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Push to provide taxpayer-funded diapers to needy families about ‘basic decency,’ councilman says

Any shelter that services infants would be offered diapers under a bill before the City Council.

Families in need would be able to get taxpayer-funded diapers under a bill being considered by the New York City Council, officials announced on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (Credit: Newsday / Matthew Chayes)

Taxpayer-funded diapers would be available to needy families at municipal facilities that serve infants, including domestic-violence shelters, childcare centers and short-term homeless shelters, under a bill being considered before the City Council.

“Diapers are not a luxury item. They are a basic requirement,” said Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn), a prime sponsor of the bill. “This is about basic decency.”

An average family goes through 2,600 diapers a year per child and spends about $70 or $80 a month, Alison Weir, chief of policy and research for the National Diaper Bank Network, said at a news conference Thursday at City Hall.

About one in three families suffer from “diaper need,” advocates said at the news conference.

Treyger said that council staff was still estimating the bill’s total cost.

Currently, families at municipal facilities must rely on charity for diapers.

In 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law to require free feminine hygiene products in all city public schools, jails and homeless shelters. The bill passed the council unanimously.

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