June 16, 2020
Contact: Thomas McCarthy or Gina Paige, 608-422-7800 or dcfmedia@wisconsin.gov

Collaborative Partnership Delivers Supplies to Child Care Providers

(MADISON) – The Department of Children and Families (DCF), Feeding Wisconsin, Baby2Baby, United Way of Wisconsin, and United Way of Dane County have teamed up to secure and deliver supplies to providers in need.

Early care and education providers throughout Wisconsin have struggled to find necessary supplies during the COVID-19 public health emergency. DCF, Feeding Wisconsin, Baby2Baby, United Way of Wisconsin, and United Way of Dane County banded together to fill this critical void. While aligned in their missions to serve Wisconsin families, this partnership was the first time these organizations have worked together.

During the early stages of the crisis, DCF worked to secure supplies through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help early care and education providers who were struggling to find supplies. The department was able to work with private suppliers like Baby2Baby to find additional donations for scarce items such as diapers, wipes, and formula. As resources came in, the department began to evaluate providers in need by working with staff who regulate child care providers and other advocates in the field.

The final piece fell into place when Feeding Wisconsin and the United Way offered their expertise and services in delivery and logistics of supplies. The last few weeks, providers in need began receiving the supplies they could not find in their local communities.

Below is a collection of quotes from key partners involved in this project.

 “The Department of Children and Families is grateful for the efforts of the numerous partners across the state who stepped up during the public health emergency to keep our early care and education centers safe and operational,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all you’ve done.”

“Our network of food banks has seen a growing need during the COVID19 crisis,” said Feeding Wisconsin Executive Director Stephanie Jung Dorfman. “We are appreciative of this partnership’s work to supply childcare facilities and our network of pantries with much needed childcare resources for our those struggling to make ends meet. While our primary mission is to provide nutritious food to those experiencing hunger throughout the state, we know that childcare supplies, like diapers and wipes, are essential to the wellbeing of families and are often costly items that are not covered by SNAP and WIC.”

“United Ways throughout our state are committed to ensure all children get a strong start in life,” said United Way of Wisconsin Executive Director Charlene Mouille. “Child care providers and centers play an integral role with families to support these strong starts. We value partnering with other state-level agencies to coordinate greater access to essentials like diapers and wipes for child care providers.”

“Over the past few months United Way of Dane County has monitored income loss and seen 211 calls triple, so we know the need for these items is great,” says United Way of Dane County President and CEO Renee Moe. “We are happy to connect DCF with Feeding Wisconsin to distribute these much-needed items to Wisconsin families. Diapers, formula and critical supplies will help families stretch their budgets to afford other essentials like rent, food and utilities, and keep childcare providers stocked so parents can continue to work safely.”

"Baby2Baby provides diapers, clothing and basic essentials for children in poverty all year long, but with the impact of COVID-19 on these families, the need is even greater,” said Baby2Baby co-founders Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer. “The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families plays such an important role in making sure children have the ability to thrive in all circumstances, and we are proud to support their efforts with over 1.3 million diapers and wipes for children in need."

About Feeding Wisconsin
Feeding Wisconsin is the state association of the six regional Feeding America food banks that provide food to over 1,000 local food programs in all 72 counties of the state. Together, Feeding Wisconsin provides 50 million meals annually to over 550,000 people in every corner of our state. Its mission is to help food banks, partners, and the public fight hunger, improve health, and strengthen local communities. Through food banks and food pantries, Feeding Wisconsin works to ensure that everybody has access to the food and benefits they need to work, learn, play and live healthy lives. Together, Feeding Wisconsin is leading the way Forward together toward a healthy and hunger-free Wisconsin. For more information, please visit our website at www.FeedingWI.org
About United Way of Wisconsin
United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of everyone, everywhere. United Way of Wisconsin (UWWi) provides member support services to the 40 local and independent United Ways in Wisconsin. Connect with your local United Way to learn more about how United Way is advancing the common good in your community. Learn more at unitedwaywi.org.
About United Way of Dane County
United Way of Dane County has been tackling Dane County’s toughest challenges for 98 years. With a mission to unite the community to achieve measurable results and change lives, we are committed 24/7, 365 days a year to build a Dane County where everyone can succeed in school, work and life. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative work, United Way brings the many voices of Dane County together to find common ground, develop a strategic architecture for change, while engaging businesses and individuals to give, advocate and volunteer in Dane County. Together, we are The Power of Many. Working for All. Learn more at https://www.unitedwaydanecounty.org/.
About Baby2Baby
In the past 10 weeks, Baby2Baby has distributed over 15 million essential items including diapers, hygiene, formula, baby food and more to some of the most vulnerable families across the country impacted by COVID-19. This includes deliveries to over 200 partner agencies in Los Angeles, spanning school districts, homeless shelters, health clinics, foster care, hospitals, clinics and more. We have sent essential items to Baby2Baby National Network members in New York City, Seattle Dallas, Denver, Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, Portland and more. Additionally, Baby2Baby has provided hundreds of thousands of basic essentials through partnerships with the American Red Cross and FEMA.

To learn more about DCF, visit dcf.wisconsin.gov. Stay connected with us by following @WisDCF on Twitter and Facebook. This release is also available in PDF format