Somerville Diaper Project: We Had You Covered
Did you know that partners, volunteers, and outside organizations gave out free diapers to our families at Food and Nutrition Services Grab-and-Go Meal sites? It was called the Somerville Diaper Project. This project started when Cradles to Crayons donated 15,000 diapers to the SFLC (the SPS Family Engagement Department) last March, 2020, Then Jacki Hart, MD, in Dover made another big diaper donation. Diapers were stored and organized at Connexion. The need for diapers was tremendous and stores were out or running low on inventory at the time. Next, Marina Seevak (from The Beautiful Stuff Project) reached out to SFLC Director Nomi Davidson to ask about urgent needs for families in crisis during the pandemic and that organization got involved. The project obtained a City CARES grant for twice monthly distribution but distribution exceeded projections and happened every week at two Somerville Public Schools sites.
Somerville Diaper Project distributed more than 278,000 diapers, with 237 individual home deliveries made. Each week, between 70-150 families came to school sites to pick up free diapers. During the peak of the pandemic and with the growing scarcity of resources, more than 150 families were coming weekly to pick up more than 5,000 diapers. Diapers are a basic need, cost a family $70-$100 per month per child, and are not covered by WIC, SNAP, or other subsidy programs.
At one point, volunteers noticed that many families were requesting larger size diapers and pull-ups. In response, the SFLC ran a remote potty training workshop with interpretation, complete with original song/score by Maura Quiroz. 25 families registered and their children were able to potty train sooner to save on the cost of diapers. 20 potty training chars were donated by volunteers as well.
Thank you to everyone who made this possible!
Thank you to The Beautiful Stuff Project, Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, and the following amazing partners and volunteers for collecting, fundraising, storing, transporting, schlepping, sorting, packaging, and distributing diapers. We could not have supported so many Somerville families without your tireless and generous support.