PORTLAND — Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michael Klahr Jewish Family Services (KJFS) Diaper Bank has received over $100,000 in grants and donations from 20 organizations and over 200 individuals, which has helped to power the distribution of over one million diapers in Southern Maine since January 2020. A recent gift of $25,000 from Sara Gideon for Maine will help the program continue to address this critical need over the next year.

Over the past five years, KJFS, a program of the Jewish Community Alliance, was seeing an increase in diaper need throughout Southern Maine, and began ramping up distribution through their diaper bank. “As the pandemic wore on, that need skyrocketed. Thankfully, so did the level of support” says KJFS Manager Adam Seigal.

In 2019, the KJFS Diaper Bank distributed over 300,000 diapers, a record high for the organization. As the only Southern Maine member of the National Diaper Bank Network, KJFS is able to purchase diapers direct from distributers at a fraction of the retail cost. This purchasing power, combined with significant grants and individual donations, helped enable KJFS to purchase and distribute one million diapers to Maine families in need since January 1st, 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, diapers were safely distributed through community partner agencies, as well as through bi-monthly “Diaper Drive-Through” events. Two such “Diaper Drive-Throughs” this spring reached 390 families, providing them with 182,857 diapers. Another is planned for this Sunday, July 18th.

“This work would not be possible without support from grants, foundations, businesses and individuals, and we are so thankful for these transformative gifts to our Diaper Bank,” said Ashley DiPietro, the JCA’s Director of Development. In addition to the recent gift from the Gideon campaign, grants and donations to the diaper bank since January 2020 have come from a variety of sources including:

100+ Women Who Care
Adobe Real Estate Group
Amalgamated Foundation
Bright Funds Foundation
Connected Catholics of Maine
First Congregational Church
Keller Williams Realty
Knowles Development LLC
Leo and Rhea Fae Fruhman Foundation
Frances Hollis Brain Foundation at Maine Community Foundation
Lydia Lyman Fund at Maine Community Foundation
Northeast Commercial Brokers Fletcher Realty Inc
Phase One, LLC
Roman Catholic Bishop of Maine
Schaeffer Douglas Title
Temple Beth El
The Hudson Foundation
United Way of Greater Portland
Westbrook Community Food & Resource Center
KeyBank Foundation.