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The best of health

The best of health

Just getting people outside and walking around is part of a healthy lifestyle. Dancing will get your heart rate up. Or maybe you prefer a bounce house. Fresh food is always good, especially if you can grow your own organically. And then it’s never a bad idea to get a check up, especially when it’s free.

These are just a few of the reasons why hundreds of people attended Family Health Care Network’s (FHCN) 14th annual Woodlake Health Fair on Saturday, April 13 at its Woodlake Health Center, 201 E. Lakeview St. in Woodlake. From 1-4 p.m. people lined up to take advantage of free health screenings, digital retinal vouchers, dental screenings for children 0-5, and informational booths on Health Education and Nutrition in the parking lot.

Others waited in line to meet with Certified Application Assisters to answer questions about the transition of Healthy Families to Medi-Cal and insurance enrollment processes. And some just came for fun. Many watched and took video of folklorico dancers while small children played in the bounce house, carnival games or got their face painted.

Jack and Brenda Pursall came to look over their plot in the community garden on the south end of the property along Lemona Avenue. The couple, which just got involved about a week ago, saw that many had already completed their spring planting. The Pursalls used to have enough space in their backyard to do their own gardening but as the year’s went by other things took over the space.

“It’s amazing and I was really surprised when I heard about it,” Brenda said. “It’s a great opportunity for families to get to know each other and grow their own food.”

Brenda said she and her family are planning to grow an entire menu of fresh fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, chilis, oakra, green beans, squash, onions and strawberries.

“It’s great because we all come when we can, and if someone’s area looks like it needs watering we just do it for them,” she said. “Everyone helps each other out.”

Veronica Sanchez, Community Health Representative for FHCN, said her staff planted fruit trees around the perimeter donated by Monrovia Nursery just southwest of town. She said each plot belongs to a family. Meetings are held at 5 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at the health center for those interested in learning about nutrition and healthy food choices.

“Everything used in here is organic matter,” she said. “The idea is to teach people about nutrition by having them grow fresh fruits and vegetables they can eat or share with others.”

Across the street, Erik Gonzalez was painting a mural to commemorate Woodlake’s agricultural heritage. The mural, being painted on the back wall of First Choice Foods grocery store, features the Woodlake water tank, farmworkers picking oranges, cattle grazing and children playing.

“It’s really meant to represent Woodlake and different parts of the community,” Gonzalez said.

For more information on programs at the Woodlake Health Center, contact Veronica Sanchez by e-mailing vsanchez@fhcn.org or calling 559-909-4202. You can also visit Family Health Care Network online at www.FHCN.org, like them on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/fhcn.org or follow them on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/FHCN.

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