On October 26th, First 5 Lake County’s executive director, Carla Ritz, and Chairperson and District 4 Supervisor, Tina Scott, distributed 394 cases of diapers and 169 cases of wipes to twelve local family-serving agencies and organizations. The supplies were provided by First 5 California in response to the growing needs of families with young children due to recent wildfires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In April of this year, First 5 California approved up to $4 million to support the acquisition and distribution of county-identified essential supplies for babies and young children, in addition to much-needed sanitation items.
“We have a role to play in helping California overcome this ongoing emergency. My fellow commissioners and I acted quickly to support funding for vital provisions that will help childcare providers and the broader community, while supporting essential workers throughout the state,” said George Halvorson, Chair of the First 5 CA Commission.
“The need is immediate, it is deep, and it affects more children and families than we can possibly serve,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 CA. “With our partners, we will continue to support the child care providers and essential workers who put their own health at risk as they provide much-needed services during this unprecedented time.”
To facilitate the purchase and distribution of these supplies, First 5 California worked in conjunction with SupplyBank.org – a California-based nonprofit that specializes in leveraging bulk purchasing power and innovative supply chain strategies to provide low-cost supplies to organizations supporting low-income and vulnerable populations.
“In Lake County,” said Ms. Ritz, “we distributed cases of diapers and wipes to our partners: Lake Family Resource Center, Mother-Wise, the Lake County Childcare Planning Council, Child Welfare Services, Lake County Tribal Health, Healthy Start (LCOE), Adventist Health Clearlake, Sutter Lakeside Hospital, E-Center WIC, Easterseals Bay Area, and Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake.” All of these supplies will be distributed by the individual agencies to the Lake County families whom they serve.
Earlier in the pandemic, diapers, wipes, disinfecting solution, hand soap, masks, gloves, and children’s books from First 5 California were delivered to North Coast Opportunities Rural Communities Child Care and distributed to participating child care providers in Lake County who remained open to serve the children of essential workers.
This effort, to distribute essential supplies in times of crisis, is aligned with First 5 Lake’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan which is based on the Strengthening FamiliesTM Protective Factors Framework. Concrete support in times of need is one of the five protective factors identified in the Framework which promote the positive wellbeing and healthy development of children. Additional Protective Factors include: parental resilience, social connections, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children. For more information about this and other First 5 Lake initiatives, visit www.firstfivelake.org.
The First 5 Lake County supports programs and services that promote the health and development of young children and educate parents, grandparents, caregivers and teachers about the critical role they play during a child’s first five years. Funding is derived from CA Proposition 10’s voter-mandated tax on tobacco products.
Since its inception in 2000, First 5 Lake has supported thousands of families with programs and services designed to help Lake County children grow up healthy and ready to succeed in school and life. Current First 5 Lake Commissioners are: Denise Pomeroy, Brock Falkenberg, Tina Scott, Crystal Markytan, Susan Jen, Carly Sherman, Allison Panella, and Fawn Rave.