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This article was written by BenitoLink intern Juliana Luna
Since 2008, the San Benito Migrant Health Fair has advocated for accessible medical care to families in the migrant program. On June 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, free screenings and other services are available at 3235 Southside Road in Hollister, inside of the Migrant Center.
Southside Elementary School, the Migrant Education Program, and First 5 San Benito are partnering on this year’s health fair. The location has remained the same for those who temporarily reside at Hollister Migrant Housing Center, bringing community outreach, prevention programs, services and screenings close to their homes.
The event is held in summer for the incoming families at the camp. Southside Elementary summer staff also participate in the fair by enrolling children from the camp in the school, located next to the migrant center.
“Our utmost priority is to help facilitate general information about good health and preventative medicine,” Cindy Camilleri from Migrant Education Program told BenitoLink. Detecting a vision or dental problem at an early stage improves well-being, said Camilleri.
Since the pandemic, more organizations have been lending help, said John Schilling, Southside Elementary’s principal/superintendent. Funding for the event has come from local donations. Additionally, they have received grants from Santa Clara County.
Medical care is a big issue, said Schilling. He added that the fair also helps migrant families, who might otherwise feel not part of the community, to feel included. This year’s new services include student haircuts, women’s health services and Medi-Cal enrollment. There are plans to add men’s health in the future.
This year’s fair will see 27 local organizations participating, in categories representing youth activities, food assistance, health care, employment and law enforcement.
- Vision screenings
- Dental screenings
- Hearing screenings
- Mental health
- Women’s self-check education and follow up if needed
- Food from Second Harvest Food Bank
- Domestic violence/human trafficking awareness
- Free food for families
- Free haircuts
- Women’s health services
- Medi-Cal enrollment
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