DENVER (CBS4)– A new law that provides $ 4 million for diapers is now helping hundreds of Colorado babies. WeeCycle Diaper Bank is one of the organizations that received funding.
The organization was one of 20 nonprofits that gathered on Friday for a big event to help needy families with food, formula and hundreds of diapers.
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“Over 70,000 Colorado residents don’t have enough diapers for their children,” says Lyndsey Zaback of WeeCycle. “When a family does not have its basic needs met, it has no way to thrive. ”
Cloth diapers, she says, aren’t an option for many moms because laundromats don’t allow them and federal programs like SNAP and WIC don’t cover diapers because they’re considered luxury items.
A survey earlier this year found that half of Colorado parents can’t afford diapers. The dire situation caught the attention of four state lawmakers who were all mothers themselves. They fought to pass a law that provides $ 4 million over the next two years to purchase 26 million diapers.
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“I myself have 3 children, I have worked in the field of child protection and juvenile justice, so I saw the need at all levels”, says representative Serena Gonzalez Guiterrez , one of the sponsors of the bill.
She was horrified by the stories she heard: “People used things like garbage bags, paper towels and duct tape for their children. It is a public health problem. ”
While $ 4 million from the general fund is a big request, Gonzalez Guiterrez, Rep. Kerry Tipper and Senators Jessie Danielson and Brittany Pettersen wouldn’t take no for an answer. Moms who showed up to the event through nonprofits are glad they didn’t.
Gonzalez-Guiterrez said: “It’s just fulfilling, it’s something to celebrate.”
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Organizers say the event helped 200 families in 2 hours.