Support for Iowa Latinos and Immigrants Building Healthy Families

Bernarda and Berenice discuss the baby's development

The desire for a healthy family is universal. But achieving family health is more challenging for some in Iowa. According to 2023 data, over 43,000 Latino families reside in Iowa and of those, nearly 65% include children under age 18. Additionally, 8.2% of the entire Latino population in Iowa is under age 5.

The need for family support services is growing, as the median income for Latino families in Iowa is $72,372 — more than $18,400 less than the $90,850 median income for the state as a whole.

“It would be very difficult without [EveryStep]. When I receive all these things through [EveryStep], I don’t have to spend out of my pocket, and that’s a lot of help because I need the money for other things.”

How is EveryStep Making a Difference?
EveryStep is there to help build healthy families in Iowa by serving those most in need. Bernarda is one of the Latina mothers thankful for the support EveryStep staff like Healthy Start case manager Berenice Reyes provides.

“Berenice came to us when I needed her most,” says Bernarda, who has been in the U.S. for 11 years. She and her husband share three daughters, ages 9, 6 and 18 months. “She has helped us so much — from knowing how the baby develops to [delivery], and all the benefits she has shown us through EveryStep.”

Bernarda’s first two daughters were born before she learned about EveryStep and she says the difference in her parenting knowledge is remarkable. “I’ve learned so many things about how [the baby] is developing, knowing the stages and when they should be doing this and that.” Additionally, Bernarda and her husband have been supported through EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest program.

“I received so many things for my baby,” says Berenice. “A highchair, the pack and play, car seats, diapers, the stroller. I attended many classes where I learned CPR and other things to [help my family]. Through WIC, I received food while I was pregnant and for my children.” Bernarda says she is grateful to the nurse who told her about EveryStep when she learned she was pregnant.

Rising Prices Make Assistance Even More Important
This assistance is especially important to Bernarda because, like many, inflation has hit their family hard. “It would be very difficult without [EveryStep]. I don’t work and my husband doesn’t make that much money. When I receive all these things through [EveryStep], I don’t have to spend out of my pocket, and that’s a lot of help because I need the money for other things.”

Berenice says she’s grateful to be able to work with a mom like Bernarda. “She has been very committed to the program. She has attended a lot of our parenting classes and support groups and takes advantage of EveryStep events like Baby Bloom and Roll, Baby, Roll.”

“I consider Berenice like an angel because God sent her to us in the moment, we needed her the most. We love her,” says Bernarda.

You Can Make a Difference
We all face challenges, but some people in our community are coping with more difficult circumstances. Even a blessing like a baby can be more difficult to navigate without the financial resources to pay for services and other family needs. EveryStep shows up when people need us most, no matter who they are or what circumstances they face.

The diversity of EveryStep’s programs helps meet a variety of needs at once, and ongoing support over time. You have the power to help those who are struggling in our community.

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Your gift, even a small contribution, becomes another thread strengthening the community fabric that binds us together.