National Diaper Need Awareness Week Highlights “Silent Crisis” That COVID Made Worse

National Diaper Need Awareness Week (Sept. 21 – 27, 2020) shines a light on how many children lack this basic necessity – and on the many nonprofits across the US working to change that, including us here at Jake’s Diapers. We’re excited to share that five local counties have joined us in recognizing this week as National Diaper Need Awareness Week through official proclamations.

On an ordinary day, one in three US families cannot afford diapers for their young children. During the pandemic that has stopped paychecks for many Americans, and we’ve seen an increase in demand of over 300%. Our Eastern Wisconsin Diaper Bank Initiative is a proud member of the National Diaper Bank Network, which has an active membership of over 200 diaper banks across the United States. 

“We’ve always called diaper need a ‘silent crisis,’” says National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) CEO Joanne Samuel Goldblum. “Today that crisis is bigger than ever, as we’re seeing extraordinary numbers of families who cannot buy diapers. This creates a whole cascade of health and economic problems.”

Babies who are not changed frequently enough risk diaper rash and even serious infection. Moms experiencing diaper need have higher rates of depression. Because most childcare providers require parents to supply disposable diapers, diaper need keeps children at home. That means they miss out on early childhood education, and their parents miss work – an average for four days per month for affected families.

Some facts about diaper need:
• NDBN members distributed nearly 69 million diapers last year, keeping more
than 200,000 children clean, dry and healthy every month.
• Government assistance programs like SNAP and WIC do not pay for diapers.
• Keeping a baby diapered can cost $80 per month.
• 5 million US children under the age of three live in poor or low-income families.
• For every $1 spent on diaper assistance, a family’s income increases $11.
• When families receive free diapers, their children need fewer pediatrician visits.
• Low-income families pay the highest price for diapers – 14% of their income —
because they don’t have resources that help them access good deals, such as
transportation or warehouse club membership.

About Our Efforts in NE Wisconsin: Jake’s Diapers recognizes many families in our region of Wisconsin struggle on a regular basis with basic needs and hygiene necessities. This is why we’ve created the Eastern Wisconsin Diaper Bank Initiative to supply diapers to local families in need.