skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

ND makes the grade in a national report evaluating public school support; SCOTUS justices express free speech concerns about GOP-backed social media laws; NH "kids on campus" program boosts retention; proposed law bans hemp sales to Hoosiers younger than 21.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court hears arguments on whether social media can restrict content. Biden advisors point to anti-democracy speeches at CPAC, and the President heads to the US-Mexico border appealing to voters on immigration and border issues.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

David meets Goliath in Idaho pesticide conflict, to win over Gen Z voters, candidates are encouraged to support renewable energy and rural America needs help from Congress to continue affordable internet programs.

Diaper Pilot Program Aims to Keep Families Healthy, Working

play audio
Play

Monday, September 18, 2023   

Massachusetts groups will be part of a new federal pilot program to help low-income families ensure they have the diapers they need to keep both babies and parents healthy.

Studies show a lack of diapers for their babies as the top predictor of postpartum depression in new mothers, while 60% of American families report missing work or school when they cannot bring diapers to child care.

Liz Berube, executive director of the group Citizens for Citizens, one of several Massachusetts agencies selected for the program, said the need for diaper assistance has been growing for years.

"Hopefully this will relieve some of the burden for them and take some of the stress off the family, but folks are ecstatic," Berube observed. "They actually can't believe it and think it's a dream come true."

Berube pointed out her agency alone will supply 100 children with 100 diapers each month over the next two years, but as any parent knows, it is just a fraction of what is required.

The Massachusetts Association for Community Action, a coalition of more than 20 community action agencies in the state, was awarded more than $1 million in new federal aid to distribute diapers via several hubs across the state and Western Connecticut.

Colleen Cullen, director of grants management and compliance for the association, said until now, there has been no federal program to help families with such a basic need.

"This is getting families through that last two weeks of the month that people really struggle to afford," Cullen explained. "By providing support with diapers, we'll be allowing them to focus on other expenses, such as housing and food."

More than one-third of Massachusetts families say they cannot afford enough diapers for their children.

The association will work with Children's Health Watch in Boston to gather data on the diaper program's effectiveness at improving families' financial security and well-being.

Janet Stolfi Alfano, executive director of The Diaper Bank of Connecticut, said even having the proper medications to prevent diaper rash reduces stress on both child and parent.

"So much of the brain growth happens in those first three years, almost 80%," Stolfi Alfano noted. "We know creating an environment where basic needs are met will have lifelong benefits on that child."

Stolfi Alfano emphasized the goal is to make the funding for diaper distribution permanent. She added agencies are working to have diaper supplies for infants and toddlers covered through Medicaid, designating diapers as essential as food and nutrition.

Disclosure: The Massachusetts Association for Community Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
A new report shows that people who complete Prop 47-funded programs like those offered at Safe Harbor Recovery Center in Los Angeles are much less likely to be reincarcerated. (Safe Harbor)

Social Issues

play sound

Programs intended to reduce the chances that someone will end up back behind bars are working, according to a new analysis of California state data…


Social Issues

play sound

Arizona is gearing up for its presidential preference election that takes place in less than a month, and registered Democrats and Republicans were …

play sound

You might say "every day is 'bring your child to college day'" at New Hampshire's Manchester Community College. On-campus childcare programs are …


Social Issues

play sound

The number of Black mothers in Ohio who die during or following pregnancy continues to climb and health advocates said they hope to shine a light on t…

Legislative supporters say had South Dakota taken part in a new federally funded summer meal program for low-income families, an estimated 54,000 children around the state would have benefited. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

It's been an uphill battle for childhood nutrition advocates to advance meal access policies in the South Dakota Legislature. However, organizers say …

Environment

play sound

A cooperative effort has seeded more than 26,000 acres in eastern Nevada. It's all in an effort to increase desirable grasses, forbs and shrubs while …

Social Issues

play sound

Texas postal customers, especially in rural areas, are experiencing delays in mail delivery, and some letter carriers feel it could get worse…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021