House Democrats host news conference to address diaper needs in state

HARRISBURG, Sept. 19 -- State Reps. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, and Tina Davis, D-Bucks, held a news conference at the state Capitol today to highlight diaper needs in Pennsylvania and propose bills to address the issue.

“I am glad that we are taking the time to address this issue in Pennsylvania,” Hill-Evans said. “Communities thrive when we collaborate and work to fix the problems that are affecting our most vulnerable citizens. My bill, along with Rep. Mullins’s bill, are concrete solutions to a problem that we cannot continue to allow to exist.”

Hill-Evan’s H.B. 692, which was introduced in 2021, would establish a grant program to improve, enhance and expand access to clean diapers for infants, children, and incontinent adults.

“Most public resources, such as SNAP and WIC, do not allow families to buy diapers with the money they are provided. It’s important that we 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 people, and we must do everything we can to address their needs.”

House Bill 692 would provide funding for organizations that can provide resources for diaper and incontinence products by funding volunteer training, fundraising, collection, and outreach efforts specific to diaper resources.

The second bill, H.B. 888, introduced by Rep. Kyle Mullins, D-Lackawanna, would give the Department of Human Services the ability to aid certain low-income individuals in buying diapers for children 36 months of age or younger.

“Diapers and incontinence products are both expensive, but a necessity,” Davis said. “The need for these products was only intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and the costs of these products have only increased with inflation. We must make sure these products are available to those in need in our communities.”

Mullins, who was not able to attend today’s news conference, said, “Caring for young children is a joy and a blessing, however, the products we purchase to keep them safe, nourished, and healthy are costly. Given the high cost of everyday goods, now is a critical time to give families and diaper banks some help. As a father of a child still in the diaper stage, and as a state representative, I’m proud to join in this worthy effort with my colleagues who recognize this need in our community.”