Food Depository, Share Our Spare team up to deliver 6M diapers
Pilot program designed to ease burden on Cook County families still reeling from the pandemic
Beginning this month, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and Share Our Spare are partnering to deliver nearly 6 million diapers to food pantries and other partners in an innovative 12-month pilot program.
The Food Depository, which is Chicago’s food bank, will coordinate the deliveries to 50 of its partners serving high priority communities in Cook County as the program ramps up in the coming months. This effort reflects the Food Depository’s long-term strategy of investing in lower-income communities of color and addressing the tangential challenges, including diaper need, that compound food insecurity. Share Our Spare, the leading provider of essential items for Chicago children ages 0-5, will procure and deliver the diapers.
The pilot program is now underway and will run through June 2022.
“We’re so excited for this new partnership with Share Our Spare, which will help thousands of families in Chicago,” said Kate Maehr, the Food Depository’s executive director and CEO. “We’ve heard from our community partners that there’s an increased need for diapers. By providing both food and other essential items, we’re easing the burden on families and investing in our collective future.”
The Food Depository will pay the estimated $1 million cost of the pilot program, which is made possible by the generosity and compassion of the Food Depository’s donors during the pandemic. Through the partnership, the Food Depository will also connect Share Our Spare partners to information on food assistance and benefits enrollment.
One in three families in the Chicagoland area experience unmet diaper need, according to the National Diaper Bank Network, which affects their ability to nurture happy and healthy babies. This need also hinders their ability to go to work and school.
“We are grateful for this partnership with the Food Depository and the opportunity to expand our reach and as a result, help lay the foundation for a resilient and equitable community,” said Alex Goodfellow, executive director of Share Our Spare. “For the past 10 years, Share Our Spare has been committed to ensuring our future generation has the essentials they need to thrive. Together, we are strengthening people to overcome challenging circumstances, gain upward mobility and attain prosperity.”
Unmet diaper need is cited as the number one mental health stressor for new parents as many government assistance programs do not cover diapers. Diapers can cost an average family $70 to $80 per month per child in diapers, which is equal to about 14 percent of the monthly income of families experiencing poverty.
Historically, the Food Depository has made available donated diapers and other personal hygiene items to its network of food pantry partners. This pilot program represents its largest investment to date in the distribution of diapers.
Media contact: Greg Trotter
[email protected], 312-509-0137
About Share Our Spare
For the past ten years, SOS has demonstrated integrity, commitment, and collective knowledge of the issues, needs, and challenges of those we serve to develop sustainable solutions. SOS’s primary goal is to promote children and underserved Chicago families’ health and well-being through purposeful collaboration and initiatives to reduce disparities and increase access to community services and resources.
Through 100+ donation and distribution channels, SOS provides a vital support system for low-income families in the absence of state support. SOS is working towards a future where all of Chicago’s children have their basic needs met in the first five years of life, shifting families from crisis management to caregiving. The items we provide are more than just items — they are essential to the long-term health and well-being of children and their families. Learn more at www.shareourspare.org