ROCKLAND — AIO Food & Energy Assistance is raising awareness of diaper need during Diaper Need Awareness Week, which runs from Sept. 24 through Oct. 2.

Hannaford Supermarkets in Rockland will be hosting AIO’s Diaper Program Diaper Drive, Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m.—2 p.m. in their parking lot in which donors can bring diapers and wipes to donate and fill the emergency vehicles of Rockland Police, Rockland Fire, and Thomaston Police Departments.

Diaper need is the lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or child clean, dry, and healthy. One in three families struggles to provide clean diapers for their baby.

  • Maine’s total population under age 3 is 49,515
  • 15% of children under age 18 are infants or toddlers
  • 16% live in families earning less than 100% of federal poverty level (FPL)
  • 22% live in families earning 100% to 200% of FPL

Most childcare facilities require parents to provide diapers for their child. Nationally, 57% of parents experiencing diaper need who rely on childcare said they missed an average of four days of school or work in the past month because they didn’t have diapers. Seventy-percent of Maine mothers in the workforce have infants.

  • Cost of Infant Care as a Percentage of Income:
    • 9% — Two-parent households
    • 29% — Single-parent households

An average monthly supply of diapers costs approximately $80. The only federal assistance program that can be used for diapers is TANF, but TANF has to cover many other expenses, including heat, electric and water bills, rent, clothing, transportation, and other basic needs. Little if any money is available to purchase enough diapers to keep a baby clean, dry, and healthy.

AIO Food & Energy Assistance has given over 24,000 diapers in the past year, and over 10,000 in the past three months alone to Knox County families. AIO’s Diaper Program has gone through several growth spurts over the past two years, and is now incorporated into the AIO Market, allowing clients to now shop for their diapers when they shop for food.  AIO Food & Energy Assistance is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m.—6 p.m. and Fridays 10 a.m.—12 p.m. You can contact them at 596-1043 or at info@aiofoodpantry.org.

To find out more about AIO and their programs they offer, please visit www.AIO4ME.org.