By Tony Hicks. Bay City News.
San Mateo County Libraries have launched a pilot program offering more than 1,800 free diaper kits to support families in need.
Each kit contains 80 diapers and 200 wipes.
The program, which launched Oct. 28, has already provided more than 9,500 free diapers to community members, the library system said in a statement. Funding for the pilot program comes from Measure K, the half-cent sales tax approved by San Mateo County voters in 2016, which aims to support critical services.
“Free diapers and wipes can make a big difference for families struggling with the high cost of living in the Bay Area, especially during the holiday season,” Sara McDowell, president of the board of directors, said in the release. JPA Library.
“San Mateo County Libraries are a trusted resource in our communities and we are honored to be the ones who provide these essential items in a welcoming environment for families and their little ones,” he added.
The rising cost of diapers has created a challenge for families in need of these essential items. Data shows that low-income families spend about 14 percent of their after-tax income on diapers. Libraries hope to alleviate some of that financial burden by handing out free diapers during special distribution events once a month.
Families can pick up kits free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. No library card, proof of ID, income or any other information will be collected to receive diapers.
The three-month pilot program offers diaper kits at the remaining 11 events through January at the Pacifica Sharp Park and Belmont libraries. The diapers will be available in sizes 1 to 6 while supplies last. Each event will also offer families the opportunity to enjoy fun, kid-friendly experiences.
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved $50,000 in Measure K funds to support the program. Proposed by Supervisor Ray Mueller, the free diaper offer builds on the successful launch of other necessities that the library system has made available to the public for free. Previously, libraries have launched free distribution of COVID-19 masks, test kits and menstrual products.
“In these difficult economic times we wanted to make sure people were not choosing between nutritious foods and essential items like diapers for their children,” Mueller said in the statement. “We have seen this work at other California libraries and wanted to make it a reality for our residents here in San Mateo County. Hopefully this will make the Christmas season a little brighter for those in need.”
The next free diaper distribution events will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Belmont Library and Pacifica Sharp Park Library. The Belmont Library will also host diaper kit giveaways at 10:30 a.m. on December 2; 2 pm on December 16; 10:30 a.m. on January 13; and 10:30 a.m. on January 27.
The Pacifica Sharp Park Library will also be holding diaper kit deliveries at 5:30 pm on November 30; 5:30 pm on December 5; 10:30 a.m. Dec. 16; 10:30 a.m. on January 6; and 10:30 a.m. on January 20.
You may be interested in: San Mateo County Supervisors Increase Funding for Emergency Rental Program