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One-Third of American Families Facing Diaper Shortage, Report Shows

The National Diaper Bank Network says, “Children in low-income families are at greatest risk of suffering the effects of diaper need because many families can't afford diapers.”

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From purchase limitations at Costco to possible grocery shortages this holiday season – the COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on consumers and the businesses that provide many necessary products. 

A 2020 study from the National Diaper Bank Network says one-third of American families are experiencing a diaper shortage, likely another casualty of nationwide supply shortages brought forth by the pandemic, experts say.

Supply issues have also caused manufacturers to raise prices, making some products harder to afford.

“Diapers are as essential to a baby's healthy development as a mother's love,” according to the National Diaper Bank Network. “Keeping infants and toddlers clean, dry, and healthy is key to building a solid foundation for all children to reach their full potential.”

Data compiled by the network in March says there are roughly 11.5 million children in the U.S. under the age of 3 – and 20% of those families live under the federal poverty line.

The National Diaper Bank Network says, “Children in low-income families are at greatest risk of suffering the effects of diaper need because many families can't afford diapers.”

“Supply chain issues and rising costs of material basic necessities disproportionately impact low-wage families and those living in poverty, and can lead to increased levels of diaper need," Joanne Samuel Goldblum, CEO and founder of the network, told TODAY Parents.

Government aid programs like food stamps don’t cover diapers and the network reports about 20% of poorest Americans spent nearly 14% of their income on diapers in 2014. 

Infants on average require up to a dozen diapers per day, which can cost upwards of $80 per month, per child.

As families face a diaper shortage, Costco is reinstating purchase limits on items like toilet paper, water and cleaning supplies, CNBC reported.

Costco’s chief financial officer said last month the retailer has enough product to meet the consumer demand – but is facing delays due to trucking and supplier needs. 

This holiday season Americans may also see shortages on their favorite grocery items, as well as higher prices on meat in the coming months.

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