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City extends free diaper program to Medi–Cal recipients

San Francisco is extending its free diaper program to all residents who receive public benefits, city officials announced Friday.

City leaders said San Francisco is the first in the nation to offer such an extensive program, now open to families covered by Medi-Cal. Previously, The City’s Diaper Bank program was limited to CalWORKs and CalFresh recipients. The program expansion doubles the number of families eligible for free diapers.

Mayor London Breed said:

“This expansion enables us to provide diapers for all low-income children in San Francisco receiving public benefits, removing a financial burden that sadly, far too many families face.”

Diapers can cost anywhere from $80 to $100 a month, with infants needing an average of eight to 12 diapers each day, city officials said.

Diaper Bank participants were surveyed last year and 94 percent of responding families said they felt less stress in part because of the program — 87 percent of families said they had more money for food.

Trent Rhorer, executive director for the San Francisco Human Services Agency, which administers the free diaper program, issued a statement saying:

“One of the many reasons we’re proud to expand the Diaper Bank is that it addresses racial and systemic inequities that start as early as infanthood, removing obstacles many families face to child care and early education.”

The San Francisco Diaper Bank program launched in 2015 in partnership with the nonprofit Help a Mother Out, an organization that seeks to increase access to diapers for families in need.

The program has supplied diapers to more than 5,800 infants and toddlers, officials said.

More information about the program and where families can pick up free diapers can be found at http://www.sfdiaperbank.org/.

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