Diaper Bank Focusses on Basic Human Needs

Families with young children know that a monthly supply of diapers costs around $100. Lacking transportation many families are forced to purchase diapers at inner city convenience stores rather than a big box retailer. This can double or triple the monthly cost for diapers. Many parents are already struggling to pay for rent and food and simply cannot afford the high cost of an adequate supply of diapers for their children. Safety-net programs such as Food Stamps and WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) do not cover the cost of diapers. In poor and low-income families, a baby can spend a day or longer in one diaper, leading to potential health and abuse risks.

Most licensed childcare centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers. Low-income parents cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at childcare centers. If parents cannot access childcare, then they are less able to attend work or school. This in turn leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty.

The Diaper Bank (TDB) centralizes the fundraising and distribution of free diapers to poor families through existing service providers, including local food pantries, soup kitchens, daycare centers, social service agencies and shelters. Through its extensive Diaper Distribution Network (DDN) of 66 agencies, TDB provides free diapers to poor and low-income families in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, and Middlesex County, Connecticut.

Find out how your agency can build on The Diaper Bank's model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Why don’t families use cloth diapers for their children?

    The vast majority of licensed day care centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers.
    Most people living in poverty do not have affordable access to washing facilities. Furthermore, most coin-operated laundromats do not allow customers to wash cloth diapers for health and sanitary reasons.
    Low-income parents cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at childcare centers. If parents cannot access daycare, then they are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis. This in turn leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty.