FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 27, 2022
Virginia Community Action Partnership receives $1.2 Million to help alleviate diaper need as part of a comprehensive antipoverty strategy
Richmond, VA – Today, the Virginia Community Action Partnership (VACAP) announced Virginia is one of only six state community action associations nationwide to receive a Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot grant. The award represents an innovative partnership between community action agencies, diaper banks and other key local and regional partners committed to combining diaper distribution and wraparound services to families. The Office of Community Services (OCS) within the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services launched the new Diaper Distribution Demonstration and Research Pilot on September 27, 2022. This program, also known as the Diaper Distribution Pilot, channels new funding to expand existing diaper distribution services, through the robust network of anti-poverty services that OCS already provides through the Community Services Block Grant.
The Virginia collaborative will pilot and research the delivery of diapers and wraparound services to families at four sites across Virginia. The four geographically diverse partnerships demonstrated leadership in working together to commit local match to this new federal funding award:
Richmond: City of Richmond, Capital Diaper Bank (Urban Baby Beginnings), Capital Area Partnership Uplifting People
Williamsburg/James City County: Williamsburg-James City County Community Action Agency, Williamsburg House of Mercy Diaper Bank
Southwest Virginia: Appalachian Community Action and Development Agency
Coastal Virginia: The Hampton Roads Community Action Partnership
The Virginia Community Action Partnership (VACAP) is a statewide membership association for Virginia’s 31 non-profit private and public community action agencies. VACAP’s mission is to build the capacity and competencies of Virginia’s community action agencies to achieve their mission of creating economic opportunities and mobility from poverty for Virginians.
Erik Johnston, President and CEO of VACAP, said “We are grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and Virginia’s Congressional Delegation for making this funding opportunity available to serve more Virginia families through innovation in diaper distribution and wraparound services.”
According to Annette Lewis, President of the VACAP Board, “Diapers are such a cost burden for families experiencing poverty. We are excited about the new projects being formed in Virginia through this pilot grant that will provide diapers and comprehensive wraparound services that leads to economic mobility.”
The Diaper Distribution Pilot puts another antipoverty tool in the hands of Community Action Agencies and their partners, as part of their efforts to provide wraparound services for individuals and families with low incomes. The Diaper Distribution Pilot also connects families to economic mobility services like job training, Early Head Start, housing services, caregiver support, and more. OCS understands that this Diaper Distribution Pilot is about more than just diapers – it is about lifting a real and tangible barrier to health and wellbeing for low-income families, and about connecting those families with other programs that address the conditions and causes of poverty and help them take steps toward self-sufficiency.
For more information about the Diaper Distribution Pilot or OCS’s seven antipoverty programs, visit the OCS website.
Each of the four Virginia pilot sites will be working with VACAP to begin their local programs in the upcoming months and details will be available on the VACAP website once regional programs are launched. For more information about VACAP visit www.vacap.org.