"As the COVID-19 pandemic has upended life across the country and resulted in millions of parents and primary caregivers being laid off, the demand on community-based diaper banks and diaper distribution programs to provide emergency support has never been greater," says Joanne Goldblum, CEO of the National Diaper Bank Network. "Through partnerships with organizations like BAHP, we can make a difference and provide diapers for American families."
"We are pleased to partner with the National Diaper Bank Network on such a worthwhile cause," says Jane Wishneff, BAHP executive director. "With our nation's diaper banks facing depleted supplies, these are basic necessities many families need every day, and especially with depleted resources as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic."
With the support of individuals, civic organizations and companies – including diaper manufacturers – the National Diaper Bank Network and its member organizations distributed more than 80 million diapers to families in need in 2019. However, based on research published in the American Journal of Public Health this past January, we know that only a small percentage of the diaper need that exists across the country was being met before the current pandemic.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, 1 in 3 families struggled to provide enough diapers to keep their child clean, dry and healthy. Today, diaper banks are experiencing requests for help that are two, three, and four times levels previously seen, as economically secure families find themselves out of work with nowhere else to turn. Diaper bank leaders and businesses across the country have stepped up to the challenge, donating and distributing millions of additional diapers. But it simply is not enough.
Fortunately, Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) have come together to lead a bipartisan request for $200 million in emergency funding for the purchase and distribution of diapers. This critical federal investment would enable millions of families and children across the country get the diapers they need to stay healthy, return to work, and thrive.
In support of the Senators' leadership, the National Diaper Bank Network, representing more than 200 community diaper banks working in all 50 states, and the Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene products, representing U.S. manufacturers of disposable diapers, are leading a letter of businesses and nonprofit organizations calling on Congress to provide this $200 million in critically needed emergency funding.