CNY Diaper Bank: Helping families in need


Michela Hugo

Young volunteers display the stocked supply of diapers to be donated.

Since May of 2016, the CNY Diaper Bank, founded by FM parent Michela Hugo, has been assisting the community by regularly providing diapers and other necessary childcare items to families in need.

According to its website, the Diaper Bank’s mission is to ensure that all CNY families have access to an adequate supply of diapers for their babies and toddlers. Additionally, they want to build awareness in the community that diapers are a basic human need not being met for all children.

CNY Diaper Bank’s site explains why there is such a need.  50% of children in Syracuse live in poverty, with 25% in extreme poverty, but a sufficient supply of diapers can cost $100 every month. However, this cost is often doubled because most low-income families aren’t able to afford to buy diapers in bulk, which ends up costing less than standard sized packs in the long run.

By donating diapers to families in need, the Diaper Bank has a more powerful impact than one might expect. According to a survey taken by the Diaper Bank between November 2016 and January 2017, 50% of diaper recipients were able to pay a bill with the money they saved on diapers, 50% were able to buy non-food items like detergent and soap, and 36% were able to purchase food.

However, expenses aren’t the only negative effects caused by a lack of diapers. First, without enough diapers, parents can’t leave their children with a childcare provider since most require diapers to be supplied. Without enough diapers to be able to regularly change them, babies and toddlers are at a higher risk for diaper rashes and other health issues. Lastly, an inability to provide enough diapers to their children puts parents more at risk for depression, stress, and anxiety.  This puts kids at a higher risk of insufficient care, neglect, or even physical abuse.

But the CNY Diaper Bank is working to change that. In 2020, the Diaper Bank reported the distribution of 1,971,840 diapers and $591,552 cash value passed on to agencies and families. Additionally, there were a total of 2,020 volunteer hours logged.

There are many ways to help them make 2021 just as impactful as last year. Donations of money, disposable diapers, cloth diapers, wipes, infant formula, baby food, bottles, period supplies, laundry detergent, etc. are greatly appreciated. Hosting a diaper drive or starting a collection site are two great ways to raise money and other necessities. Volunteering at the Diaper Bank is open to all ages. Visit the Diaper Bank’s website,, for more information on how to assist the community.

The CNY Diaper Bank slogan says "It's time for a change!"
CNY Diaper Bank, with permission. (Michela Hugo)