NEENAH, Wis., Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- This week kicks off National Diaper Need Awareness Week, which was created in 2012 by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) and Huggies® as a way to draw attention to the issue of diaper need in the United States.
Diaper need is the lack of enough diapers to keep a baby or toddler clean, dry, and healthy, and is a recognized public health issue that impacts the physical, mental and economic well-being of U.S. children and families. Diaper need can result from poverty, unexpected life hardships, natural disasters and so much more. As the founding sponsor of NBDN, Kimberly-Clark's North America Huggies brand has donated more than 300 million diapers and wipes in the past decade to help struggling families secure this basic necessity for their children.
The National Diaper Bank Network has more than 225 member diaper banks which have reported on average an 86% increase in the number of diapers distributed to families, compared to the previous year, with spikes of up to 800% more in some cities. In 2020, NDBN distributed more than 140 million diapers to families in need, and 2021 shows little signs of decreasing need. No federal support programs for children cover diapers, which can run about $80 a month per child.
"Diapers are a basic necessity for every baby and toddler. Our member programs are changing lives of children and families by working to end diaper need every day," said Joanne Goldblum, CEO and founder of the National Diaper Bank Network. "There are so many people who do not have enough money to meet their basic needs, and we've found diaper need can be a window into poverty."
Prior to the pandemic, a nationwide study conducted by the NDBN and Huggies helped reveal the facts on diaper need in the U.S.:
"The research shows that a lack of access to clean diapers leads to negative and long-lasting impacts on a child's physical and mental health," continues Goldblum. "We want every child to achieve his or her full potential, and having a clean diaper is one of the essential building blocks to making this a reality."
Baby Booties Diaper Bank in McKinney, Texas has seen a 600% increase in need from the families it serves since the pandemic started. The bank distributes an estimated 20,000+ diapers every other Saturday in less than an hour and serves nearly 500 kids.
"We are seeing some families who would have never asked for help prior to COVID-19, but the pandemic has led to unexpected job layoffs across so many sectors and economic crises that most of these families never could have imagined," said Helen Hutton, Executive Director of Baby Booties.
Hutton predicts that the need will only increase as winter approaches and heating bills increase. Roughly 65% of the families she serves have working family members, but even with two incomes, many just can't make ends meet.
"They're always trying to play catch up," said Hutton. "The families we serve are working around the clock just to keep the lights on. You'd be surprised at the number of people in our community who are one paycheck away from trouble. If you're living paycheck to paycheck and then your paycheck stops, that's catastrophic."
There are several ways to help end diaper need in your community and participate in National Diaper Need Awareness Week:
"Families oftentimes have to choose between buying food or diapers so they may end up leaving diapers on longer than they should, which can pose health risks for babies," said Robert Raines, Vice President of Huggies North America. "Huggies is dedicated to helping parents navigate the unknowns of babyhood, and for the last 10 years, together with the National Diaper Bank Network, we've been able to help many families who struggle with diaper need. However, the need is greater than ever, and we must continue to educate and advocate for change."
The National Diaper Bank Network member diaper banks help families in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To find a diaper bank near you, please visit the Member Directory at NationalDiaperBankNetwork.org.
Huggies® is the proud founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network and has donated more than 300 million diapers and wipes to the network since 2011. 2020 marked the biggest donation year to-date with more than 30 million diapers donated.
About the National Diaper Bank Network
The National Diaper Bank Network leads (NDBN) a nationwide movement dedicated to helping individuals, children and families access the basic necessities they require to thrive and reach their full potential…including clean, dry diapers, period supplies and other basic needs. Launched in 2011 with the support of founding sponsor Huggies®, NDBN is dedicated to creating awareness, providing assistance and building community to #EndDiaperNeed in the US. Its active membership includes more than 225 diaper banks, diaper pantries, and food banks serving local communities in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. More information on NDBN and diaper need is available at nationaldiaperbanknetwork.org, and on Twitter (@DiaperNetwork), Instagram (@DiaperNetwork) and Facebook (facebook.com/NationalDiaperBankNetwork).
About Huggies® Brand
For more than 40 years, Huggies has been helping parents provide love, care and reassurance to their babies. From developing innovative, everyday products for babies to partnering with NICU nurses to develop a special diapers and wipes line for the most fragile babies, Huggies is dedicated to helping ensure all babies get the care they need to thrive. Huggies is also proud to be the founding sponsor of the National Diaper Bank Network, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need in America since 2011. Huggies is also the founding sponsor of virtual NICU support groups through the national nonprofit Hand to Hold, which helps families before, during and after NICU stays and infant loss by providing powerful resources for the whole family. For more information on product offerings or our community efforts, please visit Huggies.com.
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Sweety, Softex, Viva and WypAll, hold the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build stronger communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's nearly 150-year history of innovation, visit kimberly-clark.com.