St. Louis Area Diaper Bank Experiences Increased Diaper Need

National Diaper Bank Network’s recent findings show nearly half of U.S. families with young children struggle to afford diapers.

NDBN study

(St. Louis, Mo., June 23, 2023) — Research recently released by the National Diaper Bank Network (NDBN) reports that 47% of U.S. families with young children struggle to afford diapers. At a local level, the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank reveals it has seen a 25% increase in diaper distribution – approximately 300,000 diapers each year – since 2020.

St. Louis Area Diaper Bank is a member of the NDBN and its sister organization Alliance for Period Supplies, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to eliminating diaper need and “period poverty” in America. This year the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank – through a network of 70 community organizations, educational and health partners serving low-income families – will distribute 4.1 million diapers to more than 70,000 families in the St. Louis region. Last year the nonprofit distributed 3.3 million diapers in St. Louis.

The NDBN Diaper Check 2023: Diaper Insecurity among U.S. Children and Families is a nationally representative study commissioned by the NDBN. Major findings include:

  • A significant increase of 14 percentage points in diaper need since the first study was conducted in 2010.
  • Diaper need intersects with food insecurity, and 28% of respondents who reported diaper need said they skipped meals so they could afford more diapers.
  • 70% of the respondents reported they were stressed or anxious about their responsibilities as a parent or caregiver. 53% said they felt judged because they could not afford diapers.
  • St. Louis Area Diaper Bank's Executive Director Muriel SmithOne in four (25%) of parents and caregivers with diaper need reported having to miss work or school because they did not have enough diapers to drop their child off at childcare. They also reported missing an average of 5.1 workdays in the past 30 days, which represents a loss of $296 per month for a parent earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.


“This national study solidifies what we are feeling firsthand in our community,” said St. Louis Area Diaper Bank Executive Director Muriel Smith. “It’s time to realize that we are in a public health crisis, one that causes harm to our children and their families. We as a nation must do better to support those who need our help.”

Founded in 2014, the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank provides diaper and period supply access to the region’s low-income families, as well as raises community awareness about the causes and consequences of diaper need and period poverty. For more information, call (314) 624-0888 or visit their website.

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