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Amid nationwide diaper shortage, Santa Barbara County non-profit opens 'diaper bank' for families

Angel Russell
The Isla Vista Youth Projects has already distributed more than 30,000 diapers to families in need

Diapers are one of the latest pandemic shortages as prices per pack climb. Now, a local non-profit in Santa Barbara is helping to fill the need with the county’s first diaper bank.

The National Diaper Bank said a third of American families are currently having a hard time finding diapers — the latest product hit by a pandemic-induced shortage.

“The pandemic has made everything harder on families,” said Lori Goodman, Executive Director for The Isla Vista Youth Projects (IVYP), a non-profit which provides several services to families in need.

Goodman said the latest need they’ve seen is diapers, with the costs adding strain to families during the ongoing pandemic.

“One child can go through between five and 12 diapers a day, easily," Goodman said. "For a baby that’s going through that many diapers a day, that can add up very quickly. We estimate that could cost $100 per month per child.”

Goodman said to help, a volunteer with IVYP came up with an idea for the county’s first diaper bank. So far, over 200 families have sought out the diaper bank, with more than 32,000 diapers already picked up.

“We know that by providing diapers, we are providing a little bit of relief to families that allows them some breathing room,” Goodman said.

Goodman said providing diapers also gets families to learn about and take advantage of the other services the non-profit offers — from parenting classes to counseling services.

“Diapers are easy, but asking for help with parenting might be hard," Goodman said. "But when you build a relationship over something easy, we are able to wrap our arms around families and support successful families.”

For those interested in picking up diapers from the bank, it is by appointment only through their website at www.ivyp.org.

Goodman said since the diaper bank is funded by donors, the non-profit always welcomes donations.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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