Congress is considering legislation that would fund pilot programs in states including Michigan to help low-income families afford diapers. Currently, no federal program meets that need, says Alison Weir with the National Diaper Bank Network. She says the cost of diapers can be as high as $80 per month per child.
“You tell people that you can’t buy diapers with food stamps or WIC and the first response is ‘what?’ Neither program is meant for that but the programs that were meant to cover basic needs have all shrunk to the point where there’s a big hole in the safety net.”
TANF — or, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families — is the only program that provides money which could be used for diapers. In Michigan, the benefit is about $490 per month for a household with one parent and two children. Missouri recently opted to fund diaper banks, and California is considering a voucher to offset the cost for children enrolled in subsidized day care. The federal bill has been referred to a House subcommittee for consideration.