Congratulations to the Junior League of Champlain Valley on implementing the first diaper bank in Vermont. The Other Paper’s Miranda Jonswold provided valuable coverage on this important public health issue in last week’s paper, an issue that I would encourage all Vermonters (especially local businesses and health care professionals) to support Junior League of Champlain Valley efforts and continue to learn more.

One important way we can help these efforts is supporting legislation that changes the sales tax laws to no longer consider diapers a “luxury item.” Maternal and child health are directly correlated to the health of communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that “the health of women and children is vital to creating a healthy world.” In one of the first studies to publish the impact of community-based diaper banks, Kelley E. C. Massengale and colleagues found that “diapers provide a large return on investment when considering the long-term impact on families’ health, economic outlook, emotional wellness, and abilities to participate in the workforce.”

For families, diapering is one of the first activities you undertake as a parent and is an essential function for mothers and fathers to engage in with their children. Research has shown that for many low-income families, a substantial percentage of their income is spent on diapers evoking stress and ultimately impacting the family and child’s health. Resources such as the National Diaper Bank Network and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have additional educational materials for those wanting to learn more.

Jason Kirchick, RN

South Burlington

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