Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro introduced the End Diaper Need Act of 2019. This legislation would create a $100 million demonstration program for distributing free diapers and diapering products in states, communities, and nonprofits around the nation to help reduce the diaper need in low-income families and underserved communities. Eligible entities would have discretion on how to implement the program, and how to best distribute diapers to families in need.
"One in three families experience diaper need, which often leads to negative health outcomes for vulnerable children. We also know that many low-income families and families of color spend twice as much on diapers for their children compared to families who have the means to buy diapers in bulk at a lower price," said Congresswoman Lee. "Most child care centers won't accept a child without an adequate supply of diapers, preventing low-income families from enrolling their child in child care and returning to work. These families should not have to choose between purchasing basic household needs and buying diapers. It is past time for our government to provide this basic need for millions of children. I am proud to introduce this bill to help ensure that all children have access to clean diapers and that everyday parents have the resources they need to support their families."
"No family should have to choose between buying diapers for their child or buying groceries--but that is exactly the situation many families face every day," said Congresswoman DeLauro. "Diapers are a matter of basic hygiene, and they are expensive. That is why we need to pass the End Diaper Need Act--so that families in need can get diapers and diapering supplies. Through this legislation, and as Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Health and Human Services, I will not back down from the fight to help working families."
The bill is supported by a coalition of national organizations, including: African American Health Alliance, Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs, Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), Center for Law and Social Policy, Coalition on Human Needs (CHN), First Focus, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda, Moms Rising, National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), National Women's Law Center (NWLC), NETWORK, Results International, Parents as Teachers National Center, The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Western Center on Law and Poverty, and ZERO TO THREE.
"Basics aren't basic, they're essential, and clean diapers are a basic necessity that all babies and toddlers need to thrive," said Joanne Goldblum, CEO National Diaper Bank Network. "We know that the End Diaper Need Act of 2019 will help improve the physical, mental and economic well-being of children and families living in poverty. The National Diaper Bank Network, and our 200-plus member diaper banks, fully support the bill. We are grateful to Congresswoman DeLauro and Congresswoman Lee for their ongoing commitment to ending diaper need in America."