The Food Bank of Delaware’s first, but certainly not last, Health Fair could be described as a huge success, since more than 200 people came out to the Milford branch for health screenings and education related to health and a healthy lifestyle.
Melissa Holochwost, Senior Nutrition and Mobile Pantry Coordinator at the Food Bank of Delaware, was pleased with the response, since 182 of those attending qualified to be served with food, including meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.
“I really couldn’t ask for anything more. The vendors said they were pleased, and the people I talked to said they learned things they didn’t know,” she said.
“We wanted to make it fun and relaxing, and we want seniors to feel like it is OK to ask for assistance.”
Linda Booth Rogers, DCVA, volunteer services coordinator for Volunteer Delaware 50+, said she was pleased with the turnout and the opportunity to talk with people.
“The fair was well attended by individuals in the community. It was wise to have it the same day the seniors picked up food, plus doing the bingo card to make sure each one visited our tables. It was clear that the population attending was in dire need of all the services provided by the many vendors,” she said.
Trisha Bentley, RN, MSN, a clinical educator with Bayhealth’s education department, staffed a table with two other nurses.
“We did 28 Diabetes Paper Risk Assessments and handed out lab vouchers for patients to go to either Milford Memorial Hospital or Kent General Hospital outpatient lab for a free diabetes test. There were a significant number of patients who came by the table, but already had diabetes so didn’t take the risk assessment, but they took a wallet ID card and/or diabetes management information. I thought it was well organized, well attended, and I will definitely recommend doing it again,” she said.
Missy said the concept for the health fair was a natural offshoot of monthly senior cooking and nutrition classes offered at the Food Bank. The classes and health fair are supported through the generosity of the Palmer Home Foundation.
“From the mobile pantries and senior classes, I can see that seniors are interested in getting more education. They aren’t aware of the existing services,” she said.
“This was an opportunity for them to talk with experts, and for the most part, it was all I hoped it would be.”
For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware’s services for senior citizens, visit http://www.fbd.org/program/senior-nutrition/.