McHENRY – Only four diaper banks in the nation hand out diapers to adults with incontinence problems and one is in McHenry: St. Paul Episcopal Church.
The St. Paul Diaper Bank Partnership has donated 22,700 adults diapers to its partners in the first half of this year, a significant increase over the 17,900 adult diapers given out in all of last year.
Overall, the number of diapers dispensed also is on the rise, – 140,000 children and adult diapers so far compared with a total of 96,000 last year.
The children’s cause has benefited from successful diaper drives, including a recent
large donation from Kimberly-Clark, the maker of Huggies.
While the children’s diaper program is doing well, the nonprofit organization says it will be forced to shut its adult diaper program in the next two months if it doesn’t turn around.
The program has received few donations of adult diapers, even as demand has increased.
“We can’t continue to purchase adult diapers without jeopardizing our kids’ program,” said Director Larry Eils.
The diaper bank distributes to 16 partners in McHenry County, ranging from food pantries to health care facilities.
As of Tuesday, the diaper bank stopped buying adult diapers after spending more than $4,000 for
the year to supply adults in need.
The problem, Eils said, is that children’s diapers are much more cost effective.
A box of diapers will supply up to 100 children, while the same amount of money buys only a few adult diapers.
“It is very costly for seniors,” Eils said. “And because of that cost, elderly folks can’t afford [adult diapers], and the economy isn’t helping as it is partly responsible for the increased demand.
“We are in a bind.”