A diaper shortage or even menstrual poverty are things the average American knows little about, but for some low-to-middle income parents these issues are very real as they work to stretch their incomes to afford basic necessities like sanitary products for babies and women.
A non-profit based out of Clarksdale is working to help alleviate that kind of stress for low-to-middle income families. The Diaper Bank of the Delta along with Blessings for All, Empowered By Faith joined together Friday to distribute food boxes, diapers, wipes, women’s sanitary products and hand sanitizer to many who lined up outside the National Guard Armory last Friday.
Chelesa Presley, co-founder of the Diaper Bank of the Delta, said the bank is a basic needs bank that ensures that families are equipped with diapers and sanitary supplies.
“We supply for infants and toddlers. A baby should be diapered at least eight to 12 times a day,” she said.
Presley said a lot of health issues adults face now are due to choices made by their parents when they were younger.
For parents forced to leave a diaper on a child for too long, she explained, “It can cause a rash or a urinary tract infection in girls, and other health illnesses later in life, just based off diapering.” she said. “You hear people talking about giving a child a healthy start. Well, this is one way. What happens to a child between the ages of one through three is so important, so important.”
She said one in four girls do not have the proper sanitary products that they need. So, they began an initiative called “It’s That Time, Girl.”
“We are working to remove the barriers of access and shame associated with it. You know in our community its taboo to talk about a girl’s menstrual cycle. So, we want to remove the taboo and shame of it because they’re still human and they’re still female,” she said.
Presley said the nonprofit recently began Diaper Bank on the Move, making their diaper bank mobile. She said they realized there was a greater need when COVID-19 hit. Presley said beforehand, they helped the counties around Bolivar County. Now, they’re able to give help throughout the state.
“We’ve been to 65 towns and 45 counties in the state,” she said.
Presley also said they help the Arkansas Delta region as well.
She said if a person needs help, they can ship products to the person. Presley said they ship diapers every month and sanitary products every other month.
Presley said if there’s anyone who wants to get on the program, they can just contact her at 662-351-3844 or email [email protected] gmail.com.