Currently, there is no federal assistance for purchasing diapers and President Obama wants to do something about that. And that's why the White House has launched a new initiative to close this "diaper gap."
From "The Diaper Disparity" release:
These choices become even more pressing because the lowest-income quintile of families with infants pay 14 percent of their income for diapers alone – an average of $936 for diapers per child each year, while many higher income families pay less than half that amount. These struggling families may not have access to transportation to the big box store, the credit or capital to buy in bulk at cheaper prices, or the access to internet or ability to receive packages required for online subscription services. The technology that makes life easier for so many of us just doesn’t provide the necessary supports for these families.
And because Congress, who apparently hates babies, is hesitant to spend $10 million in yet another federal program to help struggling families, President Obama is having to get "creative" and use "every tool" at his disposal.
So, before he heads off to the South by Southwest music and tech festival, skipping former First Lady Nancy Reagan's funeral in the process, he is partnering with diaper manufacturers, online retailers, and non-profits to expand access to diapers. One hoped-for result would be for Covenant House, the shelter for homeless youths, to double their purchase power when they order diapers and also lessen the amount of time it takes to receive their orders.
In sure step with previous patterns, the White House has issued more hashtag activism -- #DiaperGap -- to encourage more people to get involved to do something helpful, like donating diapers.
Cecilia Muñoz, the assistant to President and Director of the Domestic Policy Council, writes:
We want every child to grow, thrive, and reach their full potential. We can make that possible by harnessing the tools of this new economy to serve all Americans, because no family should have to choose between keeping their babies healthy and keeping the lights or heat on.