In addition to their “field trip” on the HTA bus, participants in Southern Humboldt Working Together’s Sept. general meeting shared news about community programs and projects.
Christina Huff, director of the Family Resource Center in Redway, announced several programs for children and families, including a free monthly produce market for low-income households.
The produce market, which offers fresh fruit and vegetables direct from farms in California’s Central Valley, will be held at the Garberville Presbyterian Church on the first Tuesday of every month beginning today, Sept. 11, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
Southern Humboldt First 5 continues its playgroups for children from newborns to 5 years of age and their families, with a new fall schedule.
Redway Fun and Games class will be held Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Redway School gym. The Casterlin playgroup meets Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Casterlin school. The Miranda playgroup meets Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the South Fork East campus, and the Shelter Cove playgroup meets Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at the Shelter Cove community center.
A special infant and toddler playgroup for little ones up to age 2 will be held on the first Friday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Early Head Start building on Empire Drive in Redway.
Grandparents and other caregivers of children in their homes will meet to share ideas, get support and advice, make connections, and get information about community resources on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. at the Family Resource Center on Whitmore Drive in Redway. (See related story about the new group facilitator, Kelly Remington Mendoza, in this issue.)
For more information about these programs, call the Family Resource Center at 923-1147.
The Family Resource Center has also joined Humboldt Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP). ASAP’s current campaign is focusing on preventing prescription drug abuse among teenagers.
The Humboldt Waste Management Authority is also distributing a brochure that describes the many environmental and public health impacts of improper disposal of pharmaceuticals, particularly by flushing them down the toilets or placing them in household trash.
Instead, pharmaceuticals such as unused prescriptions or over-the-counter medications can be brought to HWMA at 1059 West Hawthorne Street in Eureka for safe disposal on the first Saturday of each month between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
These medications may also be brought to Open Door community clinics in Arcata, Eureka, and McKinleyville.
Pharmaceutical wastes should be placed in sandwich bags for safety. Liquid medications should be placed in kitty litter or garden soil in a sandwich bag.
Persons wishing to dispose of syringes, lancets, inhalers, and controlled substances, including prescription medications like Oxycontin and Vicodin, should call local law enforcement or HWMA at 268-8680 for special disposal instructions.
Huff also noted that the term “substance abuse” is soon being officially changed to “problematic substance use” in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
Redwoods Rural Health Center’s patient advocate, Tawnya Carr, along with SHWT secretary and RRHC board member Kathy Epling, reported that RRHC will be offering transit vouchers to low-income health center patients who are referred to specialists in Eureka but can’t afford to pay for transportation.
Epling noted that as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), RRHC must provide more services than simply seeing patients who walk in the door. The health center is required to provide for comprehensive health needs of low-income persons.
RRHC director Tina Tvedt applies for many grants to help provide additional services, including a mini-grant to cover the cost of vouchers for bus service and gas for patients referred to out-of-town specialists.
RRHC is also participating in the state CalFresh program. In August they sponsored a healthy food cook-off, with board and staff as judges, to choose the most tasty and healthful dishes prepared by local cooks.
The next event is a free exercise class on Monday, Sept. 17 at the Vets Hall in Garberville. Angie Clark will lead the class from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., including a warm-up period followed by aerobic exercises.
Healthful snacks will be provided, and participants can get assistance in signing up for CalFresh benefits, which replace the former food stamp program.
Finally, Epling announced that the county’s public health van will be making a stop in front of her bookstore, Tiger Lily Books, at the north end of Garberville on the first Wednesday of each month.
While a firm schedule has not been set, the van will probably arrive around noon and stay for a couple of hours. Staff from the county Department of Health and Human Services will provide free HIV and Hepatitis C testing. They will also offer advice and counseling on a variety of health issues, as well as assistance in applying for Medi-Cal and the County Medical Services Program.
The next SHWT general meeting, which is open to everyone who is interested, will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at the Civic Club on Maple Lane in Garberville.