diaper need awareness weekSeptember 26 to October 2, 2016

Babies Have Back-to-School Needs, Too

Posted on: August 2, 2016 by admin

The following article was written by Summer Hunt, the editorial coordinator for publications at AWHONN, and it appeared originally in Healthy Mom&Baby on July 26, 2016.

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This time of year from late July into August, many moms are preoccupied with back-to-school shopping for all the basics: pencils, paper, glue and the like, as well as products like paper towels, hand soap and facial tissue. Just as these items are important for school-age kids, babies and toddlers have “back-to-childcare (and preschool)” needs, too—and diapers top that list.

Did you know that babies and toddlers can’t attend childcare without an adequate supply of extra diapers? It may not seem like much, but for the 1 in 3 families who don’t have enough diapers to keep their babies clean, dry and healthy, buying extras typically breaks the bank. Without enough diapers, parents are forced to choose between work—and a paycheck—and taking care of baby.

The Harsh Realities of Poverty
Diapers cost $70-$80 per month, per baby, and parents can’t use food stamps for diapers—in fact, there is zero direct government assistance for diapers. Low-income families can’t afford to buy diapers in bulk, and many do not have access to big-box discount stores or online shopping. This means families hurting the most financially are hit hardest when it comes to buying essential care items like diapers. In fact, the poorest 20% of Americans spend nearly 14% of their income (after taxes) on diapers, according to the National Diaper Bank Network (citing 2014 government data)—that’s $1 out of every $7 of their average $11,253 income spent on diapers, or $1,575 a year on average.

Parents just want to do right by their children. We spoke with four moms last year who talked about their experiences with diaper need. These families are doing their best to keep their babies happy and healthy, even if that means going without or making tough decisions about paying other bills. And with 5.3 million babies in America living in low-income families, these moms are not alone in their struggles.

Nurses on the Front Lines
AWHONN is proud of all the work our nurses to do to take care of moms and babies, especially those in the most vulnerable populations. Our Healthy Mom&Baby Diaper Drive gives nurses the recognition they deserve when they go beyond patient care and collect items like diapers, wipes, clothes, car seats for their tiniest patients.

Across the country, at section and chapter meetings, through community baby showers and diaper drives, when donating diapers to diaper banks and women’s shelters, and in their own hospitals and clinics, nurses are on the front lines every day combatting diaper need for their patients.

Let Us Share Your Efforts!
What are YOU doing in your area to make sure that babies are clean, dry and healthy? Are you:

  • Giving out diapers at community and education events?
  • Participating in a diaper drive event with your local faith community or civic group?
  • Sharing diapers with families in need in any other way?


Tell us your stories at AWHONN.org/diaperdrive, or contact our Diaper Drive consultants Jade Miles and Heather Quaile. Our consultants can also help you increase your efforts or start something new and make sure that your current successes are counted in our final totals. You can also visit DiaperDrive.org to make a dollar donation that will be used to purchase diapers at wholesale for diaper banks across the country. Are you an advocate for cloth diapering? There are several diaper banks that accept cloth diapers, and you could even initiate a cloth diaper drive in your community!

As families everywhere get ready to head back to school, why not toss an extra pack of diapers into your cart to donate to your local bank? Or, head over to DiaperDrive.org while surfing the Internet for prime deals on books and binders and donate $20 dollars to diaper a baby for two weeks. You’ll ensure a brighter future and a better bottom line for babies everywhere—and that’s a guaranteed A-plus in our books.

NDBN Announces Additions to Board of Directors

Posted on: July 27, 2016 by admin

Pictured left to right: Jessica Bartholow, Judy Cruz, Liz Sutherlin, and Nancy Woodland


The National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN), the nonprofit dedicated to addressing the basic needs of children and families living in poverty, has announced the addition of four new members to the organization’s Board of Directors.

Joining the NDBN board are: Jessica Bartholow, legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law & Poverty in California; Judy Cruz, chief executive officer of Treasure Coast Food Bank in Fort Pierce, Florida; Liz Sutherlin, executive director emeritus of HappyBottoms in Kansas City; and Nancy Woodland, executive director of WestSide Baby in Seattle.

“These four remarkable community leaders bring immense experience, knowledge, and heart to our already passionate board of directors,” said NDBN Chief Executive Officer Joanne Goldblum. “Their contributions will help us continue our core mission of raising awareness of diaper need, as well as helping guide the growth and expansion of the organization’s scope of activities.”

About the New Board Members

Jessica Bartholow has been a policy advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty since December 2009, and has nearly two decades of experience in anti-poverty organizing, advocacy and program development at the local, state and national level. She has served as the chairperson of the California Hunger Action Coalition and is currently the chair of the California Asset Building Coalition. She has led in the development and passage of several pieces of SNAP and TANF legislation, including legislation to address the diaper need gap in California. Jessica holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and is the 2012 recipient of the Wellstone – Wheeler National Anti-Hunger Advocate of the Year Award and this year’s recipient of the Women’s Foundation of California’s Trailblazer Advocate Award. Her own story, of how growing up poor has led her to her work as an anti-poverty advocate, has been featured in The Nation and Le Monde.

Judy Cruz serves as executive director of Treasure Coast Food Bank.  She works diligently to secure additional food to distribute to the Food Bank’s 400 partner agencies in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties. Treasure Coast Food Bank distributes millions of pounds of food annually to pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, senior housing, and low-income day-care centers on a daily basis. The organization also operates various mobile food pantries throughout its service area and assist pantries that provide backpacks to hundreds of children on the weekend. Cruz also serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Food Banks.

Liz Sutherlin, currently a community volunteer, is best known for her general management skills and expertise. She is the executive director, emeritus for HappyBottoms, a dynamic diaper bank program that assists children and families living in the Greater Kansas City area. She trained her replacement as executive director and now serves as board member of the HappyBottoms, which enables her to continue to support the growth and sustainability of the organization.

Nancy Woodland returns to the NDBN board for her second term. She serves as the executive director of WestSide Baby, a nonprofit in Seattle that provides essential items to local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and safety equipment. Having grown up in the Midwest, Nancy graduated from Michigan State University and then Loyola Chicago School of Law as a member of the first class of CIVITAS Child Law Scholars. Knowing her life’s work would focus on children in need, Nancy came to Seattle in 1996 to practice law at the Attorney General’s Office as a child advocate. Her career highlights include coordinating the first Washington state child abuse and neglect resource website for the University of Washington School of Law, receiving the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce Community Hero award in 2010 and serving on the Board of Directors for the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.


NDBN Welcomes New Faces!

Posted on: July 22, 2016 by admin

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Chris Blake, Lynn Comer, and Jasree Peralta have joined NDBN staff


In the five years since its founding in August 2011, the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) has grown from a start up nonprofit, comprised of less than 40 diaper distribution programs, into the foremost authority on diaper need in America, with more than 315 member organizations serving children and families in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam.

Today, NDBN leads a nationwide movement dedicated to addressing the basic needs of children and families living in poverty. The organization’s scope of activities includes the distribution of donated products, the release of original research, legislative advocacy (state and federal), the implementation of cause marketing initiatives, the presentation of educational and technical assistance, and the issuing of one-of-a-kind grants to member diaper banks, among other activities.

To ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization, NDBN has announced the addition of three new professional staff members, as well as the promotion of key staff.

Joining NDBN are Chris Blake as chief operations officer, Lynn Comer as evaluation & policy coordinator, and Jasree Peralta as communications coordinator.

Assuming new NDBN departmental roles and titles are Joanne Goldblum as chief executive officer, Alison Weir as chief of policy, research and analysis, Susan Van Ness as chief of programs, and Troy Moore as chief of external affairs.

“We are thrilled with the collective skill sets that Chris, Lynn, and Jasree bring to the organization, and we look forward to their immediate contributions to our continued growth,” said Goldblum.

“The growth of NDBN has been enormous and it could not have happened without an amazing team of committed professionals. The respective title changes recognize the expansion of our overall operations and the quality of the senior staff leading our dynamic national movement.”

In his new position as chief operating officer, Blake will oversee NDBN’s development and fundraising activities, as well as the organization’s day-to-day operations, including budgeting and strategic growth. Prior to joining NDBN, Blake served as chief executive office of First Candle, a national nonprofit health organization dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. Blake previously held executive positions at Good360 and Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.).

Prior to coming to NDBN, Comer worked on Florida’s 21st Century Community Learning Center’s administrative team, a federally-funded after-school program for students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools in the state. Comer also worked on the financial operations side of entertainment-oriented companies for 15 years, before earning her Master of Science in Education Policy in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University.

Peralta is a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, where she received her B.A. in communication, with a minor in journalism. During her college career, Peralta served as general manager of the university’s television organization, and worked as a technical assistant for hi-tech classrooms, as well as a resident advisor for students living on campus. She also has experience in the television production industry and videography.

What Is Diaper Need

The lack of a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or toddler clean, dry and healthy.

Diaper Need Awareness Week is an initiative of the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) created to mobilize efforts to help make a difference in the lives of the nearly 5.3 million babies in the U.S. aged three or younger who live in poor or low-income families.

Acting together — individuals, diaper banks, faith-based institutions, service providers, businesses, organizations and elected officials — we can get diapers to all babies in need.


  • Inform your elected officials
  • Increase awareness within your state & community
  • Promote opportunities for you to talk and help raise diapers & dollars
  • Champion change led by you, diaper bankers, and our supporters

Click here for a list of 2015 Proclamations


"I wa fired from my job 11/5, my final work check was garnished by the IRS,appiled for unemployment but had an overpayment and a suspension for benefits which cost me a few thousand in benefits, had no Chirstmas BUT my only worry now is getting size 4 diapers for my son."


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