Mother of 4, spearheading the launch of a diaper bank in southern Utah – St George News
CITY OF CEDAR – An Enoch mother starting a Utah Diaper Bank expansion in southern Utah is working to publicize the new program.
Jen Johnson recently received a large shipment of disposable diapers from the Utah Diaper Bank and now has nearly 10,000 stored in a shed behind her house.
Johnson said she hopes it will be therest shipment it will need from the state level bank.
“I want this to be completely self-sustaining, working only with donations from our local community,” she recently told Cedar City News.
Johnson works for the Head Start program at Southern Utah University as a Family Advocate and is also enrolled as a student at SUU. As she began to undertake the diaper bank project, Johnson has already enlisted the help of a handful of other volunteers, namely her husband Jayson and their four children aged 4 to 11.
In a recent diaper drive, members of Johnson’s local church congregation donated some 400 diapers to the cause.
After the ride, the Johnson family spent time unwrapping the layers of the large cardboard boxes and repacking them in packs of 25 using industrial grade plastic wrap, then affixing size and size stickers to other relevant information.
Johnson explained that repackaging the diapers into smaller packages reduced waste and helped donations reach more people.
“Research has shown that the average need for a family is around 25 to 50 diapers,” she said.
As for the sizes most needed, Johnson said most of the diapers she has in stock are medium (3 or 4).
“I have a very low stock of newborns and we are running out of sizes 5 and 6,” she said.
Johnson said she knows how diapers can impact a family’s budget, having already had three of her own children in diapers at the same time.
Often a baby will grow to the next size before they are all exhausted, Johnson noted. A diaper bank allows people to donate those excess amounts of diapers their children have passed, as well as new, unopened packaging to those in need.
“We are trying to help the people who need it most,” she said. “Mostly low income families, but I know that with COVID everything has changed so much. Even though technically you are not low income, if you need diapers let me know. That’s what he’s here for.
Johnson said monetary donations are also accepted, which are placed in a dedicated account from which wholesale purchases can be made.
Johnson said Utah Diaper Bank manager Vic Velivis has ties to the diaper makers.
“He’s able to buy them at a much cheaper price, so that money goes a lot further,” she said.
Johnson said she is currently working to build and strengthen her own relationships as she works to establish the Southern Utah Diaper Bank.
“Right now, my focus is only on Iron County, but I have goals to eventually work in Washington County.”
For more information on the Southern Utah Diaper Bank, or to make or request diaper donations, call Jen Johnson at 435-363-5087 or email [email protected] Where [email protected].
“I’m just trying to get the word out so people know it’s here,” she added. “You cannot use the resource if you do not know it.
As part of National Diaper Awareness Week, which runs September 27 to October 3, Johnson said that Enoch and Cedar City have or will issue official proclamations; Additionally, Johnson is due to make a short briefing presentation at an upcoming Enoch city council meeting.
The Sandy-based Utah Diaper Bank, which started in 2012, distributed a total of 880,000 diapers statewide in 2020. It is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit that is part of the National Diaper Bank Network.
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