Heeding a pressing need of families with young children for baby essentials since the coronavirus outbreak, of New York’s Young Sephardic Women committee organized a donation drive that brought in nearly 120,000 diapers and other baby products, valued at nearly $40,000.
The diapers, as well as more than 1,800 packs of wipes, more than 500 canisters of formula, 50 teethers, 200 baby toys, 50 containers of ointment, 205 bibs, and 50 sets of baby soap, were collected for partners Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty and the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, which do not typically spend funds on baby products.
Marks JCH required supplies to support 50 families, many including single parents and victims of domestic violence who experience financial burdens and struggle to afford basic items for their children. Since the pandemic, Marks JCH has seen a staggering increase in domestic violence cases, heightening the need for the products from the diaper drive. The majority of parents receiving the goods have received cash assistance through UJA grants to Marks JCH. The parents are given the baby essentials in addition to the cash assistance, which frees up funds for the families to spend on rent, food, and other household expenses.
Met Council, which normally supplies food to 40 pantries, has been distributing to over 100 sites each month since the pandemic, and has been regularly seeing pantry clients asking for baby essentials, amplifying the need for the products from the diaper drive. Of the 100 sites, dozens that serve families will receive diapers, wipes, and formula, in addition to the food they receive monthly. The products will also be delivered directly to hundreds of families through Met Council’s Domestic Violence Program. Met Council is serving hundreds of thousands of clients each year, and thousands will benefit from this program.
“Families are struggling to afford baby products, and as a community of mostly moms ourselves, we felt it was imperative to help provide these essential items for their households,” said Esther Hedaya, a Young Sephardic Women Committee member. “At the same time, we’re giving parents the dignity of being able to care for their children.”