Singleton, Lampitt Bill to Help Close the Diaper Gap for New Jersey Families, Protect Children’s Health

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton and Pamela Lampitt to provide a voucher to certain TANF recipients to purchase diapers cleared the Assembly Women and Children Committee on Monday.

“Diapers are excluded from eligible items which can be purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, but they are a necessary item for many families,” said Singleton (D-Burlington). “The inability to change diapers often can lead to health problems for the child. We can do more to prevent health issues by providing an allowance solely for the use of purchasing diapers.”

The bill would provide a $50 monthly voucher to individuals who are recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy families (TANF) to purchase diapers. The voucher would only be available to individuals who have dependent children who are between birth and 12 months of age.

“Many day care providers will only take children with disposable diapers, and cloth diapers require access to laundry facilities,” said Lampitt (D-Camden, Burlington). “There are also many health risks associated with wearing a soiled diaper for too long. This bill provides an alternate means for the state’s families who are struggling to access these essential items.”

The voucher may be provided in the same manner as other assistance received by the beneficiary. The bill also would provide that the $50 voucher would be disregarded as income for eligibility purposes.

The bill would become effective 90 days after enactment to allow the Commissioner of Human Services the time needed to establish the program and enroll individuals.

The measure will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further review.