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CNYers urged to walk, donate in support of diaper need

Diaper totes await distribution.
File photo
Diaper totes await distribution.

Central New Yorkers can do their part Thursday and take steps, literally, to ease the struggles many families have affording diapers for their babies. This week marks National Diaper Need Awareness Week, which includes a Downtown Diaper Walk on Thursday.

The fundraising event is organized by the CNY Diaper Bank, whose founder Michela Hugo says diaper prices are rising for everyone, including her nonprofit. She hopes to see a lot of people turn out for the walk — or help in other ways.

“We really need to encourage people to take action in whatever way they can, whether it be making a donation, donating diapers, doing a diaper drive in their neighborhood or at work," Hugo said. "All of these thing seem small but they really do add up to make a difference when a lot of people engage at the same time.”

The Awareness Week was started over a decade ago, by the National Diaper Bank Network. Which recently found that nearly half of U-S households struggle to afford enough diapers.

Citing that study, Hugo says, so many families face the agonizing choice between diapers and food.

It’s something they can’t go without and it’s a huge source of stress. Seventy percent of families are stressed about buying diapers there, its adding to their, you know, anxiety about parenting because it’s such a huge struggle.”

She says awareness of diaper need is growing, but is still overlooked.

"We talk about food insecurity, but we never talk about diapers as being a need, and people just don't realize that there are no assistance programs to cover the cost for families," Hugo said. "We need bigger change. We need better support systems for families. But right now, diaper banks are filling a gap that no one else is."

The CNY Diaper Bank is matching the first $12,500 in donations made this month thanks to matching grant sponsorships.

The Downtown Diaper walk begins Thursday 11:30 at Syracuse City Hall and ends at Salt City Market. Registration is free and several city and county leaders are expected to join. More information can be found here.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at
Deepanjali Sharma is a graduate student studying Broadcast Digital Journalism at Syracuse University. She is expected to graduate in May 2024. As a student intern at WAER, Deepanjali helps produce digital and radio stories. She completed her bachelor's in journalism and communications from Cardiff University, UK.