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Members of the Bare Necessities, Inc., team and representatives from the Madison, Guilford, Clinton, and Branford Police departments kick-off the diaper drive in front of the Madison Police Department on Feb. 1. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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In an effort to support some of the youngest members of our community, the police departments of Madison, Clinton, Guilford, and Branford are holding a diaper drive through Thursday, Feb. 16.
The Shoreline Law Enforcement Diaper Drive benefits Bare Necessities, Inc., a non-profit that collects diapers and baby wipes for parents who struggling to pay for that essential need.
Bare Necessities, Inc., President Elizabeth Serra-Loud was inspired to start it after being asked while working at the Clinton Food Pantry if the pantry had any baby diapers. Loud discovered that there is no diaper bank in the shoreline area despite the fact that one in three babies have a need for diapers, and food stamps cannot be used to purchase diapers or toiletries. To fill that gap, the organization began in Clinton and has now expanded into Madison and Guilford. In one year, Bare Necessities provided 170,000 diapers and 300,000 wipes.
“In December of 2015, we distributed to five families, and now on a monthly basis we have anywhere from 90 to 130 families that we distribute diapers to in Clinton,” she said. “Our three-year goal was to be from Branford to Old Saybrook, so that is why it is so important that we partner with local businesses and community organizations so that people understand that we have such a diaper need in our community, because unlike food I don’t think people know that there is such a great diaper need out there.”
Loud cites some troubling statistics when illustrating the need. In Connecticut, 38 percent of children under the age of three live below the poverty level and studies have shown a mother will skip a meal to help cover the cost of diapers. With the average family using up to 12 diapers a day for infants or toddlers, the average cost of diapers can add up to $100 a month.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to partner with the law enforcement departments,” Loud said. “Clinton Chief [Vincent] De Maio’s compassion and hard work for our mission made it possible for [Madison] Chief [Jack] Drumm, [Guilford] Chief Jeff Hutchinson and [Branford] Chief [Kevin] Halloran to join our exciting partnership. All the chiefs and departments have worked very hard to make this a special and successful community event. The families we serve will not have to make a choice between diapers or food.”
Madison Police Captain Joseph Race said all of the departments were pleased to participate in this drive, especially after they learned how a need for diapers can easily affect other aspects of a families life as well.
“It’s a need throughout the community,” he said. “What we have learned through Bare Necessities is diapers have three very important functions, one being related to education and employment. If a child doesn’t have enough diapers, they can’t go to daycare, which also means the parents might not have the opportunity to go to work. We know that it creates health issues as far as urinary track infections, staph infections, and diaper rash. Thirdly we learned that it’s the number-one stress for families in need, not having enough diapers, so we came together as law enforcement to try and help out our communities where we can.”
Donations will be accepted 24-hours per day, seven days a week in the lobbies of the Madison, Clinton, Guilford, and Branford Police Departments. For more information, visit the Bare Necessities, Inc., website at www.barenecessitiesct.org. For any questions, contact Captain Joseph Race at 203-245-2721.
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