Duckworth Helps Secure Millions in Funding to Help Low-Income Families Address Their Diaper Needs
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced today that she was successful in securing provisions in the Senate-passed American Rescue Plan that will help provide low-income families with diapers and diapering supplies. These provisions mirror the Duckworth-authored bipartisan legislation, the End Diaper Need Act, which was introduced in February.
“When families are struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads in the midst of a deadly pandemic, the last thing parents should have to worry about is being able to buy diapers that are essential to the health and well-being of their children,” said Duckworth. “I’m so proud that the American Rescue Plan includes provisions similar to my bill that will provide critical funding and authority for home visiting providers of maternal, infant and early childhood services to partner with diaper banks to make sure low-income and at-risk families are able to meet their diaper and diapering supply needs. This is an important first step that build momentum towards advancing my bipartisan End Diaper Need Act later this Congress.”
Under the recently passed bill, states and other entities receiving funds for Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV), which was appropriated $150 million in the American Rescue Plan, must coordinate, to the extent practicable, with local diaper banks in providing emergency supplies, including diapers and diapering supplies, to low-income families, young mothers and other at-risk communities. The American Rescue Plan also allows for funds to be spent on reimbursement for supplies to diaper banks, which are providing millions of diapers to families hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diapers are not only critical for those who wear them; they’re also essential for the economic and emotional health of a family as a whole. However, in this country, prior to the pandemic, one in three families reported not having enough diapers. It’s estimated that infants require up to 12 diapers a day, while toddlers need up to 8 per day, costing up to $80 per month per baby. These numbers have skyrocketed in the past year.
Duckworth’s bipartisan bill, the End Diaper Need Act, would provide resources to assist low-income and middle-class families address their diaper needs and help ensure the health and well-being of those who rely on diapers, including infants, toddlers, medically complex children, low-income adults and adults with disabilities. This legislation would provide funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Social Services Block Grant program to assist families with their diaper needs. It would also provide at least 200 medically necessary diapers per month under the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Program and make medically necessary diapers eligible for reimbursement through Health Savings Accounts. Duckworth is the first Senator to give birth while serving in office and in 2018 she advocated for the Senate to change its rules so she could bring her infant onto the Senate floor.
Duckworth’s End Diaper Need Act is endorsed by several organizations, including: National Diaper Bank Network; The Center for Baby and Adult Hygiene Products; The Center for Law and Social Policy; First Focus Campaign for Children; Huggies(R); National WIC Association; NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice; Pampers(R); Parents as Teachers; Proctor & Gamble; Prevent Child Abuse and ZERO TO THREE.
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