Amerigroup and Hy-Vee associates, community volunteers, and Sieda staff came together at our main Sieda office. Everyone spent half a day packing diapers with several guests presenting. Thanks to the hard work of everyone, thousands of diapers were unboxed and packed into 50 diaper bundles. The Sieda Diaper Pantry provides Parents or guardians that apply with these bundles of N to 6 diaper sizes. Diapers are the most requested non-food item among those receiving home-visitation services through Sieda Community Action.
Amerigroup Iowa President, Jeffrey Jones, spoke at the event and presented Sieda with $10,000 to support their Diaper Pantry. Amerigroup Iowa has also committed an additional $5,000 to Hiney Heroes Diaper Bank and Eastern Iowa Diaper Bank. Jones talked of Amerigroup Iowa’s commitment to such endeavors.
“Amerigroup Iowa is working alongside community partners like Sieda Community Action to provide families and children with the necessary resources to lead a healthy lifestyle. As a leader in supporting maternal and child health, we are dedicated to helping the families we serve with an array of services to help improve their day-to-day lives.”
In addition, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst and U.S. Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks visited the event and spoke on the topic. Ernst and Miller-Meeks discussed with Brian Dunn, Sieda Executive Director, the accomplishments of the Sieda Diaper Pantry, the needs it has met, and hope to grow. Senator Ernst is the lead Republican co-sponsor of the COVID-19 Diaper Assistance Act, legislation that would provide $200 million in additional funds through the Social Services Block Grant program for diaper assistance. She is partnering with Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on the bipartisan bill.
Senator Joni Ernst explained at the event,
“I’m glad to be working across the aisle with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut to address the diaper shortages causing challenges for Iowa families, and I’m grateful for this upcoming opportunity to join the hard-working folks at Sieda Community Action who are on the ground and fighting to make a difference for our families and our communities.”
Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks said,
“I am proud to be partnering with Sieda Community Action ad my good friend, Senator Ernst, to help Iowans in need. The COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone hard, and many are still working to fully recover. I am thrilled to see this work being done in my hometown of Ottumwa and look forward to working to make the lives of all Iowans easier.”
Sieda partnered with Hy-Vee Stores in Ottumwa for Diaper Drive donations. Thank you to the North and South Hy-Vee and Hy-Vee Drugstore for their help in this endeavor. Hy-Vee utilized the funds from cash register donations to purchase diapers to donate to Sieda. These diapers were given along with the diapers donated throughout the month.
In the first year, the Sieda Diaper Pantry Program was able to help 154 different families and provided diapers to children 940 times. A recent study conducted by the National Diaper Bank Network and the Kimberly Clark Corporation revealed that one in three families reported struggling with buying diapers on an ongoing basis. We hope that with the help of Amerigroup and Hy-Vee Ottumwa to continue to reach more families in need.