Obama To Poor Families: We’ll Help You Out With The Cost Of . . .

The cost of having children is extraordinarily high. Parents understand this all too well, especially those who live from check to check.

Fortunately, there are many programs, such as WIC, SNAP, and Medicaid, that help out with necessities such as food, formula, and healthcare. But what about diapers?

The Cost of Diapers

Sadly, one in three families cannot afford this basic necessity. According to the White House, there is a significant ‘diaper gap’ in our nation when:

“The lowest-income quintile of families with infants pay 14 percent of their income for diapers alone – an average of $936 for diapers per child each year, while many higher income families pay less than half that amount.”

The reason higher-income families pay less is that they have the means — transportation, money, credit, internet access — to buy in bulk.

Where low-income families cannot afford diapers, or do not have access to buying cheaper diapers, they often attempt to stretch out the diapers they do have. This is very unhealthy and can lead to conditions “like urninary tract or staph infections.” Sometimes, these conditions are so severe that it could lead to hospitalization.

Families are also left with the stress of having to decide between diapers and paying for other necessities such as “food, rent, or utilities like heat.” The White House believes that this choice is one that “no family should have to make.” They point out that:

“In the worst case, over time these stressors can contribute to the incidence of abuse and neglect of young children.”

How Do We Solve the Diaper Gap and Reduce the Cost of Diapers?

There are some non-profits who help low-income families by distributing diapers to those in need. These non-profits include various diaper banks and organizations such as Covenant House or New Haven’s Mom Partnership. The problem is, buying diapers is expensive for these non-profits, too.

The Obama administration has made attempts to bridge this great ‘diaper gap;’ but, just as with everything Obama proposes, Congress has been slow to address this problem. Thus, the Obama administration decided to get creative.

On Thursday, March 10, they announced that they have partnered with “online retailers, diaper manufacturers, and non-profits” to make diapers affordable for the poorest families in our nation.

Businesses, Organizations Want to Help with the Cost of Diapers

In their response to the White House, the following organizations have agreed and volunteered to help out:

  • Jet.com will offer free shipping of diapers and other baby needs to non-profits who are serving families in need.
  • First Quality, who makes Cuties brand diapers, agreed to change their packaging by using less ink and more efficient packaging, ultimately reducing the overall costs of their diapers, making it cheaper for non-profits to purchase.
  • Community Diaper Program offers 25 percent discount off of diapers and 48 hour shipping for non-profits.
  • Huggies will donate two million diapers to the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and will match any public donation through April 10.
  • The Honest Company also will donate one million diapers to NDBN.

How You Can Help

The White House wants you to know that you can help out, too by:

  • Telling anyone you know who needs help from these non-profits to head to the NDBN website to find their nearest diaper bank.
  • Help out NDBN through donations or social campaigns.
  • Spread awareness about these organizations with #DiaperGap.
  • Or, if you are a non-profit learn about how you can start your own diaper bank by going to Jet.com.

This is Not A Welfare Project, This Helping With a Basic Need

This project is not a hand out; this is a way to make diapers more accessible to all families.

As the richest nation in the world, our children should be able to “grow, thrive, and reach their full potential.” The White House is committed to make this possible by:

[H]arnessing the tools of this new economy to serve all Americans, because no family should have to choose between keeping their babies healthy and keeping the lights or heat on.

By using these tools and having the help of both online retailers, manufacturers, and non-profits, the White House will be able to bridge the diaper gap. As a result, more families will be able to afford diapers.


Watch Jet.com’s video on diaper gap:


Featured image by The White House under a United States Government Works License.