U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) made a stop in Davenport Wednesday to help distribute an item that has become a hot commodity among parents of small children amid the COVID-19 pandemic: diapers.
Senator Ernst was seen handing out diapers to families in need during Hiney Heroes of the Quad Cities’ diaper drive-thru event, which took place in the parking lot of the Davenport Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
In May, Senator Ernst teamed up with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) to urge the Senate to include at least $200 million in funding for diaper assistance through the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) in a future COVID-19 relief package. Senator Ernst’s visit in Davenport follows that bipartisan effort to support low-income families and frontline workers who are in critical need of diaper assistance.
“A clean diaper is a basic, essential element for protecting the health and well-being of every young child,” said Senator Ernst. “Unfortunately, during COVID-19, we’ve seen an increased demand for diapers, but a decreased supply at our diaper banks, often due to stockpiling. Our workers and families should not have to worry about having access to diapers, and that’s what I’m working to address.”
Diaper banks like Hiney Heroes say they rely on community volunteers and local donations to ensure they remain a liable resource for families in need. In the past two months, the nonprofit has given away more than 40,000 diapers to more than 600 financially-stressed families at mobile distribution events in the Quad Cities.
“Every day, our diaper bank works to help local families struggling with diaper need,” said Hiney Heroes of the Quad Cities Executive Director Karree Fah. “Pre-COVID, studies showed that 1 in 3 families struggled to provide enough diapers to keep their baby clean, dry and healthy. Due to the economic impact of COVID, more of our friends and neighbors need help.”
Huggies, its parent company Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the National Diaper Bank Network recently donated 25,000 diapers to support the efforts of Wednesday’s drive-thru diaper giveaway.
“Huggies is committed to helping end diaper need in America, and we applaud the work of Hiney Heroes for today’s event, distributing diapers to families in need,” said Huggies North America General Manager Robert Raines. “We also thank Senator Ernst for supporting congressional efforts to ensure that families in need have access to clean diapers.”
Hiney Heroes has a membership in the National Diaper Bank Network and will give a portion of recently donated diapers back to the nonprofit organization.
“Seeing firsthand the work of the folks at Hiney Heroes reemphasized the importance of supporting Iowans in need of diaper assistance so they can provide for the health, safety and economic security of their children.”
More information about Hiney Heroes of the Quad Cities is here.