YMCA of Metro North and Tufts Health Plan team up  for diaper drive to support mutual aid in Lynn. 

Diapers are among the little necessities quickly becoming financially out of reach for many struggling families

The YMCA of Metro North and Tufts Health Plan have teamed up to support a request from Mutual Aid Lynn by providing more than 2,500 diapers to families in need during the COVID-19 emergency. Tufts’ donated diapers will be distributed from the Lynn YMCA to families that are requesting urgent assistance obtaining infant supplies.

Diapers and infant wipes are among the growing list of little necessities quickly becoming a big problem for out of work families to purchase. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, one in three families do not have enough diapers and wipes for their children. WIC and S.N.A.P programs do not allow for diaper and wipe purchases. During COVID-19, families who used to be able to afford diapers are struggling to afford basic infant care supplies.

“Diapers and baby wipes are a basic necessity that many families take for granted, but amidst the coronavirus pandemic, the current lack of inventory on store shelves and the high costs are creating great anxiety for families in need,” said Juan Lopera, vice president of marketing for public plans at TuftsHealth Plan. “Organizations like the YMCA of Metro North are dealing with an unprecedented demand for services. We’re proud to collaborate with them in service to the community, and hope we can have a positive impact on local families while easing some of their stress, knowing they have a place to turn for the supplies they need.”

The diaper drive effort began when Lynn City Councilor Fred Hogan noticed several posts in the Lynn Mutual Aid Facebook group from parents desperately in need of diapers. Since then, it has grown into a regional effort with the YMCA of Metro North association branches in Lynn, Melrose, Saugus and Peabody volunteering to engage in community outreach efforts and act as a drop off and pick up location for diaper and wipes. The YMCA of Metro North association’s drive that has so far has collected more than 5,000 diapers from its members with additional sizable donations from the Lynn Public Library and the Salvation Army of Lynn.

Tia Cole is a coordinator for the Lynn Mutual Aid group and connected Tufts Health Plan with the YMCA diaper drive effort.

“Mutual Aid Lynn began holding space for the community during this crisis, and immediately the local humanitarians began reaching out,” says Cole. “We are incredibly grateful that the Tufts Health Plan team was able to make the connection to our Lynn YMCA diaper bank and provide over 100 local families with diapers.”

The YMCA of Metro North will continue the diaper drive through the COVID-19 shutdown. People who wish to donate diapers or those in need can find more information on their website. Tufts Health Plan will sustain its support for the diaper drive by donating funds, so the YMCA can continue to purchase diapers in the sizes that are requested.

“There are some incredible and generous donors like Tufts Health Plan who are stepping up to the plate for the most needy families,” says Andrea Baez, Senior Executive Director, Lynn YMCA. “As a result of the pandemic, new crises and requests are emerging almost daily and the YMCA is happy to be a partner doing everything we can to help. As traumatizing as this is for people, I think there is a lot of good coming out of this in the form of new collaborations, new relationships and innovative, cooperative efforts, like the diaper drive, that will only enhance our resilience as a community.”

Information on the diaper drive can be found at: https://www.ymcametronorth.org/diaper-drive/