Diaper Need in the United States: One California Diaper Bank’s Story

Diaper Need in the United States: One California Diaper Bank’s Story


Before the pandemic, approximately 40,000 hospital visits in California occurred annually due to the top three symptoms of diaper need. This alarming issue often led to emergency room visits, with severe cases causing diaper dermatitis, rashes, infections, and even urinary tract infections in babies.

Catalyzing Change:

In 2016, inspired by a chance viewing of Congresswoman Barbara Lee speaking about diaper need on MSNBC by a former CEO of a major healthcare provider, SupplyBank.org initiated a program to provide diapers and wipes to those facing diaper need. The program, which equips local organizations for community distribution, quickly gained traction. Little did anyone anticipate that it would serve as a critical infrastructure model during the unforeseen challenges of 2020.

Pandemic Response:

As the pandemic unfolded, SupplyBank.org’s model became a foundational framework, with early leadership from several First 5 County Commissions and First 5 California, for emergency personal protective equipment (PPE) and basic needs supply programs in all 58 California counties. Tens of millions of PPE, diapers, and wipes were distributed to childcare providers, children, and families statewide. In many counties, this program was the sole resource for communities facing unprecedented challenges. 

Looking Ahead:

As we look towards the future, collaboration between lawmakers, philanthropic leaders, diaper banks, and additional stakeholders is crucial. The ten-minute film highlights promising solutions and underscores the need for ongoing support.

Join us in addressing diaper need. View the film to learn more and discover how you can contribute to building a brighter future for families in California.