NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Leaders at a local non-profit say they are devastated after finding out Governor Ned Lamont’s new proposed state budget slashes their state funding in half. Executive Director of The Diaper Bank of Connecticut Janet Alfano says they are urging supporters to take action.
At this point, The Diaper Bank can barely keep up with the growing need as it is, and this would just make matters worse for them.
In the governor’s new budget, the Diaper Bank’s state funding is going from a little over $300,000 down to $167,000.
Alfano says this is 17% of their budget overall and this is at a time when calls for help have doubled.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, they helped about 5,000 babies every month. That’s jumped up to 6,500. Alfano thinks it’s disheartening the governor would balance the budget on the backs of young families. She says many of these families rely on diapers to keep their children clean and healthy.
“It’s something that’s really difficult and disheartening to think at a time like this when so many families are in need,” said Alfano. “The need is very great. We know that we weren’t meeting all the needs in the state before the pandemic hit which is why this is so essential. Such a pivotal time and we need to continue to be providing these basic needs to families.”
So they’re urging supporters to write their lawmakers and testify at the State Appropriations Committee meeting next Tuesday to keep their funding.
This is their plea:
The state Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on the governor’s proposed budget for human service agencies at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 3 via Zoom, and we urge you to make your voice heard – on our behalf and on behalf of the families we serve. Please consider testifying at the public hearing. Anyone who wants to testify must register to do so here by Tuesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. The March 3 public hearing will subsequently be broadcast on YouTube Live here.
Another way to help is by emailing the following state lawmakers who serve on the Appropriation Committee’s Human Services subcommittee. Let them know that diapers are a basic health need and no family should have to worry about affording them:
Sen. Julie Kushner (co-chair) (Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman)
Rep. Cathy Abercrombie (co-chair) (Meriden, Berlin)
Sen. Paul Cicarella (Durham, East Haven, North Haven, Wallingford)
Rep. Whitt Betts (Bristol, Plymouth, Terryville)
Sen. Saud Anwar (East Hartford, Ellington, East Windsor, South Windsor)
Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (Newtown, Sandy Hook)
Rep. Jeff Currey (East Hartford, Manchester, South Windsor)
Rep. Lucy Dathan (Norwalk, New Canaan)
Rep. Patricia Dillon (New Haven)
Rep. Charles Ferraro (Orange, Milford, West Haven)
Rep. Mike France (Ledyard, Montville, Preston)
Rep. Jillian Gilchrest (West Hartford)
Rep. Minnie Gonzalez (Hartford)
Rep. Susan Johnson (Windham)
Rep. Manny Sanchez (New Britain, Newington)
Rep. David Wilson (Bethlehem, Litchfield, Morris, Warren, Woodbury)”