GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Great Start Collaborative of Kent County received nearly 290,000 diapers to be given out to pantries and organizations across the community.

Officials say they’ve been collecting diapers for area pantries since 2009 and now with the coronavirus outbreak that need has only gone up.

They say the National Diaper Bank Network reached out to them and asked them if they would like to receive a donation as long as the collaborative pays for the transportation.

The diapers will be donated to 20 pantries and organizations across Kent County.

Great Start Collaborative of Kent County officials say this has helped tens of thousands of area families and they couldn’t be more grateful.

“Diaper need is so important,” said Leslie Hawkins, a coordinator with the Great Start Collaborative of Kent County. “It’s not covered by safety nets like WIC and food stamps. So, if you need diapers, you don’t have support for that. You have to find a way to get them. It’s a basic need that families have. We believe it should be equal as food.”

Officials with the Great Start Collaborative of Kent County say they’re going to continue helping families throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

If you want to help or host a diaper drive in your area, more information can be found online