'Bundles of Hope' project to provide baby supplies to needy families

The Herald Bulletin

Andy Knight

Sep 23, 2021

FRANKTON — A local church is undertaking an initiative that its leaders hope will fill a supply gap in what one volunteer called a “diaper desert” in some rural parts of Madison County.

Frankton First United Methodist Church opened the doors Thursday to its “Bundles of Hope” diaper pantry, a project designed to get diapers and other baby supplies into the hands of needy families in the northern part of the county.

“We found out that a lot of diapers and other baby supplies aren’t supplied by different organizations that help, and that a lot of people — especially with the last year with so many work issues and things — are having a hard time,” said the church’s pastor, Bob Preusz. “We felt like this is something that can maybe meet some of the needs for people on a day-to-day basis.”

According to the National Diaper Bank Network, the average baby goes through eight to 12 diapers a day, meaning monthly expenses for diapers, wipes and other supplies can easily exceed $150. The church is consulting with the Indiana Diaper Bank about the project.

With 17% of the county’s population living below the federal poverty line, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, pantry organizers said they hope it can, at least for a few families, pick up where federal and state assistance programs leave off.

“The people from the Indiana Diaper Bank, whom we’re working in association with, have told us that ministries like this take a month, two months or even three months to really get off the ground,” Preusz said. “We want to get the word out that there’s help available for people who need it.”

Preusz added that the pantry, which is currently open on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, likely will evolve both with its schedule and its inventory.

“Right now, we’re supplying diapers and wipes, but we’ve talked about how, if there comes an opportunity, maybe we can help supply some clothes or something, just to kind of meet the needs of people with children,” he said. “We’re just kind of feeling our way through the dark right now.”