JCMAS × JCFamilies Diaper Collection
JCFamilies community know diapers are a big part of the family budget. Yet, 2016 data from the White House states that 1 in 3 families struggled to meet this essential need. And that was before the pandemic, with its rising prices and job losses that have disproportionately affected primary caregivers.
Many families find themselves cutting back on other parts of their budget to cover the rising cost, but too often, there’s nothing left but essentials to cut back on. Forced to choose between rent, food or heat, and diapers? You may try to reuse diapers or stretch the time between diaper changes out to make your limited resources last. But leaving a baby in a wet diaper too long can result in diaper rash and urinary tract infections. Babies’ interrupted sleep, discomfort, and fussiness are stressful for everyone in the family. You may not go to work or school if you can’t afford the upfront supply of daycares required. (Cloth diapers are not a feasible option for the same reason, as cloth diapers are prohibited from being washed at public laundromats.)
Government safety-net programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women Infants Children (WIC) do not allow funds to be used to buy diapers, leaving families in a diaper loophole. This is where non-profits, charities, and mutual aid groups step in to help bridge the gap in a resource that is essential for children’s and families’ physical, mental, and economic well-being.
In Jersey City, the Jersey City Mutual Aid Society (JCMAS) is an all-volunteer group of neighbors who collect donations and connect them to other mutual aid groups. With the support of Mana Contemporary, who donated storage space to us, we’ve been able to make needed supplies available to the organizations who distribute them, including Triangle Park Community Center, the Sharing Place food pantry, the Mary House at Our Lady of Sorrows church, SolJC, Build More Unity (formerly, Black Men United), Royal Men Foundation, the food pantry at St. Paul the Apostle Church, Hudson Pride, and York St. Project, [links below] to name a few.
- Triangle Park Community Center [https://www.triangleparkcc.org/]
- Sharing Place [https://www.stpauljerseycity.org/the-sharing-place]
- Our Lady of Sorrows [https://olsnj.org/food-pantry]
- SolJC [https://www.facebook.com/solidarity.jerseycity/]
- Build More Unity [https://www.facebook.com/pg/blackmenunitedcoalition/posts/]
- Royal Men Foundation [https://www.facebook.com/The-Royal-Men-Foundation-218661284952655/]
- St. Paul the Apostle Church food pantry [https://www.stpaulrcc.com/food-pantry-volunteers]
- Hudson Pride [https://hudsonpride.org/]
- York St. Project [https://yorkstreetproject.org/]
To donate diapers:
- You can donate diapers to JCMAS directly through Target and Amazon registries
- You can also donate open packages of diapers! Did your baby outgrow the diapers you bought before you could use them all? A volunteer will come to you to pick them up [https://www.jcmutualaid.org/donate]
- You can also drop off at JCFamilies Holiday Party
If you’re need of diapers:
- The Sharing Place — check https://www.thesharingplacenj.org for schedule and availability. JCMAS is there every time they provide food, with a table outside to distribute diapers.
- The Mary House/Our Lady of Sorrows — check https://olsnj.org/food-pantry for information on schedule
- St. Paul the Apostle Church, every other Wednesday; check https://www.stpaulrcc.com/food-pantry-volunteers for information on scheduling.
JCMAS also collects and redistributes toiletries, senior supplies, and more. We’ve found through our work distributing diapers that there is also a tremendous need for other baby supplies (including wipes and diaper cream), basic toiletries (shampoo, lotion, etc), and adult incontinence supplies and senior supplies. Please check out our website for a full list of the products we collect — jcmutualaid.org.