The White House announced a new plan on Thursday that is aimed at making diapers more affordable for low-income families.
Under the Obama administration’s new plan, low-income families would gain access to diapers that are up to 25% cheaper than the one’s they current purchase.
In a press call on Thursday, President Obama said the program was made possible through a collaboration with Jet.com, the makers of Cuties diapers, and several non-profits.
Diapers are not covered by federal assistance programs such as WIC, SNAP or Medicaid.
“When you have a baby, diapers are a necessity. They are not optional,” the White House’s post says.
Low-income families often can’t afford to purchase diapers in bulk or buy them online, both which offer cheaper options when available.
The program will start at the end of April 2016 at part of the Jet Cares program.
Through the partnership, Jet.com will help non-profits buy and get diapers quickly with free two-day shipping. Jet.com won’t make a profit off the diapers.
The makers of Cuties have designed simpler packaging which has helped cut down on cost.
The cost of diapers? Low-income families spend about $936 per year on each child.
“When families can’t afford a healthy number of diapers for their babies, they’re faced with a choice between buying diapers and paying for food, rent, or utilities like heat,” the post said. “That’s a choice that no family should have to make.”
On it’s website Jet.com explains how much of a burden buying diapers is for many US families.
“In 2014, the poorest 20% of Americans with infants in diapers spent nearly 14% of their after-tax income on diapers. And when parents don’t have access to a steady supply of clean diapers, serious consequences follow. Children are exposed to health risks, and parents who can’t afford to send diapers to daycare are forced to stay home with their children instead of working or going to school.”
Jet.com released a video in support of the initiative.
Some groups are hoping that the White House will take this initiative further. The Real Diaper Association posted an open letter to the Obama Administration, asking them to consider cloth diapers as a cheaper and viable option.
“A full set (2 dozen) of economical pre-folds, water proof covers (6) and fasteners can be purchased for under $300. This money saving system can be used throughout the entire diaper period for a child, and can also be reused for subsequent children,” The Real Diaper Association writes.
Giving Diapers, Giving Hope, another supporter of cloth diapering, shared a Facebook video that outlines the advantages of cloth diapers.
While support is divided among disposable and cloth diaper advocates, they all seem to agree that the cost of disposable diapers are out of control and offer praise for the White House’s initiative to reduce those costs.