Obama Gives Families A Parting Gift By Helping End Diaper Need

by Jerriann Sullivan
Originally Published: 
Image via Shutterstock.

The White House partners with several companies to help struggling families access diapers

One in three American families exhibit something called “diaper need.” Simply put, they struggle to afford enough diapers. One in three.

As one last parting gift to American families, the White House announced additional efforts to help end the diaper gap. “Research has shown that mothers who are unable to afford diapers for their babies are more likely to suffer from maternal depression and mental health issues,” Obama said.

Detroit Lines fans bring donations to a diaper drive hosted by Huggies. Image via Huggies.

AP Images for Huggies

While a lot of families have been able to cut down on the costs of diapers by ordering online and in bulk, many families don’t have access to these advantages. “Low-income parents with infants and toddlers spend 14 percent of their income on diapers alone – leaving less room to cover rent, food, or heat,” explained Joshua Miller, who works for the White House as a Director of Product Management in the Office of Digital Strategy. The pressure to provide so much with so little can lead to health problems for babies and unfathomable stress for parents. “I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be a parent that has to choose between diapers and other basic expenses,” Obama shared.

To reduce this stress on families who are struggling the White House partnered with Huggies, Jet, and other businesses and nonprofits to increase donations of diapers to America’s neediest families. And you can help, too.

“The promise we make is to get babies what they need to thrive,” Huggies Brand Director Aric Melzl told Scary Mommy. “This is what we’re about, and we’re delighted to be a part of it.” Huggies donated more than 48 million diapers and wipers to needy families just this year. Since they launched their program in 2010, the company has given away 200 million diapers.

Miami Dolphins fans brought donations to a diaper drive hosted by Huggies. Image via Huggies.

AP Images for Huggies

The White House announced other efforts their partners have made and are continuing to make to close the diaper gap. The JetCares Community Diaper Program has shipped close to 5 million diapers to nonprofits, some of which have doubled the number of diapers they can distribute since the program launched. A crucial element of the program is bringing diapers to the low-income families, which is why Pampers donated almost 19 million diapers and wipes to Feeding America food banks. Baby2Baby joined the cause and distributed five million diapers to 120 nonprofits this year. And the Honest Company gave away a million baby, personal care, and household items and three million diapers to nonprofits that help families in need.

“No mother or father should have to worry about keeping their baby clean and healthy because they can’t afford diapers,” Obama said. “Whether a Republican or Democrat, in the private sector or in public service, we all have a role to play in keeping our families and communities strong.”

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