Baby Exchange Program provides diapers and supplies for needy families

A new baby exchange program is providing essential supplies like diapers and strollers to Vermont families in need. At the North End Food Pantry, canned and prepackaged meals now sit next to diapers, strollers, and even portable infant toilets. The program, called the Baby & Child Product Exchange, is the brainchild of Wendy Rice, the founder of Vermont Connector, who works in tandem with the food pantry.”It really began with me having a child at the beginning of the pandemic,” Rice said. “Understanding the huge needs for these items, but also seeing on social media these items were being given out.”The diaper bank, which has been running since October of 2021, has handed out thousands of items to date. This helped create the groundwork for a new equipment program. “The baby equipment exchange has only been running for about a month and a half, but the response has been staggering — over 80 items donated in just six weeks,” Rice said.Thomas Fleury of the North End Food Pantry is very grateful for his partnership with Rice. “We had received sporadic donations of diapers from a couple generous companies, but then that stopped. But the need certainly has only grown,” Fleury said. “Wendy has a whole network of people with whom she’s working to gather those supplies and are sort of the distributors for them.”As more community partners step up, Rice said she is very excited at the possibility of expanding throughout the county and even the state.”If possible expand more locations across Chittenden County and even the state,” she said. If you would like to learn more about the Baby & Child Product Exchange, you can visit the Vermont Connector site or the food pantry website.

A new baby exchange program is providing essential supplies like diapers and strollers to Vermont families in need.

At the North End Food Pantry, canned and prepackaged meals now sit next to diapers, strollers, and even portable infant toilets. The program, called the Baby & Child Product Exchange, is the brainchild of Wendy Rice, the founder of Vermont Connector, who works in tandem with the food pantry.

“It really began with me having a child at the beginning of the pandemic,” Rice said. “Understanding the huge needs for these items, but also seeing on social media these items were being given out.”

The diaper bank, which has been running since October of 2021, has handed out thousands of items to date. This helped create the groundwork for a new equipment program.

“The baby equipment exchange has only been running for about a month and a half, but the response has been staggering — over 80 items donated in just six weeks,” Rice said.

Thomas Fleury of the North End Food Pantry is very grateful for his partnership with Rice.

“We had received sporadic donations of diapers from a couple generous companies, but then that stopped. But the need certainly has only grown,” Fleury said. “Wendy has a whole network of people with whom she’s working to gather those supplies and are sort of the distributors for them.”

As more community partners step up, Rice said she is very excited at the possibility of expanding throughout the county and even the state.

“If possible [we want to] expand more locations across Chittenden County and even the state,” she said.

If you would like to learn more about the Baby & Child Product Exchange, you can visit the Vermont Connector site or the food pantry website.