Online Program

Health, Economic, and Social Outcomes Experienced by Low-Income Recipients of a Community-Based Diaper Bank

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 4:55 p.m. - 5:20 p.m.

Kelley Massengale, MPH, Public Health Education, UNCG, Greensboro, NC
Jennifer Toller Erausquin, PhD, MPH, Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Michelle Old, Diaper Bank of NC, Durham
Background:Families with young children enrolled in Medicaid, WIC, or SNAP are unable to purchase diapers with benefits from these programs. Many low-income families struggle to afford diapers amid the cost of other basic necessities. To address diaper need as a contributor to health disparities and social inequities, The Diaper Bank of NC, a community-based organization, provides local families with supplemental diapers.

 Methods: We conducted a formative evaluation of The Diaper Bank of NC in 2014-2015, including a survey of families receiving diapers (N=104). Topics included demographics, unmet diaper need, and outcomes of receiving diapers. Additionally, 10 diaper recipients participated in in-depth interviews about their experiences.

 Results:The majority of respondent families reported at least one working adult. In the past year, many families struggled with food insecurity, transportation, housing, affordable childcare, unemployment, neighborhood violence, paying utility and medical bills, meeting educational goals, and purchasing basic necessities such as soap and toilet paper. Families receiving diapers reported positive direct health outcomes as well as indirect, social and economic outcomes such as opportunities to pay a bill and/or send a child to childcare; allowing an adult in the household to attend work or school; and purchasing basic necessities.

 Conclusions: This study contributes to the limited research on diaper banks. The supplemental diapers provided positively impact families’ health, finances, and abilities to work. These results can inform public health efforts to meet needs of young children and suggest provision of diapers may play a role in addressing social determinants of health.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Assess unmet diaper need among families receiving diapers from a community-based diaper bank. Describe challenges of daily life experienced by families with unmet diaper need. Evaluate outcomes experienced as a result of receiving diapers from the diaper bank.

Keyword(s): Low-Income, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a principal investigator or research assistant on several community-based evaluation or research projects. Most of these projects have addressed issues of health among low-income groups.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.