Babies Need Bottoms (BNB) was established in 2017 as the only diaper bank to serve socially and economically vulnerable families in WNC. By providing families with no-cost access to diapers, baby wipes, and infant care supplies, BNB fills a gap in the social safety net as there are no public assistance programs to help families meet this need. The connection between access to diapers and health and wellness outcomes is clear, but meeting diaper need also improves families’ health and economic opportunity outcomes, as parents who need childcare for work are required to supply diapers for their children.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, one in three families nationally faced diaper need. The pandemic exacerbated this need as families experienced loss of income. In response, BNB increased diaper distribution from 3,000 per month to an average of 17,000 per month in 2020 and up to 30,000 per month in 2021. As a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, Babies Need Bottoms recently received a record donation of over 230,000 diapers from Huggies. Funding received from Dogwood Health Trust enabled Babies Need Bottoms to expand their capacity and secure an additional warehouse space, which was crucial to their ability to efficiently accept and distribute a donation of this size. In 2021, BNB distributed products to families in 11 WNC counties and continues to expand their service area by collaborating with 55 community partners that assist with product distribution.
BNB meets clients where they are, distributing diapers in collaboration with three kinds of partners: Community Partners who serve known clients and regularly provide additional social services to families experiencing poverty; Crisis Partners who serve walk-in clients facing acute crises; and Mobile Diaper Partners who distribute via mobile units or pop-up markets, increasing resource accessibility for rural communities and families who are more likely to experience transportation hardship.