SAN FRANCISCO—The city of San Francisco announced on Friday, April 29, that they are expanding their free diaper program to all of those on public assistance including undocumented families. 

San Francisco’s diaper program was previously only available to those through programs like CalWORKs and CalFresh, but will now include Medi-cal recipients, doubling the amount of families who will be eligible for aid. The mayor and the San Francisco Human Services Agency claims that this program is the nation’s first city-funded program to help provide diapers for families in need.

According to SF Mayor London Breed, one-third of the nation has a “diaper need” which is forcing families to choose between diapers or things like food, gas, or rent. 

A mother told San Francisco News in an interview that when her children were young she would spend about $100 a week on diapers alone. There are currently 6,400 children in San Francisco who reside in homes that participate in CalWORKS, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal.   

According to BankRate, it can cost about a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child from infancy to adulthood with housing being the main expense and food being the next. Housing can cost about 29 percent and food about 18 percent the total cost of raising a child. Factors like choosing a safer neighborhood to raise a family and healthier foods can increase the amount it cost to raise a child.  

A survey taken of Diaper Bank recipients between February and March 2021 revealed that 90 percent of them had more money for food with the program’s help; 87 percent said it was easier to pay their bills.

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