When COVID-19 hit in early 2020, mothers at Urban Partners Los Angeles’ (UPLA) food bank in Koreatown discovered that access to diapers was quickly becoming a concern. Access to an adequate supply of diapers is vital to our children’s health and wellbeing. Seeing our incomes diminish as the supply of diapers in stores dwindled, we created an alliance of families and neighbors to do something about it!
LA Baby Cooperative/Cooperativa para Bebés de LA is an all-volunteer community response to the urgent need for diapers and infant supplies. Since March 2020, we have procured over 65,000 diapers for the community. But OUR SUPPLIES HAVE RUN LOW!
We now struggle (together at least!) each week to gather donations of diapers and wipes. We are urgently asking for donations toward a bulk diaper and wipes purchase to get our little ones through the next few months.
- We distribute over 4,000 diapers to each Saturday morning. Approximately 80 families collect bundles of diapers and wipes from a beautiful community garden in Koreatown.
- The retail cost of the supplies we distribute is approximately $1500 per week. The breakdown: each diaper costs between 13- 23 cents (most babies need 5-10 per day) and wipes cost about 2 cents each (babies may need 32 per day).
- Half of our organizing team use the diaper bank themselves. None of us are paid, and every dollar goes to diapering supplies for local babies.
- Like many diaper banks, our most requested diaper sizes are 4-6 since babies stay in these sizes for much longer. Since we still get a lot of size 1 and 2 diapers donated, we turned this “surplus” into a new initiative for pregnant and new parents. As supplies allow, we deliver a larger bundle of newborn sizes just before the baby is due or right after the birth; we call these deliveries the “Mother Load.”
- We are about families and neighbors coming together to help each other out. In addition to diapering supplies, we coordinate an infant and child “mutual aid” effort– connecting families with extra new and lightly used items (e.g., clothing, bedding, strollers, car seats, toys etc.,) with those in need of them.