What is diaper need? Diaper need is a serious issue, not only throughout the US, but right here in Maine. Approximately 1 in 3 families nationwide report experiencing diaper need, yet existing safety-net programs such as SNAP and TANF do not support the purchase of diapers. Families are forced to make heart-wrenching choices between paying for rent or groceries and buying diapers. A baby who sits in a diaper too long is more susceptible to infections, leading to missed work for the parents and potential medical bills for treatment. It’s a cycle no family deserves to be in, and the Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services Diaper Bank is doing something about it.
What is the Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services (KJFS) Diaper Bank? We’re the only diaper bank in Southern Maine registered with the National Diaper Bank Network. This partnership allows KJFS to consistently purchase diapers in bulk at a reduced cost and distribute them both directly to families, and to area agencies serving families experiencing diaper need.
What does that mean exactly? Diapers that would cost a family $20 to purchase at the store cost KJFS just over $10. So, in short, we can turn modest cash gifts into a LOT of diapers.
How can you help? While we appreciate direct donations of supplies, your dollar donation goes twice as far, twice as quickly, and most importantly: your dollar donation enables us to provide consistency in our services—an imperative to this type of work. Please click here to donate today.
If you or someone you know is experiencing diaper need, there are several ways to connect with our services:
- Call the Jewish Community Alliance at (207) 772-1959 and leave a message. KJFS staff will return your call and can access interpreter services as needed.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, KJFS is offering a no-contact diaper drive through service every 2 months. Call KJFS and we will make every effort to add you to our schedule.
- If your baby is a patient with the MaineHealth clinics, let your doctor know you are experiencing diaper need at your next well-child visit. You will be provided with a supply of diapers and a referral will be made to KJFS.
- If you receive services through The Opportunity Alliance Family and Community Support Programs or Gateway Community Services, your case manager has access to KJFS diapers and can help.
- Several area pantries are partnered with KJFS and distributing KJFS diapers in addition to food; please visit Life Essentials in South Portland, The South Portland Food Cupboard, St. Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center, or the Falmouth Food Pantry.
- KJFS diapers are also available to families living at the Portland Family Shelter and members of the Angolan Community of Maine, In Her Presence, Presente Maine, Cambodian Community of Maine, and the Congolese Community of Maine.