Baby Needs Drive-Thru helps local families

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News
OKEECHOBEE — Healthy Start’s first Baby Needs Drive-Thru event was a success on Saturday, July 11. Healthy Start partnered with Our Village Okeechobee and Hibiscus Children’s Center to educate over 200 families and provide them with essential baby items.

OKEECHOBEE — On Saturday, July 11, Okeechobee’s Healthy Start Coalition collaborated with local agencies including Our Village and Hibiscus Children’s Center to host A Baby Needs Drive-Thru. Due to COVID-19 they could not host this event as originally planned in person, but wanted to still ensure local families were able to receive the education and items available safely, via this drive-thru event.

The event allowed any pregnant woman or families in the community with children the ability to receive education on baby care, safe sleep methods, baby nutrition and car seat safety. After completing their training, they were able to reserve their choice of two free baby items from a car seat, crib, pack n’ play, diapers and/or formula. At the drive-thru event, more than 200 local families were able to pick up their two reserved items, face masks and local resources without getting out of their vehicles.

Healthy Start wants to thank all of those that helped make this community event possible. They are very thankful for all the volunteers and the time provided by Christ Fellowship, Helping People Succeed, Okeechobee City Police Department and the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office that allowed this event to be such a success.

The Healthy Start home visiting program has looked a little different over the last few months as it has been unsafe to enter the homes of our families due to this pandemic. However, this has not stopped the care coordinators from seeing and assisting families and enrolling new families to the program virtually and via porch drop-off. Healthy Start is a free local home visiting program that provides prenatal and infant education and care coordination to pregnant women and families of children under the age of 3.

The goal of the program is to lower risk factors associated with pre-term birth, low birthweight, infant mortality and poor developmental outcomes. The coordinators help guide women and families during the different stages of their pregnancies, labor and delivery; then assist with the infant’s developmental tracking and growth. If you are interested in receiving Healthy Start services or any other services offered in the community, please contact the Healthy Start office at 863-824-0448.

If you were unable to attend this event, please make sure to keep an eye on the Healthy Start Facebook page for the upcoming Educational Baby Shower in the fall.

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