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Access To Diapers Can Unlock Opportunities, Pittsburgh Diaper Bank Founders Say

Courtesy of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank
Executive director Cathy Battle poses beside a delivery of 250,000 diapers from Huggies.

What began as a small church project in Toledo, Ohio has become a wide-reaching, and widely relied upon, labor of love here in Pittsburgh. 

Husband and wife Rev. Phillip Battle and Cathy Battle say that when they started the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank in 2012, they gave out 16,000 diapers. This year, they're on pace to distribute more than 400,000 and still won't meet the demand.

"It affects everything... even childcare," she says. "If you don't have a supply of diapers, you can't leave your baby," Cathy Battle said. That means parents have to stay home, miss work or touch the child less because the diaper is soiled, and might even get used more than once.

Rev. Battle said a lack of diapers can lead to strife in the home, depression and in the worst cases, neglect or child abuse. The Battles joined 90.5 WESA's Megan Harris to talk about their work, which has recently expanded to include adult diapers and feminine hygiene products. 

Later in the program:

The Carnegie International is Pittsburgh's biggest and most prestigious art exhibits. The 57th Annual Carnegie International ends March 25, so WESA's Bill O'Driscoll took one last look at the sprawling exhibit featuring cutting-edge work by 32 artists from around the world.

And for a special, separate, half hour, the BBC's Heart and Soul takes a look at how American Judiasm has changed since the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh nearly five months ago.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at kkoscinski@wesa.fm.
Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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