RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The Richmond City Council has unanimously passed an ordinance to pay prepaid debit cards worth $125 for eligible households with infants who are formula-dependent.
The approved measurewhich comes amid a nationwide formula shortage, will allow the city to execute a grant contract with The beginnings of the urban baby so that the association can buy and provide the cards to the families.
To obtain a card, eligible households in Richmond can register at the Urban Baby Beginnings website from June 6.
“I can think of nothing more important than making sure our babies have the nourishment they need to grow and thrive,” Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said in a statement after Tuesday’s unanimous vote. .
Eligible households must show proof of participation in the government assistance program known as WIC – the Special supplementary nutrition program for women, infants and children — that benefits millions of people each month.
“In Richmond, pediatricians report being overwhelmed with calls from families of infants who have visited more than 10 stores without finding infant formula and resort to unsafe alternatives like Carnation Infant Breakfast and Karo Syrup” , says the order.
According to the city ordinance, eligible households can also participate in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or provide “self-certification of low-income status.”
“Urban Baby Beginnings, which operates the Capital Region Diaper Bank, reported parents showing up at their doorstep with screaming, hungry babies in their arms,” the measurement continues.
Private funders — FeedMore, The Community Foundation, Bob and Anna Lou Schaberg Foundation, Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation, and Jackson Foundation — joined in and provided an additional $135,000 to the initiative.
“Many families in our community are feeling the impact of the baby formula shortage. It’s a scary time for people with children under the age of one,” said Stephanie Spencer, founding executive director of Baby Beginnings, in a statement. “Meeting the needs of our babies is paramount right now. We We may not have all the answers, but this is one way to help.”
Families can only receive one card under the proposal, but council members said on Tuesday they hoped more than one card could be provided to those in need. Households that receive a card do not need to spend money on infant formula.