Organization: National Diaper Bank Network
Outreach: National – United States
Many people are unaware that government assistance programs do not provide funding for diapers, a basic necessity for babies. There are currently 5.1 million infants and toddlers living in poor and low-income families. 1 in 3 US families struggles to provide diapers for their baby, this is known as diaper need, and it is recognized as a public health issue. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the poorest 20 percent of Americans who buy diapers spend nearly 14 percent of their post tax income on diapers.
Prior to founding the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), CEO Joanne Samuel Goldblum worked as a licensed social worker and she often visited homes of her clients. She saw firsthand that far too many parents living in poverty struggled to afford clean diapers, a basic need for all children. Because of a lack of diapers, some parents air-dried wet disposable diapers or emptied solids from diapers before reusing it on their child. She also heard parents’ stories about the difficult choices they faced between food, rent, diapers, and other basic needs. She learned that government safety net programs (SNAP, WIC) do not provide diapers as they are food-based programs. No programs provide for material basic needs such as diapers. In 2004 she founded The Diaper Bank of Connecticut (formerly The New Haven Diaper Bank) and began collecting, storing and distributing free diapers to poor families through existing service providers. Then in 2011, she founded the National Diaper Bank Network with the support of founding sponsor Huggies®. Today, the national organization has more than 240 member programs in 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. NDBN is recognized as the foremost authority on diaper need in America.
The National Diaper Bank Network provides free resources to individuals and organizations interested in hosting diaper drives and/or starting diaper bank programs in their local community. Information on how to host a diaper drive is available at https://nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org/how-to-host-a-diaper-drive/