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Syracuse recognizes Diaper Need Awareness Week as diaper costs put pressure on families

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News (file photo)
The CNY Diaper Bank has given away 8 million diapers to needy families since 2016.

Since 2016, the CNY Diaper Bank has given out 8 million diapers to families in need and the need continues to grow.

Dozens of diapers will line the steps of Syracuse City Hall, as officials recognize Diaper Need Awareness Week. CNY Diaper Bank Founder Michela Hugo said this awareness is important because of increasing cost of diapers is a budget buster for families on the edge.

"The average is about 24 cents a diaper," Hugo said. "So you think about that a quarter a diaper and with low-income families spending more if they can't afford to buy a bulk, you know, they're spending upwards of 35 cents or more per diaper. It's just really not sustainable when you think about babies going through 10 to 12 diapers a day."

One big development this year according to Hugo, is money from the state budget, $500,000 will be split between 16 diaper banks across the state.

"It's good news in that, you know, it passed," Hugo said. "It got added into the budget. It's there. We just, we can't bank on it right now because we don't know when we're getting it."

The Diaper Bank offers families one week's worth of diapers working through 50 local agencies. Twelve more agencies are on a waiting list. The CNY Diaper Bank, run mostly by volunteers, is the largest in the state.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.