Families are increasingly struggling to afford diapers


“What do you need?” someone asked about a month before my baby was born.

I just read a New York Times article that diapers are the latest pandemic shortage and was already nervous about the extra cost. “I’m worried about the need for diapers, rising prices and the inability to find them,” I said. The news covered parents stealing diapers during the crisis. Neither parent should be put in such a position to receive the basic needs for the well-being of their child.

I knew diapers would become a necessity, and thought about the resources for this need that my family is about to face. The baby appeared eight days earlier in late October 2021 instead of the scheduled birth date of November 1st. By the new year, we had changed about 650 diapers.

Need diapers through NC

Most families spend an average of $ 100 a month on diapers. Let’s disassemble this. A pack of 37 Pampers costs just under $ 10 at Walmart. That’s about 27 cents per diaper. My baby is pretty calm, but one of the things the baby hates the most is wet diapers. Those 27 cents give me the peace and quiet that this tired new mom needs.

Diapers are needed by all parents and children. And it was a huge need even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and we were looking for toilet paper. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, every third American family has difficulty paying for diapers. Prices are different, and the price is only growing. We can all perceive when we think of a subject that many take for granted.

Unlike how Medicaid, SNAP, and WIC help low-income families with health and nutrition, unfortunately, there is no federal program to support those in need, diapers, wipes, and other early childhood needs. Facts About North Carolina Diaperscomposed of National Diaper Network in March 2021 will demonstrate a staggering amount of this need across the state.

Enter North Carolina Diaper Bank (DBNC), which operates from Durham and serves the Triangle, Grand Triad, Charlotte and Cape Fear, and Children need legsserving seven counties in West North Carolina.

Michelle Old launched DBNC in 2013 from her kitchen table to provide 50,000 diapers in Durham, but has now introduced 15 million diapers nationwide, with four warehouses serving 65 of the state’s 100 counties.

“Since COVID-19, we have seen a 400% increase in diaper requests, an 800% increase in period products and a 2,000% increase in adult incontinence supplies,” Old said. “It’s volatile and overwhelming. He didn’t slow down at all. “

Reimbursement can cover about 14-16% of a family’s income if they live in poverty. Between rising cost of living, limited employment opportunities, expensive retail prices of diapers and significant poverty, parents are strained trying to make ends meet and provide for their children.

Because of this, Megan Leimen, co-executive director of Babies Need Bottoms, said: “We need to see that the need for diapers will be recognized in the way it is at the intersection of many social needs. It affects everyone and everywhere. ”

How a diaper bank works

Diaper banks work with social service agencies and community organizations that already work with families living in poverty or in crisis. Partnerships help eliminate barriers for families by meeting them where they already receive services.

“We know that such a simple thing as a diaper has a huge impact on families as well as partners in society,” Old said.

Thanks to diaper delivery and referrals, DBNC has seen an 83% increase in home visits and customer retention, increased customer contact and even increased immunization rates. It is an exhilarating effect of well-being and stability for the child, parents and family.

Alicia Hickok, co-executive director of Children Need Days, would like a diaper bank to be set up in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties to improve health and improve social determinants of health. Some communities have more resources than others to support families during times of trouble.

People talk about food security concerns, but if families can’t afford food, they also can’t afford hygiene products such as diapers. Families work hard: 78% work in one or three jobs and still cannot afford the basic means. When families receive diapers through a diaper bank, they also receive the information needed to address other issues, such as reimbursement of utility bills, referral for mental health, getting enough food, access to transportation or clothing.

Help #EndDiaperNeed

Both organizations also stressed concerns about luxury taxes on hygiene products and an interest in serving more families. At present, diapers belong to the category of household goods as well as plates, but this basic need serves to maintain human dignity and public health. This a bipartisan trend across the country around the abolition of the diaper sales tax.

“We are encouraged by this political movement because it leads to measurable savings for families, which leads to real changes in their life experiences,” Leimena said.

Basic needs require both micro and macro solutions. All diaper banks require community support and donations of diapers and dollars to improve the well-being of children and families in local communities.

We asked Peleni Bank of North Carolina and Babies Need Bottoms as the best way to help them and the parents they now serve.

Well, many parents say that getting diapers reduces their stress levels, so diaper banks say they need to donate diapers, dollars or time to meet that need and reduce stress.

Lindsay Saunders

Lindsay Saunders is director of marketing and communications at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation.

Families are increasingly struggling to afford diapers

Source link Families are increasingly struggling to afford diapers