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Police officers in Westbrook, Clinton, Guilford, Madison, and Branford are collecting diapers so that babies have enough. Pictured in the back row, left to right: Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn and Chief Vincent DeMaio of Clinton, Deputy Chief Warren Hyatt of Guilford, Captain Joseph Race of Madison, and Tina Boscom of Bare Necessities. In the front row: Denise Mangano and Patti Venter of Bare Necessities, Doug Harkins of Madison, Sgt. Corianne Dionne of Branford, Lieutenant Timothy Bernier of Guilford, and Beth Loud of Bare Necessities. (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Several shoreline Police Departments will be working from Friday, Feb. 1 to Friday, Feb. 15 to combat an often-overlooked issue: diaper needs.
The Police Departments from Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, and State Police Troop F in Westbrook will be collecting diapers, wipes, and money to benefit Bare Necessities, Inc., a local organization that assists families who need diapers.
Donations can be left at the Branford, Guilford, Madison, and Clinton Police Departments, as well as at the Connecticut State Troop F barracks, and town hall in Westbrook. The addresses follow.
In addition to those drop off locations, on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be individual collections in front of Stop & Shop in Branford, Madison, and Clinton, and in front of Walmart in Guilford. On Saturday, Feb. 16, Bare Necessities will hold a “Touch a Truck” event from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 170 Fort Path Road, Madison. The event is free, and money or donations of diapers and wipes are encouraged.
According to Tina Boscom, the vice president of Bare Necessities, there is a significant need for diapers and wipes along the shoreline.
“From Guilford to Old Saybrook, we have about 300 babies” in need, Boscom said, and that sizes 5 to 6 and pullups are the organization’s biggest need at the moment.
Bare Necessities, Inc. was formed three years ago due to the lack of diaper banks between New Haven and New London. According to Boscom, one in three families in the United States face a diaper need, and in Connecticut alone it’s close to 43,000 cases. Of those 43,000, only about 4,600 cases are met.
“We just got our minds together; we never thought we’d be this big this fast,” Boscom said of the group’s expansion.
Boscom said that each family they serve receives diapers, wipes, and supplemental diapers. Boscom said that this is beneficial because many daycares require a supply of diapers. By allowing a child to go to daycare, it allows parents to pursue job opportunities, something they may not have been able to do if they had to stay home with a child.
According to the Bare Necessities website, diapers can cost families about $100 a month, and diapers are not covered under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides support for low-income families when they buy food.
In the absence of the adequate number of diapers, some babies are forced to wear a diaper longer than the appropriate amount of time, which can lead to serious health risks.
Last year the organization held a similar drive with the local police, which Boscom said was a success.
“They’ve been great to work with, and they jumped right in,” Boscom said of the law enforcement agencies. Clinton Police Chief Vincent DeMaio echoed Boscom’s sentiments.
“It went really well the first year, and we’re expanding on that. There’s always a need; it goes a long way,” DeMaio said.
The drop-off locations are as follows:
• Clinton Police Department: 170 East Main Street, Clinton
• Connecticut State Police Troop F Barracks, Westbrook: 315 Spencer Plains Road, Westbrook
• Town Hall Westbrook: 866 Boston Post Road, Westbrook
• Madison Police Department: 9 Campus Drive, Madison
• Guilford Police Department: 400 Church Street, Guilford
• Branford Police Department: 33 Laurel Street, Branford
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