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Identity & Community

Western PA Diaper Bank Gets A Boost From Pittsburgh Police Officers

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Sarah Schneider
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90.5 WESA News

Pittsburgh Police Officers from all six zones donated more than 1,000 diapers to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank Tuesday.

The Hill District nonprofit estimates families living in poverty in Allegheny County need 77,000 diapers every day. And the county is not alone. Nationally, one in three families need help buying diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank.

Reverend Phillip Battle, co-founder of the diaper bank, said often police officers find that there is a need while responding to a call. They’ll sometimes walk into a situation where there’s abuse, neglect or drug use – and many times that’s when they also find a child in need of a diaper. 

“Chances are they won’t have a diaper in the house and the diaper they have on is soiled, if they have a diaper on,” he said.

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Credit Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News
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90.5 WESA News
Pittsburgh Police Officers donated more than 1,000 diapers to the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank Tuesday.

The nonprofit distributes diapers through partner agencies in five counties to families in need. The diapers donated by Pittsburgh Police will be distributed through partner agencies in the police zone they were donated.

Battle said it’s difficult for families living in poverty to seek help, but diapers are an every day essential for an infant.

“If you can’t afford diapers, there are other problems going on in the household that need addressed,” he said. “And when we offer them diapers, that gives us the chance to approach them about anything else that might be hindering their quality of life.”

Diapers are not covered by federal programs such as Food Stamps or Women Infants and Children, known as WIC. And, according the nonprofit, can cost close to $75 per month for each child. Battle noted that in urban corner stores, diapers are often even more expensive. 

Battle said the officers’ donations will go quickly. The agency operated by volunteers has already donated 100,000 diapers this year.