Could it be a Big Fresno (Health) Fair?

For this week’s edition of Vida, I wrote a short story about the measures the Big Fresno Fair takes to ensure patrons’ health and safety.

I was happy to learn that the fair – which runs from Oct. 6 to Oct. 17 – will offer hand-washing demonstrations, educational information about flu vaccinations, and whooping cough vaccinations on Oct. 7.

But I think the Big Fresno Fair could do even more to promote community health.

In my opinion, the fair – the fifth largest in the state – is the perfect opportunity to get the message out about obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases.

It would also be the perfect opportunity to offer a health clinic. Wouldn’t it be cool if one of our local clinics could set up a mobile clinic at the fair, as Clinica Sierra Vista did during the Mexican Bicentennial celebrations on Fresno’s Fulton Mall a few weeks ago?

Now I’m going to hatch a big plan: The Big Fresno Fair overlaps with Binational Health Week, a huge mobilization effort intended to improve the health and well-being of underserved Latinos in the U.S. and Canada. During Binational Health Week, there will be free health fairs and health clinics throughout the San Joaquín Valley.

Wouldn’t it be cool if the Big Fresno Fair partnered with Binational Health Week and offered a free health clinic on Sunday, Oct. 17 – the last day of both events, and the day the fair typically draws the most Latino patrons? That way, fair-going families could get a free medical check-up, and then head over to the Paul Paul Theater to hear the popular Argentine band Enanitos Verdes for free.

I know holding a Big Fresno (Health) Fair would take a huge amount of planning, but it sounds good in my community health dream world.

I’ll be at the fairgrounds in the next few weeks to check out the fair’s heart-healthy food map and its new farmers market exhibit. Check back to this blog, or follow me on Twitter (@HarvestHealth) for updates from the fair.

Masssive event to ‘Feed Hope’

This Saturday, the Community Food Bank will hold the largest food distribution it’s ever held, according to Dayatra Latin, the food bank’s director of programs and outreach.

The massive food distribution, held in conjunction with Hunger Action Month, will be at the Mosqueda Center in Fresno from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Latin said the food bank has enough food to feed about 20,000 people.

“This is one day nobody in the Central Valley should say they’re going without food,” Latin said.

food dist

Everybody should participate in this event.

  • If you and your family suffer from food insecurity, the food bank invites you to attend this “car distribution.” Just come to the Mosqueda Center – no earlier than 6 a.m. – with space in your car, a good attitude, and a bottle of water.
  • If you and your family have TIME to give, the food bank will need about 600 volunteers to help distribution more than one million pounds of food on Saturday. So far, about 300 people have agreed to donate their time.
  • If you and your family have MONEY to donate, the food bank needs help covering the costs of this event, and providing food and resources at future events. Latin said every $1 donated equals $8 of food.
  • If you MISS this event, you’ll have another opportunity to help combat hunger in our community. On October 14, during the Big Fresno Fair’s “Feed the Need” drive, people who donate four cans of food will gain free entrance into the fair. The event will benefit the food bank and the Salvation Army.

As Latin said, “hunger is an everyday disaster.” This Saturday is one day where you can obtain food – or ensure that others in your community have food for a day.

To read Vida’s past stories about hunger, click here.