We are celebrating a historic moment in Washington for families! A major in investment has been made to systemically address diaper need across our state for the first time. We applaud the Washington Legislature for a budget that honors diapers as a very necessary and basic human right!
Although lawmakers did not include the $80 monthly “diaper stipend”, $5 million in grants will go to Washington’s diaper banks over the next two years to provide approximately 29 million diapers to families who are unable to access an adequate supply otherwise.
As we celebrate, we acknowledge that this investment must only be a starting place. In King County alone, more than 1 in 5 families – 1 in 3 for many BIPOC communities – struggled to afford enough diapers before the pandemic, representing an estimated gap of 32 million diapers per year. This historic investment will mean millions more diapers will be accessible for families in poverty furthest from access, but there are still millions more needed every day. WestSide Baby, with our community, will continue to advocate for policies like a “diaper stipend” that address the roots of systemic inequity causing basic needs gaps, so that every family has what they need and deserve to thrive.
We believe that every person inherently deserves to have their basic needs met as a basic human right. Our vision is that every child has their basic needs met so they can be happy, healthy and resilient. Our strategic priorities since the beginning of 2020 reflect our commitment to addressing unmet basic needs immediately and systemically. We are focused on partnering with organizations led by & rooted in communities most under-resourced by inequitable systems. We are advocating for policies that center our humanity by providing for the full spectrum of children’s basic needs. This historic investment is an incredible step forward, and it is also just the beginning as we imagine a world where families are free to go beyond the basics.
We want to honor our entire community of supporters who join us in addressing the inequity of diaper need every day, and give a special shout out to the advocacy partners and legislators who made this historic investment possible.
- Rep. Tana Senn, Rep. Liz Berry and the entire House Dems Mom’s Caucus for championing this critical need for families – go Moms! Sen. Ann Rivers, Sen. Joe Nguyen and Sen. June Robinson for their strong support to make diapers more affordable for families.
- Our partners in advocating for this investment to strengthen families: Statewide Poverty Action Network and WA State Budget and Policy Center.
- Our fellow WA state diaper banks coalition for your solidarity and work to address diaper need every day!
- Our social service partner organizations who literally make it possible for us to distribute critical resources to children and their families!