Published in the Herald-Times on Monday, September 23, 2019.
Diaper need is a crisis affecting 1 in 3 Hoosier families, yet most people are unaware that our neighbors struggle with the hidden consequences of not being able to afford this basic necessity.
Every day, I hear from parents about the impact of not having enough diapers for their children. They’re battling health concerns, such as diaper rash and infections, as well as social fallout, like being unwelcome at most daycare programs, where BYOD (“bring your own diapers”) is an admittance requirement.
The cost of diapers is overwhelming for most families, but for those living in poverty, the $80 a month it takes to keep one newborn clean and dry is crushing. State and federal programs don’t provide coverage for diapers, and legislative efforts to make diapers tax-exempt, such as the bill put forth this year by Indiana state Rep. Carey Hamilton, repeatedly fail to get support.
All-Options’ Hoosier Diaper Program provides monthly diapers for more than 130 children — but we can’t solve diaper need on our own. On this National Diaper Need Awareness Week, I encourage you to learn more about this invisible burden and support the efforts of local diaper banks and policymakers advocating for change.
Center Manager, All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center