Every time we help an organization host a diaper drive, we hear stories about what many people know (or more likely don’t know) about diaper need in Minnesota. So we thought it might be helpful to debunk a few myths we commonly hear about.
Myth #1: Low income parents can use SNAP for diapers
Unfortunately, food stamps or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cannot be used for diapers. Although this program is incredibly necessary and certainly helps many needy families in Minnesota, SNAP does not provide help to purchase diapers.
The good news here is that Representative Keith Ellison and Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro recently introduced the Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act of 2015 that would provide finances to help families keep their little ones in clean diapers.
Myth #2: People should just use cloth diapers
It’s pretty common knowledge that families can save money in the long-run by using cloth diapers. So it seems logical to suggest that lower-income families could keep their babies’ bottoms dry and clean by using cloth diapers.
Unfortunately, the cost-savings associated with cloth diapers really only apply to families that can purchase the cloth diapers (which cost more up-front) and have access to a personal washing machine.
This poses two problems for many families. First, they don’t have the cash on hand to purchase cloth diapers. Secondly, many don’t have their own laundry machine. And public laundromats often do not allow you to wash soiled diapers in them.
Myth #3: Diapers aren’t really that expensive
With statistics floating around like “each diaper only costs 20 cents,” it’s easy to think that diapers only make up a small portion of a family’s monthly budget. But consider that most babies will go through approximately 2500 diapers in the first year. That would cost $500 for the first year.
When you’re already living paycheck to paycheck, finding an extra $40 each month can seem nearly impossible.
So what can you do to help?
Now that you know the facts about these common myths, you can help in a few ways. First, talk about it! It sounds simple, but the more people know about diaper need in our community, the more they can help address it.
You can find other ways to help the Diaper Drive keep more bottoms dry in Minnesota on our How Can I Help? page.