Rep. Hill-Evans and colleagues announce 'Diaper Need Awareness Week' in Pennsylvania.

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – A group of House Democrat legislators unveiled their plan to raise awareness to a growing epidemic of many families and seniors on fixed incomes who are unable to afford disposable diapers and undergarments.

State Reps. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York; Tina Davis, D-Bucks; Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna; and Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, were joined by their legislative colleagues to announce their diaper drive campaign.

“Affordable and equitable access to clean diapers establishes a healthy foundation for every infant, while incontinence products help our older adults with their needs,” Hill-Evans said. “Throughout the fall legislative session, I will continue to advocate for my bills that are currently in the House Health Committee – bills that address basic needs and help families with financial burdens for the 1 in 3 U.S. families that experience diaper need.” 

Davis said it’s heartbreaking to think that a child could remain in a soiled diaper just because there are not enough diapers to go around.

“Diaper Need Awareness Week should serve as a reminder to all of us that a lack of diapers for infants and toddlers, and incontinence products for adults, is a public health issue that needs to be addressed,” Davis said. “A third of families are struggling to provide this essential need, an alarming statistic considering we are talking about the basic needs of both seniors and children – irreplaceable members of our community who we need to support and protect.”

Mullins said diaper need is often a hidden result of extreme poverty for a family.

“My wife and I, along with anyone who’s ever cared for a young child, know how expensive diapers and other items can be,” Mullins said. “As elected leaders, we must work to remove any barriers that hinder a parent’s ability to keep their child safe and healthy. In addition to raising awareness of the barriers facing so many families, we must pass legislation to provide state assistance to individuals and diaper banks to help meet this serious need.”

Pashinski noted that most public resources, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Program and the Women, Infants and Children program do not allow families to buy diapers with money they provide.

“Diaper Need Awareness Week is an important time to recognize this critical problem facing Pennsylvania’s families with small children and adults with incontinence,” Pashinski said. “The lack of access to a clean, consistent supply of disposable undergarments is a serious health risk for many Pennsylvanians, and we must do everything we can to address their needs – including supporting Diaper Drives like the one I’m co-hosting with Representatives Hill-Evans, Davis and Mullins.”

The diaper drive is being held in conjunction with Healthy Steps Diaper Bank. Donation boxes are set up outside the Capitol offices of the participating legislators from today to Friday, Oct.1.

Diaper Need Awareness Week was announced in conjunction with H.B. 692 and H.B. 888.

For more information on the Diaper Need Awareness Drive, residents may contact Hill-Evans’ Harrisburg office at 717-787-7514 or contact her York office at 717-848-9595.

EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESK: Video of today’s event can be found here.