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New California Diaper Benefit Aims to Reduce Diaper Need among Low-Wage Families

According to a newly released study by Huggies and the National Diaper Bank Network, Diaper Need and Its Impact on U.S. Families, one-in-three U.S. families (36 percent) are in diaper need.

Of families in diaper need, three-in-five parents (57%) miss work or school due to a lack of sufficient diapers required by child care, day care or early education programs to care for a baby or toddler.

California becomes first U.S. state to provide families with assistance of $30 per month for diaper costs for children under three years old.

This is about helping hard-working families take care of the basics. This is about much more than diapers. It's about helping a parent keep or find a job."”
— Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher
NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT, UNITED STATES, October 13, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ -- California Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to create the first statewide diaper need assistance program for low-income families in the nation.

Introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), AB 480 provides CalWORKs welfare-to-work participants assistance with diaper costs for children under three years old. Qualified families will receive a diaper benefit of $30 per month.

The new benefit represents a multi-year effort by Gonzalez Fletcher, her colleagues in the California State Assembly, the California Women’s Caucus, and countless supporters within the diaper bank community, not only in California, but throughout the U.S. These advocates actively work to help the one-in-three U.S. families that experience diaper need, defined as the struggle to provide enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry and healthy.

“This is about helping hard-working families take care of the basics,'' said Gonzalez Fletcher. “This is about much more than diapers. It's about helping a parent keep or find a job, a task that is much more difficult if you don't have child care. And it's very, very hard to find child care if you can't provide a day-care facility with diapers for your child.''

According to Gonzalez Fletcher, "The work of the Women's Caucus and Governor Brown's signature today show California is again leading the way when it comes to protecting women who need it the most."

“Lorena is a longtime champion in the effort to end diaper need,” said Alison Weir, chief of policy, research, and analysis for the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), who has presented expert testimony on diaper need to the Assembly. “We’re thrilled that Governor Brown has once again put California in the forefront of addressing the vital basic needs of children and families. We expect this legislation to serve as a model for other state legislatures, and the U.S. Congress.”

According the Weir, the Western Center for Law and Poverty and NDBN-member diaper bank programs in California, including Help A Mother Out, Baby2Baby and Sacramento Food Bank, were instrumental in garnering support for the bill.

“Help a Mother Out commends Assemblymember Gonzalez Fletcher for her persistent efforts to include diapers in California’s safety net, and for her leadership in sponsoring AB480,” said Lisa Truong, executive director of Help a Mother Out which works to address the unmet immediate need in the community and engaged in legislative advocacy for public policy solutions to end diaper need. “We applaud Gov. Brown for signing AB 480 into law.”

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) also offered support for the legislation. She is also a co-sponsor of H.R. 1143 – Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act of 2017 introduced by U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), both strong advocates for eliminating diaper need in America. The bill would authorize the Administration for Children and Families to “make grants to eligible entities to conduct demonstration projects that implement and evaluate strategies to help families with eligible children to address the diapering needs of such children.”

About the National Diaper Bank Network: The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) is a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need in America, by leading a national movement to help meet the basic needs of all babies and their families…including access to clean, dry diapers and other material goods. Founded in 2011 with the support of Huggies®, the network raises national awareness of diaper need (#DiaperNeed) and supports the development and expansion of diaper banks in communities throughout the country. Its active membership includes more than 300 diaper banks, diaper pantries, and food banks located in 47 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. More information on NDBN and diaper need is available at www.nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org, and on Twitter (@DiaperNetwork) and Facebook (facebook.com/NationalDiaperBankNetwork).

Troy Moore
National Diaper Bank Network
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