Isla Vista Youth Projects (IVYP) has recently become the first certified diaper bank in Santa Barbara County. As a place-based organization, IVYP provides comprehensive services to families in need, with an eye to strengthening families, preparing children to be successful in school, and addressing health and educational disparities. In February 2021, IVYP took a big leap to help families in the Goleta Valley Community.
“Many families in Santa Barbara County struggle to provide the basics for their children. The child poverty rate in this county is unacceptable. Approximately 1 in 5 children in our county are suffering. Diapers are a critical need. When we looked into it, we found that there are no diaper bank agencies in our county. Given that we already have systems in place to distribute other items like food we knew that this was something that we could and should take on,” said Lori Goodman, Executive Director of IVYP.
Ensuring that infants and toddlers have access to clean diapers helps lead to healthier families. In 2017 over 40,000 infants and children were treated in California’s public hospitals suffering from symptoms directly connected to diaper need. By providing diapers to parents IVYP is helping their children to stay healthy and safe and easing a financial burden that has only grown since the onset of the COVID pandemic.
Disposable diapers can cost as much as $100 per month per baby. Most babies go through 12 diapers per day which is a cost that adds up very quickly especially when the health of your child is at stake. Since February, IVYP have distributed more than 30,000 diapers to babies in need.
IVYP has a long history of connecting families in the Goleta Valley to the resources and concrete supports they need through the work of their Family Resource Center. Demands for services through the Family Resource Center have increased by over 500% since the pandemic began. More and more families in our community are experiencing extreme hardship and need our help. In order to support these families, IVYP has the opportunity to develop new and more creative ways to reach out to vulnerable families. The diaper bank serves as an entry point for families to receive additional support like parenting classes, housing support, food distribution, Medi-Cal and Calfresh support, and much more.
Now that the IVYP has become a certified diaper bank the next step in the process is to grow the organizational capacity to meet the need of the community.
“We don’t want to outgrow our funding but want to make sure that we are providing as much as we can for families. As we grow, we anticipate needing additional storage, increased staff, community outreach, and of course more diapers. All of this requires a financial investment. We are grateful for the support of local foundations and individual donors who have contributed to this project.”
To learn more about receiving diapers or to donate to the diaper bank visit IVYP’s new website: www.ivyp.org.