By: Samantha Moreno
East Los Angeles College students were informed about the importance of their health and how to maintain it at the annual health fair on Wednesday, in the E2 quad.
The booths throughout the quad included free blood pressure exams, demonstrations on how to do self-examinations for both men and women, natural supplements and applications for food stamps.
CalFresh, a food stamp program which is referred to as CalFresh i California, made one out of two of their monthly ELAC appearances for the fair. This federal program, aims at helping low income families not only purchase food, but to get families to buy more fruits and vegetables at supermarkets.
According to CalFresh advocate, Ivette Vivianco, “compared to its start in the 1960s, which required fingerprints, interviews with workers of the program, and background checks, it has since become much easier for students to obtain these benefits. Students can qualify for CalFresh even if they are not working or receiving financial aid such as CalGrants or the Educational Opportunity Program”.
Although the application process has simplified, California continues to have the lowest number of members in the country. Vivianco said there has been a drop in membership cancellations for food stamps, since Donald Trump was elected president. Families have become fearful of being sought out and deported. Vivianco grew up in a low income family, and hopes to recruit as many members as she can for this program.
Self-examination pamphlets were handed out by students from ELAC’s nursing program. The guide gave step by step instructions on how to do self examinations to check for cancer. One nursing student said, “Self examinations are like getting to know one’s body, which can be very beneficial for one’s health.”
Jade Lopez, an employee of local store Herbs of Mexico, talked to students about alternative medicine and how to use homeopathic methods rather than prescription medications.
HOM has been around for sixty years and sells a variety of products such as plant-based shampoos and soaps, seed milks, vegetarian capsules, and superfoods in raw form. Customers can also customize their own herbal capsules.
“Healing is a word that is used in the herb community,” Lopez said. HOM, along with other homeopathic companies, are not allowed to use the word ‘cured’, and must state on their packaging that it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. According to Lopez, the amount of people that have been healed of diseases such as diabetes and arthritis, just shows how beneficial Herbs of Mexico is for people who are suffering with pain.
“We want to offer the community, especially our underserved community, something that Whole Foods would offer. We’re giving back to the community at the same time that we’re teaching,” Lopez said.
If students wish to find out more information on CalFresh they can schedule an appointment with them at (213)-749-4261. If any are interested in taking a more homeopathic approach to living, Herbs of Mexico is located nearby at 3903 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.