On average, a baby can go through 10 diaper changes a day.

For parents, diaper costs add up.

“One in 3 families across the United States struggle with this, and that was before Covid-19 hit,” said Jessica Histo with the Hawaii Diaper Bank.

The non-profit, based on the Big Island and part of the Hawai’i Children’s Action Network, provides diapers, wipes, and other basic essentials to organizations that assist low-income families with young children.

Histo says 4,416 kids under the age of 5 lives in poverty on the Big Island.

“We focus on (helping) low income families, but really families in Hawai’i are living paycheck to paycheck anyway. They may not be low income, but especially with the stay at home orders, and families getting laid off. Even if they’re on the unemployment list, they haven’t gotten their funds yet. So we’ve definitely seen an increase in terms of people being in need,” Histo explained.

She says the coronavirus pandemic caused “diaper hoarding” –making it difficult for the non-profit and its partners, like the Salvation Army and the “Tutu & Me” program–to find the sizes they need for families in need.

“I have several families with multiple children. When you have 3 kids with diapers it really helps that extra bit,” said Lani Bowman with the Tutu & Me program.

Histo says the Hawaii Diaper Bank could use donations like diapers, and wipes to assist families in need. Monetary donations are also welcomed.

“It makes you feel like you’re not doing enough. Which is not true. Everyone is doing what they can in terms of surviving. We don’t know when this is gonna end and things can go back to normal. But even then we’re going to see the lasting effects of this for quite some time even if things return to normal.”

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