The West Steps: What you have always wanted to know about diapers
When families can’t afford diapers, it impacts more than just their child’s health and well-being. Not having enough diapers can result in maternal depression, prevent families from accessing child care, and ultimately leads to stress and shame for parents who are unable to provide this crucial need for their child. Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 3 families in America did not have enough diapers for their children. In Colorado, this equated to roughly 60-70,000 infants and toddlers. Diapers are a basic need and should be treated as such, making it more important than ever to invest in state and federal programs that address this issue.
In episode 11 of The West Steps, we welcome Kristen Seidel, Board Secretary for the Women’s Lobby of Colorado; Lindsey Zaback, Director of Programs, Outreach, and Engagement at WeeCycle; and Riley Kitts, Government Affairs Director for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Our discussion focuses on an often-overlooked issue that is increasingly impacting families—access to diapers. Diaper access is more than just a basic need, it is also an equity issue. Programs such as WIC and SNAP do not cover diapering products, often resulting in parents having to reuse disposable diapers or use plastic bags and toilet paper instead. With families in Colorado facing an even greater need for diapers as a result of the pandemic, it is critical to advocate for legislation that seeks to address this problem.
SB 027 would provide funding to nonprofit organizations across the state that would allow these organizations to distribute diapers to families in their communities. With this bill currently sitting in the Senate Appropriations Committee, there are still ways you can help. Contact your elected official today and advocate for this bill, and ultimately, the thousands of families experiencing diaper need.