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Utah mom shares impact of 'diaper assistance'

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Alex Gonzalez

(Utah News Connection) One Utah mom with three children is grateful for assistance from the Utah Diaper Distribution Demonstration Project.

Taylor Graff said the program has helped her family "tremendously," and the $100 they are able to save on diapers each month goes to groceries or paying for a babysitter, as Graff is also currently in school. On top of the financial help, the program provides what she calls "sensitive diapers," for infants with delicate skin.

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Graff wants other Utah families to know help is out there and can make a big difference. 

"We all have to work together," Graff urged. "We have to get creative with our finances so we can afford the things that we need and so we can save and have, like, an emergency fund."

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The Community Action Partnership of Utah said the diaper project is not only about giving out diapers but looking at diaper needs as part of a "whole-family approach." A coalition of Utah community action agencies and diaper banks invite households with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to apply for assistance, which they can do at local community action agencies and partners. 

Guesrie Mardy, case manager for the Five County Association of Governments in southwest Utah, said as the cost of living increases, families are making tough decisions. A shortage of diapers can put many in a difficult spot and may indicate they are also struggling in other areas.

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"Every family's needs are so different," Mardy pointed out. "It does show there might be something else that they might need help with. Maybe better insurance, or it could be they need to find a more affordable place to live, which that, in itself, is really hard."

Mardy added while they may not be able to offer help to everyone, as case managers, they will take the time to assess a family's situation and put them in touch with any resources and services for which they may qualify.