Guest post by Board of Directors member Julie Anderson
Thanks for finding your way to The Diaper Bank of Minnesota. Advocacy for better policy is one way you can help families get diapers. Here is how you can be an advocate.
Step 1: Find like-minded people, people who want to make it easier to take care of our community’s precious little ones, is the first step to make it happen. You are there right now!
Step 2: Learn about one point of information. You may have heard us say that Minnesota children cannot get government assistance for diapers. However, Keith Ellison, 5th District Representative to the U.S. House, has introduced the Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act. The bill would provide grants to states that create programs to cover diapers. Currently, federal funds from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, cannot be used for diapers.
Step 3: Take action. Please contact your House Representative in Washington D.C. Ask your representative to help pass this bill before the session ends. Find your representative here. http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
We like to think that diapers are a bipartisan issue that all leaders can get behind.
Step 4: Now that you know about this critical need, the final step to advocacy is to share what you know with friends and networks. You can like our Facebook page, write a letter to an editor or to a newsletter. Change requires relationships and facts; use your relationships and our facts. Our website is full of great messages to share. Here are a few you might want to keep handy:
- 1 in 3 American families of young children will have a time when they cannot afford diapers
- 75,000 Minnesota children live in poverty.
- Diapers cost $70-80 per month – Do the math for the minimum wage worker who must also pay rent.
- Many low income families do not have a washing machine and public laundries do not allow soiled diapers.
- A parent needs a car to buy diapers at the cheaper big box store.
- A monetary contribution to The Diaper Bank goes farther because we can purchase diapers at a wholesale rate.
And, in the end, you get to smile knowing that the babies are drier and families can focus on school and work.