Shantay Balch of the B.L.A.C.K. Wellness and Prosperity Center says community advocacy groups are seeing a daily increase in requests for basic supplies, including diapers.
“Calls are nonstop to agencies,” she said, including her own, First 5 Fresno County and the Fresno EOC. “They’re just nonstop. Diapers. Diapers, formula, water, beans and rice.”
Specifically, she said, diaper sizes 4, 5 and 6. She said some parents have even resorted to putting small adult diapers on their toddlers.
“Because the shelves are filled with those and also if you look on Craigslist, there’s tons of adult diapers,” Balch said.
Recently, Balch distributed boxes of diapers from her home office.
“And I had maybe 30 families here that picked up just based on availability and of those 30, I would say that at least five of them mentioned using adult diapers because they’re desperate and not knowing what to do!”
But it’s not just about whether diapers are available on the grocery shelves.
“It’s so many people having loss of income all at one time and everyone now needs help with a very expensive commodity,” Balch said.
Artie Padilla, the executive director of Every Neighborhood Partnership, agrees. He and his team reach out weekly to about one hundred residents, or point people, to find out what the needs are in different Fresno neighborhoods.
“We’re leveraging our networks to find out where those families are that have kids that could use diapers and wipes,” he said.
And that’s just in the city of Fresno, he said. He has partners in rural communities doing the same thing.
With each passing week, he said, “the need for food and diapers and paper products is only going to grow and grow and grow.”
Organizations like Every Neighborhood Partnership and the B.L.A.C.K. Wellness and Prosperity Center rely in part on donations. If you’d like to donate diapers or other basic supplies, you can find out more about drop-off sites at wellcommunity.org.