Diaper need is an unspoken reality for many families

Which of the following programs provides diapers to low-income families in Ohio?
  1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  2. Women Infant and Children (WIC)
  3. Help Me Grow
  4. Early Head Start
  5. None of the Above

Unfortunately, the correct answer is 5. None of the Above. The only program families in Ohio can use to access diapers is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance. In addition to all other household needs that need to be covered, families can use the cash to purchase diapers for their children. TANF is often not enough to meet all the financial needs of a family. It is the sad reality that one in three families in the U.S. experience diaper need, meaning they do not have enough diapers to change soiled diapers as recommended.

How does one decide whether to buy milk, pay the gas bill or buy diapers?

In Cuyahoga County just more than a quarter of children under age five live at or below the poverty level and half of all children under five who live in the City of Cleveland live in poverty. Families with very limited financial resources are forced into gut-wrenching decisions that no parent should have to make. How does one decide whether to buy milk, pay the gas bill or buy diapers?

Over the past 25 years or so, many communities have recognized the need for emergency diaper assistance programs for families in need. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, (NDBN) the movement to create diaper distributions began with community-based diaper drives and has evolved into large scale warehousing and diaper distribution centers. In a 2018 survey of member diaper banks, the NDBN found that on average diaper banks serve 1,237 children per month and distribute 427,399 diapers annually.

The only program families in Ohio can use to access diapers is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Locally, Preterm has observed a growing need for diapers among its patient population. Discussions with patients receiving reproductive health services have indicated patients’ difficulties affording basic needs. About 70 percent of Preterm’s patients are parents, and about 90 percent of those same patients receive financial assistance to pay for their services. Parents or caregivers who struggle financially, are likely to count diaper need as something that contributes to that struggle, but we want to know how often that is true. Access to diapers helps parents care for their families with dignity, and Preterm is dedicated to helping foster a community where everyone can live with dignity and respect. Community Solutions wants to find out what support parents and caregivers may need, whether it’s diapers or other personal care products. Please share the survey with people who care for children who wear diapers. As a way to say thank you, we will raffle off four $25 gift cards to survey takers.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DiaperNeeds