By Maria Saporta
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When Bill Bolling and I got together for lunch on Friday, he wanted to talk about diapers.
Bolling, the founder and executive director of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, had just come from a press conference at his agency’s headquarters announcing that Kimberly-Clark and Huggies was donating two million diapers nationwide.
Of those, the Atlanta Community Food Bank received its donation of 200,000 arriving Friday morning.
“The whole staff was clapping when the truckload of diapers came in this morning,” Bolling said. “When we think about helping families in need, diapers is not one of those things people think about.”
A study released by Kimberly-Clark this past week revealed that one in three American mothers have trouble providing diapers for their babies. Often these mothers end up cutting back on other basics, such as food or paying for utilities, so they can buy diapers.
Bolling said when a family can’t afford to buy diapers, it can impact both their physical and emotional health. The Atlanta Community Food Bank has received diapers in the past, but usually they’ve been surplus or damaged in some way.
“This is the first time that a company has said: ‘We’re giving you a new product,’” Bolling said. “We consider this a significant development for us.”
The Food Bank plans to distribute diapers to where the need is the greatest — such as homeless shelters for women and children.
“Diapers are a huge expense for them,” Bolling said. A total of 10 communities received diapers from Kimberly-Clark this past week. The company also has committed to give a total of 20 million diapers in the next eight months as part of its “Every Little Bottom” initiative.
Because more communities will be included if future donations, ACFB spokeswoman Angie Clawson said she didn’t know how many more diapers Atlanta will receive from Kimberly-Clark in the coming months.