Lawmakers push to fund diaper banks in state budget
ALBANY, NY (WENY)--THIS WEEK SOME LAWMAKERS AND ADVOACTES CALL ON GOV. KATHY HOCHUL TO INCLude $1.5 million IN HER FINAL BUDGET PLAN FOR DIAPER BANKS.
LAST YEAR’S STATE BUDGET INCLUDED $500,000 FOR DIAPER BANKS. LAWMAKERS SAY WHILE THIS WAS A VICTORY DIAPER BANKS NEED MORE--STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF ENSURING FAMILIES HAVE ENOUGH DIAPERS.
“Families, giving them access to diapers is an important, important thing. If we don’t, there are children who are in soiled diapers all day. There are all kinds of issues occurring and then in the long run, we’ll pay on the healthcare end because a child didn’t have a diaper,” said Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D-19th Senate District).
Sen. PERSAUD ADDed THIS FUNDING COULD ALSO POTENTIALLY OPEN NEW DIAPER BANKS. SHE SAid THE 16 EXISTING BANKS ACROSS THE STATE IS NOT ENOUGH.
SOME ADVOCATES WHO TRAVELED TO ALBANY TO RALLY FOR THIS FUNDING STRESS THE NEED FOR DIAPERS IS A GROWING ISSUE.
ACCORDING TO A 2023 STUDY FROM THE NATIONAL DIAPER BANK NETWORK, 1 in 2 FAMILIES IN THE UNITED STATES CANNOT AFFORD ENOUGH DIAPERS TO KEEP THEIR INFANT OR CHILD CLEAN AND HEALTHY.
AND 3 in 5 PARENTS MISS WORK OR SCHOOL BECAUSE THEY CAN’T AFFORD THE DIAPERS REQUIRED TO LEAVE THEIR KIDS IN DAYCARE.
“So, forty-seven percent of families with young children are now struggling to afford these basic necessities. That’s why diaper banks exist. They exist to fill those gaps,” said Lacey Gero, director of government relations at the National Diaper Bank Network.
GERO SAid AS THE NEED GROWS SO DOES THE DEMAND FOR DIAPER BANK SERVICES.
“So, now more than ever, diaper banks are needing help they’re needing assistance and government investment to keep their work going,” she said.