Needy families to receive 500K diapers during pandemic

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Through a new partnership, 10,000 needy families in the city will receive half a million diapers over the next two months, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced today.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said the partnership will begin April 9, and local organizations will distribute the diapers.

Dzirasa said the demand at local nonprofits for diapers has surged since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is our hope that this partnership will provide comfort for families in need during these difficult times,” she said.

Even before the pandemic, 1 in 3 families across the country struggled to afford diapers to keep children clean and dry.

The city health department received funds from the Maryland Department of Health and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and grants from the Baltimore Community Foundation and Abell Foundation, to purchase the diapers.

The city is partnering with Share Baby, a local nonprofit that supplies diapers and other essential needs for children, to distribute the diapers.

Young also announced the new Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund offering one-time $500 grants to artists experiencing financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis. Artists can apply here.

Funding for the grants is provided by the T. Rowe Price Foundation, Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Grit Fund and Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network. According to a release, the groups have a fundraising goal of $125,000.

Donna Drew Sawyer, CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, said in a statement the foundations stepped up to the plate after her organization and the Maryland State Arts Council provided seed money for the initiative.

“With their investment and support, the Baltimore Artist Emergency Relief Fund is able to alleviate some of the economic hardships faced by the artists who invest so much of themselves and their creativity into making Baltimore a more vibrant and inspiring city for everyone,” she said.

Additionally, the Department of Recreation & Parks today rolled out a “Virtual Rec Center” with a collection of online offerings from local cultural institutions, fitness activities, gardening tips and more.

Brandon Weigel

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