San Francisco has expanded its free Diaper Bank program to everyone on public benefits, including immigrants and undocumented families.

Mayor London Breed, in conjunction with the city’s Human Services Agency, announced the expansion this past week and claims it is the nation’s first city-funded program to provide diapers to low-income residents on public benefits. The city says it will double the number of eligible families.

Diapers are often overlooked as necessary donations to charity organizations and can cost an average of $80 to $100 a month in the Bay Area.

The diaper program in San Francisco had previously only been available to people through CalWORKs and CalFresh, the mayor’s office said. It is now available to Medi-Cal recipients as well.

Mayor Breed said that roughly one-third of the nation has a “diaper need,” forcing families to choose between diapers or things like food, gas, or even rent.

A survey taken of Diaper Bank recipients between February and March of 2021 revealed that 90 percent of them had more money for food with the program’s help; 87 percent said it was easier to pay their bills.

Currently there are 6,400 children in San Francisco who live in households participating in CalWORKs, CalFresh, and Medi-Cal, the mayor’s office said.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.