What is a diaper bank? With Ashley Burns of Indiana Diaper Bank

the City Moms

Sep 28, 2022

It’s National Diaper Need Awareness Week, and we caught up with Indiana Diaper Bank President and CEO Ashley Burns to talk diaper need in Indiana, the impact of recent legislative changes, and the organization’s growth since theCityMoms first sat down with founder (and CityMoms member!) Rachael Suskovich. Read on to learn about the importance of diaper banks in the community and ways to get involved.

In 2017, Indianapolis was considered a “diaper desert,” meaning there was no existing diaper bank or similar organization in or around the city. Indiana Diaper Bank was the first of its kind to be established in the entire state.Unlike a food pantry, caregivers in need of diapers don’t just pick up needed items. Instead, Indiana Diaper Bank developed a network of community partners who distribute diapers to those in need. The beauty of this system is that Indiana Diaper Bank has a narrow focus (securing diapers and wipes for distribution), and caregivers can obtain diapers from a location that is convenient for them. “If people are in need of diapers and wipes, they’re usually in need of other things,” explains Ashley. “We try to make sure diapers are going into the community where people can get them and feel comfortable receiving diapers.”

Diaper need happens when caregivers are unable to provide the diapering supplies needed to keep their baby clean and dry. In Indiana, one in three families fall short, and public benefits such as WIC and SNAP (formerly food stamps) can’t be used toward their purchases. This year, National Diaper Need Awareness Week is happening from September 24 - October 2 to call attention to this issue.