The White House has finally recognized that diaper need, and the divide between those who can buy diapers and those who can’t, is worthy of being addressed and solved. This is welcome news to the diaper banking community (of which I am part of as the Executive Director of the cloth diaper charity Giving Diapers, Giving Hope) because for years even convincing people that diapers are a NEED has been a struggle.
Diapers are as much a necessity for all families as the food they need for their child. Listen to the valid points made on the WhiteHouse.gov website:
“…These choices become even more pressing because the lowest-income quintile of families with infants pay 14 percent of their income for diapers alone – an average of $936 for diapers per child each year, while many higher income families pay less than half that amount. These struggling families may not have access to transportation to the big box store, the credit or capital to buy in bulk at cheaper prices, or the access to internet or ability to receive packages required for online subscription services. The technology that makes life easier for so many of us just doesn’t provide the necessary supports for these families.
There is also no federal assistance for purchasing diapers, unlike other essentials like food or health insurance. Programs like WIC, SNAP, Medicaid help provide parents with nutritious foods and the supports they and their babies need to stay healthy, and the President’s budget has called for $10 million to test effective ways to get diapers to families in need and document the health improvements that result. But unless Congress acts, we don’t have a program to help struggling families buy diapers for their children. So, we’re getting creative and using every tool we have to help solve this problem.”
Independent diaper banks have assisted these families and many are located in the areas most affected by diaper need and poverty. Their existence is vital to the families who need them but most only provide disposable diaper assistance and some don’t have the means to provide the total or even half of the diapers a family needs each month.
Why has the White House neglected to recognize the validity of reusable diapers as a solution to at least SOME of the need that exists? One Size reusable diapers, those that fit babies ranging from 10-40 pounds on average, have the ability to help each baby at a FRACTION of the cost. They’re a one-time investment for whomever purchases- be it the diaper bank, a donor, or the family themselves.
How AMAZING would it be for the government to recognize this fact and subsidize programs that provide cloth diapers for families, or assist qualified families directly with their purchase?
How AMAZING would it be for the government to offer this as an option along with education on a local level where these families seek assistance such as WIC offices, social services, etc?
How AMAZING would it be for the government to also recognize the reduction of waste and resources used that cloth diapering on a larger scale would assist with? Obama knows the crisis this planet faces- imagine how many millions of diapers could be saved by adding cloth diapers to this plan!
To say that lower income families can’t or won’t use cloth diapers is insulting and untrue. Not offering the option or providing a hand-up when possible is also an great injustice. I can tell you that not every family can or will but they will NEVER give cloth diapers a chance if they don’t know they even exist or understand how they work. The lack of access in the most affected areas of this country means a dependence on expensive diapers at a higher cost with no hope for climbing out of the depths of poverty. This isn’t just the truth about diapers, it’s the truth about poverty. It’s expensive to be poor.
Giving Diapers, Giving Hope is able to provide 16 changes worth of diapers per child at less than $50 each when we seek out the best deal on cloth diapers. For FIFTY DOLLARS a family can save nearly $2,000 of their own money that can go towards other essentials. At FIFTY DOLLARS a family GDGH can gift a family the peace of mind that comes with knowing their baby will never have to experience wearing a diaper too long and suffering diaper rash or worse- infection. GDGH helps 40-60 families a month all over the US who qualify for assistance and our shipping partners Kelly’s Closet and Thirsties work together to send 1,000-1,600 diapers each month.
Imagine what the US Government could do with their resources that GDGH simply can’t!
Take just 10 seconds and let your voice be heard that cloth diapers are a viable solution for families facing #diaperneed by tweeting: