Regional grant to provide childcare supplies over the holidays in Southside Virginia

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(WFXR) — During this season for giving, some families in the West Piedmont Planning District could soon see their stockings filled to the brim with baby and toddler supplies for the holidays.

According to officials, the supplies are being purchased with a $70,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded to Henry County through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community.

By partnering with Department of Social Services (DSS) offices in the West Piedmont Planning District Commission footprint, Henry County expects the program will benefit approximately 1,500 babies and toddlers in the region.

In order to qualify, the children reportedly need to be age 5 or younger and the families must receive support through a DSS office in Martinsville, Henry County, Danville, Pittsylvania County, Franklin County, or Patrick County.

According to a statement from Henry County on Monday, Dec. 13, childcare supplies will be given to families on an as-needed basis by DSS staff, which will allow for more flexibility by tailoring supplies to the individual families.

Here are some examples of the necessary items:

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Pull-ups
  • Home safety supplies
  • Feeding supplies
  • Baby bath supplies
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Blankets
  • Pack-n-plays
  • Strollers
  • Car seats
  • Diaper bags
  • Portable changing pads
  • First-aid kits
  • Formula
  • Baby laundry soap

Officials say most of the supplies — which were chosen in coordination with DSS staff — are not covered under traditional SNAP/EBT or WIC benefits, meaning that parents and families would normally pay these costs out of pocket.

“With the holiday season being a financially stressful time of year, the rollout of the program will reduce some of the economic burden placed on families during the cold weather season,” Monday’s statement said. “Additionally, the program will help foster closer relationships between families and their local DSS offices.”

For more information about this program, call the West Piedmont Planning District Commission at 276-638-3987.

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