A lesson in fruits and veggies
North Hudson Community Action Corp hosts health fair; 35K donated to children’s center
by Melissa Rappaport
Reporter staff writer
Jul 26, 2009 | 1235 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BUSTLING HEALTH FAIR – Participants enjoyed the free amenities provided at the NHCAC’s health fair. “I made the hats and helped with the decorations,” said Ronaldo Carillo, 10, who helped his mom attend to one of the booths.
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The North Hudson Community Action Corporation’s Women, Infants and Children Department (WIC) – which provides support for low-income mothers and pregnant women in Hudson County – hosted a health fair for local residents on July 17.

The fair took place on 53rd Street between Broadway and Park avenues. The streets were closed from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and tents were set up with workers at stations who distributed information, food, and giveaways from local markets such as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.

The NHCAC, which receives federal and local funding, provides an array of low-cost services to low-income residents of most of Hudson County’s adults and children.

At the July 17 event, face painting, games, and other craft making stations were available for the children. Free health screenings were also available at the NHCAC’s mobile clinic.

“The whole theme of the fair was fruits, vegetables, and nutrition,” said Karen Lazarowitz, chief dietician for the WIC program at the NHCAC.
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Low-income residents of Hudson County can get health care and referrals from the NHCAC.
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Michael Velazquez, 7, attended the fair. He said the best part of the fair was that he was able to enjoy the games that taught him about nutrition. The game the youngster played was “Run, Pick, and Win for Health.” Michael learned to choose Cheerios and juice over junk food.

35 K donated toward childcare

The United Way of Hudson County presented a check to the NHCAC’s Children First Child Care Center in the amount of $35,000.

“Our sole purpose for funding North Hudson’s child care program is because in the community we live in, there are so many low-income families that need child day care,” said Maria Gomez, vice president of the United Way of Hudson County, “and child day care in any part of the country is very expensive.” Gomez was at the fair and took part in presenting the check to the NHCAC.

“The money we raise comes from long time contributors,” said Gomez. She noted that companies such as UPS, Bank of New York, and employees of the agencies that the United Way provides funding for have been past contributors.

The Children First Child Care Center provides low-cost day care services for children no matter where they live. The center is located at 6100 Adams St. in West New York, and vouchers are available to parents who can not afford the weekly fees, depending on number of vouchers available and the client’s income.

Scope of NHCAC’s services

Christopher Irizarry, CEO of the NHCAC, said the corporation provides a large number of low-cost and free services to the North Hudson Community.

“We have a Head Start program. We have a WIC program. We provide general pediatric care, internal medicine, dental, OBGYN services, and mental health services,” said Irizarry, naming just a few of the services available to residents of the North Hudson area.

The areas that fall under NHCAC’s umbrella include: Union City, West New York, Weehawken, North Bergen, Kearny, Secaucus, Guttenberg, and Harrison. In addition, the corporation will provide referrals to residents that do not live in any of those areas.

“We’re always very proud to partner up with the United Way,” added Irizarry regarding the United Way’s donation to the child care center. “Their matching grant is extremely important to us in order to continue the child care that we provide for people in our community that couldn’t afford it otherwise.”

Funding for the host of services provided by the NHCAC comes from local support, grants, and federal dollars.

Melissa Rappaport may be reached at mrappaport@hudsonreporter.com

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