New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is establishing a program to distribute free diapers by food banks all through the state, beginning as early as March.
“COVID-19 has piled problem after problem onto hardworking New York households, together with the flexibility to afford the merchandise they should care for his or her youngsters,” Cuomo mentioned. New York’s statewide unemployment fee in December topped 8%, up from about 4% a 12 months earlier.
Baby2Baby, a nationwide nonprofit, will donate 20 million diapers to determine the “diaper financial institution.” Baby2Baby cofounders and Co-CEOs Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof mentioned they’ve seen a 350% enhance in requests for diapers because the begin of the pandemic nearly a 12 months in the past. “You ask a low-income mother what her largest battle is, and she or he begins with diapers,” Weinstein mentioned.
Many profit packages for needy households, such because the Supplemental Diet Help Program (SNAP) and the Particular Supplemental Diet Program for Girls, Infants and Youngsters (WIC), don’t cowl diapers, and Weinstein famous that many food banks aren’t allowed to make use of their funding for diapers.
Baby2Baby has had a presence in New York for years, partnering with nonprofits and particular person organizations to donate necessities for infants and kids. (Along with diapers, it offers wipes, garments, and different fundamentals.) However the diaper financial institution marks its first partnership with New York state. State officers say they’d been wanting because the summer time of 2020 for a manner to supply free diapers to households.
Baby2Baby, which boasts a star-studded board of directors, together with celeb entrepreneurs Jessica Alba and Nicole Richie, singer Kelly Rowland, and enterprise capitalists Maha Dakhil and Dana Settle, brings its scale to the partnership. By means of its community of neighborhood teams and different organizations, Baby2Baby mentioned it served 1,000,000 youngsters in 100 cities final 12 months. The group’s company sponsors and donors embody Huggies, the Trustworthy Firm, Mattel, Hasbro, Graco, Johnson & Johnson.
Baby2Baby’s mission goes past entry to diapers, in line with Sawyer Patricof. She notes that youngsters will skip faculty in the event that they need to put on the identical garments day-after-day or lack entry to cleaning soap and shampoo. “That is about giving households entry to all the fundamental necessities in order that their youngsters will be on an excellent taking part in area with different youngsters,” she mentioned.
The governor’s workplace says this system, dubbed the New York State Cares + Baby2Baby Diaper Financial institution, is a complement to the Nourish New York program that the state introduced in April 2020. As a part of that program, the state final 12 months bought greater than $25 million in food from New York farmers and routed it to food banks. Final month the state earmarked one other $25 million to proceed that initiative.