Buy diapers? Buy food to feed your family? OR pay the rent? TOUGH CHOICE. Chances are you won't be faced with making this decision, but it's a common one for low-income families. To make due, some parents cut back on the food budget. Others "stretch" the use of a diaper by cleaning it out and putting it back on.
And, cash strapped parents often have no choice but to leave their baby in the same diaper all day or longer, leading to potential health and abuse risks. A baby left in a wet, dirty diaper all day can experience diaper rash, infection and other worse health problems. A baby suffering from severe diaper rash and irritation is an unhappy baby. And an unhappy baby is a crying baby stressing out already stressed caregivers living in need. Babies who cry excessively are the most likely to be victims of shaken baby syndrome.*
One in three families struggle to afford diapers, and surprisingly, diapers cannot be bought with food stamps. Rather, diapers are categorized with alcohol and tobacco as ineligible items. Diapers are a small thing, but they can have a big impact on a family's ability to become self-sufficient. If low-income parents cannot provide a steady supply of disposable diapers, they cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare, and without childcare, they are less able to attend work or school on a consistent basis. In turn, this leads to increased economic instability and a continuation of the cycle of poverty. With an adequate supply of clean, dry diapers, parents can access these daycare and early education programs so parents can work or attend school.**
HELP CHILDREN IN NEED. RAISE AWARENESS. MAKE A CHANGE.
Together with our partner agencies and through community efforts, large and small, Make A Change Diaper Bank works to strengthen families in need by providing them with a reliable and adequate supply of free diapers while raising awareness of the need for diapers.