‘Tis the season for giving and some families in the West Piedmont Planning District could soon see their stockings filled to the brim with baby and toddler supplies for the holidays.
The supplies are being purchased using a $70,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to Henry County through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community. By partnering with Department of Social Services (DSS) offices in the West Piedmont Planning District Commission footprint, it is expected that the program will benefit approximately 1,500 babies and toddlers in the region.
In order to qualify, children must be between the ages of 0-5 and the families must receive support through a DSS office in either Martinsville-Henry County, Danville-Pittsylvania County, Franklin County, or Patrick County.
Supplies will be given to families by DSS staff as needed which will allow for more flexibility as supplies can be tailored to the individual families.
Examples of supplies include: diapers, wipes, pull-ups, home safety supplies, feeding supplies, baby bath supplies, underwear, socks, mittens, hats, gloves, blankets, pack-n-plays, strollers, car seats, diaper bags, portable changing pads, first-aid kits, formula, and baby laundry soap.
Most of the supplies, which were chosen in coordination with DSS staff, are not covered under traditional SNAP/EBT or WIC benefits meaning that parents and families would normally pay these costs out of pocket.
With the holiday season being a financially stressful time of year, the rollout of the program will reduce some of the economic burden placed on families during the cold weather season. Additionally, the program will help foster closer relationships between families and their local DSS offices.
For more information, contact the West Piedmont Planning District Commission at (276) 638-3987.