HHS Awards an Additional $8.2M to Expand Pilot Diaper Distribution Program
Total Investment of $16.2M supports first-ever federally funded diaper distribution program for low-income families.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), announced an additional $8.2 million to support the first-ever federally funded diaper distribution program for low-income families. Initially launched in September 2022, the Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot (Diaper Distribution Pilot) will add an additional six states and one tribe to the original grant recipients to address widespread diaper need. This new allocation brings the total funding for the pilot to $16.2 million, which will support projects in a total of twelve states and two tribes.
“Parents and caregivers need support when caring for a little one, and these grants will lower financial burden and anxieties at an important time in their lives,” stated HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “HHS believes the Diaper Distribution Pilot fulfills a critical need for families and communities, and we are looking forward to expanding the program to serve additional communities in these new states and tribes.”
The seven new grants will serve families in Alabama, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Utah, and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. Grant recipients will work with Community Action Agencies, social service agencies, and local diaper banks to strengthen and expand existing distribution infrastructure and provide wraparound support services to assist families experiencing critical diaper need. The Diaper Distribution Pilot was designed to leverage established, community-based partnerships to not only address diaper needs but accelerate access to concrete supports for participating families.
“One in three families in the United States do not have enough diapers to meet the needs of their babies and toddlers,” noted ACF Assistant Secretary January Contreras. “Every family should have the resources to ensure they can maintain the health of their children without sacrificing their financial stability, and this program does exactly that.
Diaper need disproportionately impacts families with low incomes. Diapers alone can cost 8 percent of a person’s total income if they are earning the federal minimum wage. Support for diapers and diapering supplies has been found to reduce economic stress, increase workforce participation, increase family income, and improve both children and caregivers’ health and wellbeing. Through ACF’s Office of Community Services, the Diaper Distribution Pilot awarded $8 million in September 2022 to Arizona, Iowa, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Virginia, and the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency in Washington state.
“When a family lacks access to diapers, it impacts their overall health and wellbeing,” said ACF Office of Community Services Director Dr. Lanikque Howard. “This program will help families with young children at a time when they are in greatest need of relief.”
To learn about ACF’ Office of Community Services’ other anti-poverty strategies, visit www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/help.