to save money on, but babies need diapers," Adair said.