What do you do, where do you go if you are a new or expectant mom with limited resources during a national crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic? As schools and child care centers close some parents might be feeling the pinch more than others. If you need some help, please seek it out! Below, we’ve gathered a few resources:
Community Food Banks and Food Pantries
Most of these organizations are still open and distributing food to people in need. Check with your local food bank to see if they are experiencing any changes in hours or procedures. Visit Feeding America to find a food bank located in your city.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (commonly known as WIC) funds food, nutrition education, and health care referrals for low-income pregnant and postpartum women as well as infants and children up to age 5 considered at nutritional risk. Visit the website to check your eligibility and find out how to apply. https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-how-apply
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (now known as SNAP, sometimes referred to as “food stamps”) offers nutrition benefits to supplement food budgets of families in need. Visit the website to check your eligibility. https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/recipient/eligibility
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is for U.S. citizens who are pregnant or responsible for a child under age 19. Qualifying individuals can receive financial assistance and other benefits. Visit the website to check your eligibility.
Many cities have diaper banks to ease the financial strain for families in need. Check the National Diaper Bank Network website to find a diaper bank in your area.
Your Insurance Company
Many insurance companies offered telehealth services before this crisis, now is a great time to consider and learn how to use it. For new mothers, many will offer lactation consulting over the phone. If you need it.
Local School Districts
Many school districts across the country are distributing food for children aged birth to 18. Some schools also serve as distribution sites providing food for the whole family. Check your local school district website to find out what’s happening in your area.
Local Nonprofit Organizations
Many communities have several nonprofits who work to meet the needs of families. If you are in need, reach out to a local nonprofit. The Red Cross or the United Way database is usually a great place to start.
There are many online groups, such as the new Babypalooza groups, that are designed for connecting parents to each, where moms are eager to help each other. As long as you follow health and safety protocols, such as meeting in a public place and maintaining social distancing, this could be an option for support. Many generous families are happy to offer everything from food to diapers.