By CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) – More Colorado families need diapers than food these days according to a new survey. Lindsey Zaback with Wee Cycle diaper bank in Aurora says a survey by Hunger Free Colorado found 50 percent of Colorado parents can’t afford diapers.

(credit: CBS)

Single mom Jessica Imoden is among them.

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“With two kids it’s at least, I want to say, ten at least a day. They’re about $40 a box,” Imoden explained.

Without diapers, Imoden says, she can’t send her kids to daycare, which means she can’t go to school, and can’t build a better life.

(credit: Jessica Imoden)

Zaback says some parents have resorted to using plastic grocery bags stuffed with toilet paper as diapers.

“In 2020, Wee Cycle’s original goal was to distribute 300,000 diapers. With the onset of COVID-19, we ended up distributing 1.1million and we were still only scratching the surface of the need,” Zaback said.

She says cloth diapers can be just as expensive and most laundry mats don’t allow them.

Now, four young moms who happen to be state lawmakers are doing something about the growing need.

(credit: CBS)

“It really drove home the impact the pandemic has had on so many of our friends and neighbors when families are resorting to using grocery store bags instead diapers. We have to acknowledge there is a serious problem and we have a solution that needs to pass,” says Sen. Jessie Danielson.

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Danielson, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, Rep. Kerry Tipper and Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez are sponsoring a bill that would allocate $4 million from the state’s general fund over the next two years to buy 26 million diapers.

“Representation matters. You have young moms in the legislature who are passing this and championing this because we get it,” says Pettersen.

The federal government apparently doesn’t get it. Zaback says programs like SNAP and WIC don’t cover diapers.

Pettersen says any mom knows diapers are a necessity. She says studies show moms who can’t afford diapers have worse post-partum depression than those who can’t afford food.

(credit: CBS)

“In one of the wealthiest states and nations in the world, it’s just unnecessary suffering. It’s just a policy failure,” said Pettersen.

Imboden relies on Wee Cycle for all her diapers.

“I don’t know what I would do without them,” she said.

Other moms aren’t so lucky and Danielson says that’s unacceptable.

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“When people have choose between buying food and buying diapers what kind world are we living in?” Danielson asked.

Shaun Boyd