Clean diapers are essential to a baby’s well-being and development. They prevent painful rashes and urinary tract infections, reduce doctor’s visits, ensure that little ones can stay in childcare programs and subsequently allow working parents to focus on earning an income and providing for their families.
And yet, according to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three Michigan families currently struggles with “diaper need,” or the lack of sufficient diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy. An average monthly supply of diapers costs about $80 per child, and the only federal assistance program that can help pay for that supply is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). However, because that stipend is also needed for essentials like rent, utilities, and transportation, many low-income families are left with very little — if any money — to put toward diapers.
Enter diaper banks. These organizations fill the gaps by collecting, storing, and distributing diapers to families in need. Read on to learn more about the diaper banks in Washtenaw County.
Since opening their Diaper, Brief and Period Supply Bank in 2022, First Congregational Church UCC has served over 20 families in Chelsea. After registering for assistance — which is easy and discreet — individuals can access free diapers, wipes, disposable briefs, tampons, panty liners and pads. Donations are also accepted.
121 E Middle St, Chelsea. 734-4475-1844.
Hours: Mon. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and Sat. 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
For more than 40 years, Hope Clinic has provided free groceries, fresh produce, hot meals and personal care items for those in need across Washtenaw County. Through Hope Clinic’s diaper pantry, individuals can pick up free diapers, wipes, formula and baby food once a month. No appointment is necessary, simply bring a picture of the child’s birth certificate to first visit. Donations are also accepted, with a preference for Size 6 diapers and pull-ups, as well as generic formula. (Costco, Meijer, and Sam’s Club brands.)
518 Harriet St, Ypsilanti. 734-484-2989.
Hours: Wed. 4 p.m.-6 p.m, Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Just as the name suggests, the Manchester Community Resource Center (CRC) connects individuals to resources that can improve their lives. For example, in addition to providing immediate food assistance through their food pantry and Weekend Kid Meals, the CRC collects and distributes diapers to families across Manchester. Individuals can call and set up an appointment with CRC staff to discuss their situation and receive help. Donations are also accepted, with a preference for baby wipes.
710 E. Main St, Rooms 229 & 231, Manchester. 734-428-7722.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 9 a.m.-3 p.m, closed Fridays.
Although food assistance is their primary focus, Saline Area Social Service offers a variety of special services and programs for families in Saline. For example, they distribute one package of diapers per child every week and one personal care item (like shampoo, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products) per month. Donations are also accepted.
1259 Industrial Drive, Saline. 734-429-4570.
Hours: Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m, Tues.-Thurs. 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
For over 50 years, SOS Community Services has provided shelter, food and resources to families in need throughout Washtenaw County. At the SOS Resource Center, individuals can access free healthy food, personal care items, and baby products, such as diapers and wipes. SOS Community Services is also accepting donations in the form of diapers, pull-ups, baby wipes, baby formula and food, bottles, pacifiers, baby soap, lotion and other essential items.
114 N. River St, Ypsilanti. 734-484-5411.
Hours: Mon. 9 a.m.-1 p.m, Thurs. 9 a.m.-4 p.m, Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.