The federal government is partnering with seven organizations and tribes across the country for an $8 million diaper distribution pilot project.
The Administration for Children and Families announced the Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot in September during National Diaper Need Awareness Week. Roughly a third of families aren’t able to provide enough diapers for their babies and toddlers, according to ACF.
“Parents shouldn’t have to worry that their babies will go without the most basic of needs. Diapers are a crucial resource for families with babies and young children,” ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras stated in a press release announcing the project.
For parents making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, diapers for one child alone can cost up to 8% of their total income, she said.
The organizations selected for funding are:
- Massachusetts Association of Community Action Programs, Boston
- California Community Action Partnership Association, Sacramento
- Ohio Community Action Training Organization, Columbus
- Maryland Community Action Partnership, Annapolis
- Utah Community Action Partnership Association Inc, Layton
- Community Action Association of Alabama, Birmingham
- Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation, Agency Village
This is the second round of grants awarded through this pilot. Last year, agencies in Arizona, Iowa, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency received grants.
The funding for the project — the first federally funded diaper assistance program — comes from the Office of Community Services’ Division of Community Discretionary and Demonstration Programs, billed as a tool to help break a cycle of poverty. Without enough diapers, children often can’t go to childcare centers, thus keeping their parents from working.
In addition to expanding diaper distribution capacity in their areas, the grant recipients are tasked with linking low-income families to other anti-poverty and family support programs, like job training, housing services and Early Head Start.
“The diaper distribution pilot is about more than just diapers,” said ACF Office of Community Services Director Dr. Lanikque Howard. “It is about lifting a real and tangible barrier to health and well-being for low-income families and connecting those families with other programs that address the conditions and causes of poverty,”