Samuelson to help launch Lehigh Valley diaper drive

Lawmaker, Second Harvest Food Bank to detail effort Monday, Nov. 21

BETHLEHEM, Nov. 18 – State Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton, today said he is joining the Second Harvest Food Bank to launch a Lehigh Valley diaper drive to help area families afford disposable diapers.

“Many families and seniors on fixed incomes are simply unable to afford disposable diapers and undergarments,” Samuelson said. “I’m excited to work with the food bank to improve access to a reliable supply of diapers, which is a necessity for the health and well-being of families young and old.”

Samuelson and the Second Harvest Food Bank will outline the donation drive to collect unopened diapers, wipes and other products, including incontinence products and disposable adult undergarments, at a news conference at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21, at the Salvation Army, 521 Pembroke Road.

“Infants and toddlers living in households with little or no access to diapers face significant potential health risks,” Samuelson said. “A lack of diapers also has serious economic and educational effects because a supply of diapers is usually required for infant and toddlers to attend and participate in childcare programs.”

Samuelson said seniors and incontinent adults face health risks with the lack of clean, disposable undergarments.

“The diaper drive will improve the area’s safety net and provide overlooked but needed items to those in desperate need of just a small measure of assistance,” Samuelson said. “We can do this.”

Samuelson cited these statistics from the National Diaper Bank Network, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the diaper gap in the United States:

  • One in every three mothers finds it difficult to provide diapers for her children;

  • Nearly 5.3 million children under 3 suffer from diaper need; and

  • For incontinent seniors on fixed incomes, purchasing what they often view as their most important item of clothing can cost as much as $1,000 a year.

    Diaper donations will be collected at the Salvation Army and at Samuelson’s district office at 104 E. Broad St. Donations made by check payable to the Second Harvest Food Bank will be used to purchase diapers in bulk.