Celebrate Black Nonprofits: St. Louis Area Diaper Bank

St. Louis Area Diaper Bank has stepped in to build healthy communities by ending diaper need and period poverty in our region through access, education, and advocacy. 

St. Louis Area Diaper Bank partners with other nonprofits and agencies that work with individual families in need. Through community diaper drives and donations, diapers are distributed to a wide variety of services and organizations. Diapers are available for pickup at eight St. Louis City and County Library locations. 

“I have had parents say to me, I am so glad the food pantry is open today because I need diapers,” said Sr. Marie of St. Anthony’s Food Pantry. “One woman even told me that sometimes she needs to wash our diapers to get through the day.” 

It costs an estimated $1,000 each year to diaper a child, up to 15% of the take-home income of a parent earning minimum wage. This forces many families to choose between diapers, utilities, food, medicine, and more. No public benefit programs allow for the purchase of diapers. 

In 2022, St. Louis Area Diaper Bank supplied over 3.3 million diapers and 600,000 period supplies to children and families in need.

St. Louis Area Diaper Bank’s period supply program was launched in 2019 to support women and girls who cannot afford menstrual hygiene products. Such products can cost nearly $500 per person per year. Period products available for pickup at six St. Louis County Library locations and all St. Louis Public Library locations. 

“Hearing stories from parents hits very close to home for me because I have a 17-month-old son,” said Jerrica Franks, Community Engagement and Outreach Manager. “I can relate to the mothers who use our organization. Seeing their reactions when they can get the diapers they could not otherwise afford gets me every time.” 

In 2022, St. Louis Area Diaper Bank participated in a national study conducted by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) to measure the economic and health impacts of providing diapers to families. St. Louis Area Diaper Bank is one of 200 NDBN member diaper banks. 

There are many ways for individuals to get involved and take action to end diaper need and period poverty in the St. Louis region and beyond, including volunteer opportunities such as hosting a supply drive. “We are dependent on our volunteers to help us—we could not do what we do without them, especially our Fill the Warehouse events,” said Franks. Click here to view upcoming St. Louis Area Diaper Bank events.