A push for government-funded diapers is getting new life, as more families struggle to afford the baby staple.
Fast-growing diaper prices are adding to the financial strain on families brought on by Covid-19 and rising inflation, according to researchers, diaper-donation programs and lawmakers. Free-diaper programs across the country distributed 74% more diapers last year than in 2019, and the elevated demand continues.
Over the past decade, Congress and state legislatures have rejected numerous efforts to earmark public money for baby-supply basics. This year, a handful of states have designated funding for such programs or are debating doing so, and Congress is considering whether to allocate $200 million for diaper banks that distribute to communities at no charge. Also gaining steam: laws that make diapers exempt from state sales tax.
“This is really monumental,” said Joanne Samuel Goldblum, founder and chief executive of the National Diaper Bank Network. The pandemic, she said, “was the first time that a lot of us have gone to the supermarket and not been able to get what we need, which is eye-opening for average Americans and politicians and policy makers.”
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