COVID-19 impacts diaper demand across the nation, including Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. – It’s no secret families are struggling right now. It’s not just food insecurity. Many can’t even afford diapers for their little ones.

“She is my world and I want to be able to give her the world,” said Caitlin Wallin.

It wasn’t until Caitlin Wallin’s world completely changed, that she realized she had a long way to go.

“I ended up getting terminated from Providence. I was doing an apprenticeship program and I missed too many days because I had a lack of childcare for my daughter,” said Wallin.

That struggle began back in December. Once Wallin realized she couldn’t even afford diapers for her two-year-old daughter, Kier, she decided to seek help.

“If I can’t support myself how am I supposed to support a tiny human?,” said Wallin.

“In January 2021 versus January 2020 we’ve seen a 38% increase in diaper demand,” said Angie Kelleher with Spokane Valley Partners.

Kelleher says this is proof that families are struggling now more than ever.

“We really feel that the effects of the pandemic and the economic decline of unemployment increasing and stuff are very, very palatable right now,” said Kelleher.

With the way things are going, Kelleher fears it’ll only get worse.

“We honestly think this is going to grow into 2021 to be larger than 2020 in terms of diaper demand,” she said.

Kelleher encourages those struggling to take advantage of the resources available in our community.

“We can distribute two packs of 25 per child per month, so that’s 50 diapers per month which I think can really take the edge off of a family suffering from diaper need,” Kelleher said.