Empty shelves lead to diaper shortage, Diaper Bank of NC asks for donations

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We all know store shelves aren’t always full of what we need in this crisis, but imagine having a baby with no diapers or baby wipes.

“Every aisle that I’ve passed, it seems like pretty much everything is depleted,” mother of three Sarah Benton said.

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With empty shelves left and right, people are making sacrifices, but there are some things you just can’t go without.

“That’s why I was thankful to get the two boxes that I did,” Benton said.

For Benton, those two boxes of baby wipes weren’t easy to find. When she went to the store, the shelves were empty, but she thankfully found store employees replenishing right before it closed.

“And I usually pay half the price for the same amount, but at this point it didn’t matter,” Benton said. “Desperate times it feels like.”

As families clear the shelves amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, parents everywhere fighting to keep diapers and wipes on hand for their little ones now more than ever.

“At a normal time, one in three families in our community are experiencing diaper need,” Julie Bowling, with the Lower Cape Fear Diaper Bank of North Carolina, said. “In a time of crisis, like we’re experiencing now, the most vulnerable are the most impacted.”

The Diaper Bank of NC is trying to fill that need. The organization collects diapers, wipes and other hygiene products for people in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.

Here’s where you can pickup diapers and other hygiene products in the three counties:

Brunswick County
Brunswick Baptist Association
910-754-7979

New Hanover County
Catholic Charities in the Harrelson Center
910-251-8130

Pender County
Catholic Charities – Burgaw office
910-259-5153

Bowling asks you call ahead to find out what days and times items are being distributed, and whether you need to make an appointment.

She also says they need as many donations as possible just to keep up right now.

“We’re all in this together, and we’re stronger when we work together,” Bowling said. “And making sure that yes, I have what I need for the short-term here in the next couple weeks, but also thinking about other folks who might have a hard time accessing those resources.”

Benton just feels lucky she was able to find what she needed, and knows a lot of other moms out there are struggling too.

“Just be kind and consider your neighbor, and if you have a little extra supply, know that stores are still replenishing, so if you want to be generous, do please,” Benton said. “Know that I’m sure you both can find some in stock.”

If you would like to support the Diaper Bank, you can buy diapers through its Amazon Wishlist. You can also make a monetary donation through the website.