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ESCEO to collect diapers, pull-ups and wipes

Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio (ESCEO) Help Me Grow Home Visitors distribute more than 1,000 diapers each week to families in Mahoning and Portage Counties thanks to Project MKC and funding from the Ohio Department of Health. From left, Heidi Marciniak, A’Sha Thomas, Rachael Ramsey and Megan Kline. (Submitted photo)

CANFIELD — The Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio will be collecting diapers, pull-up training pants and wipes during Diaper Need Awareness Week from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3.

The Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio (ESCEO, formerly Mahoning County ESC), located in Canfield, provides support services for children and their families from pregnancy through age three with their Help Me Grow and Nurse Family Partnership teams.

The team provides services ranging from educating expectant mothers to speech, physical, and occupational therapy for children up to age 3. With the close relationships Help Me Grow team members form with families, they are also able to connect families with resources for support, which includes providing diapers.

Project MKC (formerly Making Kids Count) supplies a number of the diapers distributed through ESCEO’s Help Me Grow team. The Diaper Bank at Project MKC exists to fill an unmet critical need for diapers among the most vulnerable in the community. Project MKC distributes over 55,000 diapers each month through partner agencies in Mahoning, Columbiana, Trumbull, Ashtabula, Summit, Cuyahoga and Portage counties.

“Our Help Me Grow Home Visitors help address barriers families struggle with on a day-to-day basis,” said Megan Kline, Help Me Grow Home Visiting Coordinator at ESCEO. “The pandemic has exacerbated many of these barriers.”

One in three families struggle to provide their babies with clean diapers, which cannot be purchased through government assistance programs such as WIC or SNAP. Kline explains that inadequate diaper supply can impact child health and limit childcare options, in turn inhibiting parent education and career opportunities.

“Our home visitors alone distribute around 4,500 diapers each month to families in Mahoning and Portage counties,” said Kline. “This number has increased since the start of the pandemic.”

The diapers that the ESCEO team distributes come from a number of sources, including Project MKC and funding from the Ohio Department of Health.

To help support the Project MKC Diaper Bank initiative, the ESCEO team is hosting a diaper drive from Sept. 27 through Oct. 3. The organization is accepting new packages of diapers of all sizes, pull up training pants and baby wipes. Individuals can bring donations to the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio (located behind the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center, on Palmyra Road in Canfield) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Supporters can find additional ways to support Project MKC at https://projectmkc.org/donate/.

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