McClinton helps start Diaper Awareness Week

HARRISBURG, Sept. 23 – State Rep. Joanna McClinton joined a news conference at the state Capitol Tuesday to help promote the 2nd Annual Capitol Diaper Drive.

“Less fortunate families and seniors cannot afford disposable diapers and undergarments, and that could result in health problems,” said McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware. “Sadly, the diaper gap is growing here in Pennsylvania and across the United States.”

Statistics from the National Diaper Bank Network, a national nonprofit organization, demonstrate the scope of the problem. It found that:

  • One in every three mothers finds it difficult to provide diapers for her children;
  • Nearly 5.3 million children younger than three suffer from diaper need;
  • Incontinent seniors on fixed incomes can spend as much as $1,000 a year on disposable undergarments.

McClinton noted that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children program do not allow families to buy diapers with money they provide.

McClinton praised state Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Phila., for addressing the issue by organizing the diaper drive and introducing legislation to try to help people who cannot afford diapers.

Unopened diapers, wipes and other products, including incontinent products and disposable adult undergarments, are being collected in the East Wing Rotunda until Oct. 2. Labeled donation bins will also be placed in locations around the Capitol.

Youngblood has introduced two bills to help address this problem. House Bill 1405 would provide grants to help offset the costs associated with operating a diaper bank or donation program. House Bill 1406 would permanently move diapers and incontinent products into the sales tax exemption for clothing.