Gwinnett County

Georgia families say they can’t afford diapers

NORCROSS, Ga. — Many more metro area families with babies and toddlers are being priced out. They can’t afford diapers.

A nonprofit that provides diapers free of charge says the situation has gotten much worse in recent years.

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Kimberly Horton says for those who are living it, it’s morning, noon, and night.

“Every day. Everyday life. They need it,” Horton said. 

Horton is with Children First, part of the Clayton County Board of Health. She says many more metro area families with babies or small children can no longer afford diapers.

“When we first saw the new facts, it was a punch in the gut,” Jamie Lackey said.

Lackey is the founder of Helping Mamas in Gwinnett County. She says for years, the National Diaper Bank Network reported that one in three families couldn’t afford diapers. But a new survey by the group found it’s now one in two.

At the Helping Mamas warehouse in Norcross, diaper donations come in and local nonprofits like Children First come by to pick up what their clients need.


Lackey says that the need has doubled in recent years. 

“How quickly does the donated inventory move right back out,” Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen asked.

“This is only going to be here for maybe a week,” Lackey said. 

Lackey says nonprofits are doing all they can and corporate sponsors are on board too. But she’d like the Georgia state government to help by making diapers tax-free.

“Fighting poverty is not a single-faceted approach. We need all of our community members. The government is a big part of that story. A big piece that is missing here,” Lackey said.

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There is no sales tax on diapers in 23 states, including neighboring Florida. 

Georgia’s sales tax is 4%. A bill to make diapers tax-free in Georgia did not get through the legislature in 2023, but Lackey says they’ll work on it again next year.

If you’d like to learn more about Helping Mamas, click here.