With 5.2 Million Children Under the Age of 3 Living in Poor or Low-Income Families, 1 in 3 Mothers Report Suffering from Diaper Need
As WNY Push for Lactation Rooms in Airports Statewide Continues, Senator Joins Founder of Every Bottom Covered to Highlight East Side Diaper Bank Serving Buffalo’s Neediest Families
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy joined Raziya Hill, founder of Every Bottom Covered, Rachel Jackson, founder of Rachel’s Remedy, and Holly Shelly and Allison Zulawski, owners of the Care Connection Lactation and Wellness Center, to highlight a diaper bank serving Buffalo’s neediest families. Operating out of the Delevan Grider Community Center, Every Bottom Covered provides each child in a qualifying household with 20 diapers and a package of wipes on a monthly basis, as well referrals to organizations providing services to low-income families. This resource is critical at a time when census data ranks Buffalo’s childhood poverty rate at 44%. While that number has improved over the past few years, advocates say many Buffalo families, particularly single mothers, still find themselves struggling to afford an average of $100 in diapers every month, per child.
“Raziya Hill saw a need in our community, and has moved mountains to address it, lending a hand to mothers and families across Buffalo who need it most,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “Investing in and supporting mothers across New York will directly assist in fostering healthy children and families. I’m proud to join her and advocates like Rachel, Holly, and Allison to push for more resources for mothers across Western New York.”
“The childhood poverty rate in our county is staggering. Every Bottom Covered and the Single Moms Club are important initiatives that bring to light the needs of our underserved mothers in this community. The only way to break the cycle of poverty is to provide mothers with the support they need to raise healthy children without living in fear of how to pay for the next diaper or meal.” said Rachel Jackson, owner of Rachel’s Remedy. “Senator Kennedy makes an important point – we need to not only support mothers across NY, but we must also invest in them. We must support legislation that furthers this goal, and must support the government representatives that push for that legislation. Nothing is more important than working toward providing more resources for WNY moms and lowering the childhood poverty rates.”
“The Care Connection has been a resource in the WNY community for almost 2 decades, helping moms with their breastfeeding needs. In the last 3 years, since we have taken ownership we have been working more & more with the community to let our WNY mothers know we are here to help,” said Holly Shelly and Allison Zulawski, owners of The Care Connection. “By working with OB/GYN offices, Pediatricians, WIC, The United Way, local doulas and hosting a free Mom's morning out support group lead by an IBCLC, R.N., we have been able to help women reach their breastfeeding goals. We know our community will show support for our 2nd annual diaper drive, which we hope will immensely assist in Every Bottom Covered's mission.”
Every Bottom Covered is a 501(c)(3) and relies on outside funding and community donations to serve local families. In the spirit of Mother’s Day and women-owned businesses supporting WNY moms, the Care Connection Lactation and Wellness Center is partnering with Every Bottom Covered to host a day-long diaper drive on May 12th. Donations will be accepted from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Center, 3991 Harlem Rd, Amherst, NY 14226. All disposable diapers will be accepted, including open packages. Cloth diapers and wipes are also appreciated.
Additionally, Kennedy has launched a Single Moms Club, which invites mothers to a night out and night off, providing them with free children's activities while mom's enjoy an activity and have the ability to meet with educational, workforce, and community partners on hand. The next Single Moms Club will be held Thursday, May 10th from 5 – 7 p.m. at South Park High School. Interested moms can RSVP by calling the Senator’s office at 716-826-2683.
With the help of these mom & family-focused advocates, Kennedy also continues to push for lactation room accommodations in airports statewide. Months after introducing legislation requiring major airports to set aside this space for nursing mothers, the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport voluntarily heeded Kennedy’s call, creating a private nursing lounge. It is located on the airport’s east concourse, across from Gate 14. If passed, Kennedy’s bill would mandate similar rooms with a sink with running water, a shelf and a table and chair in all major airports.
The need for this legislation was inspired by Rachel, a Buffalo mother of two boys, who struggled to find these accommodations once she returned to work. Rachel and other WNY moms have taken their fight to Albany to meet with legislators on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, to discuss why the passage of this legislation is critical in helping mothers foster healthy families.