WUOMFM

30 percent of parents can't afford diapers. A new partnership aims to change that.

May 9, 2016

When I became a mom, I was surprised – and overwhelmed – by the amount of diapers my daughter went through.

And it was expensive.

I can't imagine what it must be like to have to choose between diapers for your baby, and other necessities like food and rent.

But nearly one-third of parents in the U.S. struggle to afford enough diapers. The lowest-income families pay 14% of their income for diapers alone. Public assistance programs like food stamps don't cover diapers. And this often leads to parents changing their baby's diaper less often, which can mean serious health issues like urinary tract or staph infections. The burden also places increased stress on parents.

Many higher-income parents pay less than half as much for diapers. Lower-income families may lack transportation to go find cheaper diapers, the money to buy in bulk, or the ability to access online subscription services.

Sunday was Mother's Day. And fittingly, President Obama commemorated the day with a Medium post, explaining his plan to give low-income parents access to more affordable diapers. The White House initiative aims to close "the diaper divide" through partnerships with online retailers, diaper manufacturers, and non-profits.

The Community Diaper Program kicked off in March, with online retailer Jet.com partnering with diaper manufacturer First Quality to make more cost-effective diapers, and make them available to non-profits with free shipping and more affordable prices.

Since then over 740 nonprofits across the country have been accepted into the Community Diaper Program. Several U.S. businesses have also donated over four million diapers to diaper banks that serve low-income families.

According to the Huffington PostHuggies announced that it will donate two million additional diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network in 2016 (on top of their initial pledge of 20 million). Huggies will also match the diapers donated through the brand’s Rewards program, up to one million diapers. The Honest Company also announced plans to donate one million diapers to organizations like Baby2Baby, which provides low-income babies and children with basic necessities.

These efforts will change the lives of low-income families around the country.

You can learn more about the Community Diaper Program in the video below: