Maryland diaper banks are part of a national network assisting families in need

Cathy Bird, executive director of the Annapolis-based Food Link Inc., has supplies to assist needy families and participates in a nationwide network of diaper banks. (Sarah Polus, Capital News Service)

Colleen Wilson, Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS – A closet on the third floor of an office building on Riva Road is not stocked with your typical office supplies: Food Link, Inc. has floor-to-ceiling stacks of diapers, baby bottles, canned foods and other basic-need items the organization collects to distribute to parents in need.

Food Link disseminates its diaper stock to seven food pantries throughout Anne Arundel County, Md., which offer perishable and nonperishable foods and other items, such as diapers and bottles, to families that can’t afford many basic needs.

The group is part of the National Diaper Bank Network, and the second week in September marks National Diaper Need Awareness Week: seven days dedicated to holding diaper drives, garnering support and beefing up awareness for parents who struggle to provide these items for their children.

Across the nation, local community organizations are collecting diapers and spreading the word about the National Diaper Bank Network, a nonprofit group formed to help new and existing diaper banks. The network distributes donated diapers to nonprofit organizations and volunteer groups that provide services for local communities, like Food Link in Annapolis and Baby Basics, in Hagerstown, Md.

“You have a baby at home and it’s getting close to payday. You’ve got to have gas in your car and diapers for the baby, you don’t have enough money for both

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