SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)- The first Friday of the month is like no other for the University United Methodist Church outreach team. It marks their monthly diaper giveaway.
The church partners with the Central New York Diaper Bank to supply diapers for the giveaway.
Diaper giveaways are operated like a drive-thru service.
Recipients drive to Ashworth Place where a team member gives them a pink slip, which indicates they’re picking up diapers. From there, recipients mark the size(s) they need on the slip and another team member delivers the diapers to their car.
Those picking up diapers can receive diapers for up to three children, newborn to size six, who’ll receive 50 diapers each.
The church sees a variety of people each month for the giveaway because they’re an open site, meaning that anyone in Syracuse is able to receive diapers.
A majority of recipients are new Americans and other Syracuse residents in poverty. Others are loved ones picking up for family members or case workers picking up for clients.
Diaper recipients can also receive food from the church’s food pantry during the giveaway, which is indicated by a separate colored slip.
The diaper bank worked with Huggies to conduct a national survey that showed those living with food insecurity also have diaper insecurity of 50 diapers every month.
“Now with the changes in poverty and food insecurity and families’ daily needs, we’ve got this explosion of need,” UUMC Outreach Coordinator Galyn Murphy-Stanley said.
There’s a need for diapers across Central New York, according to Stanley, and the diaper bank tries to disperse as many diapers possible to their multiple partner agencies, which can be hard at times.
Stanley believes this program captures a need that’s not immediately obvious.