Northeast Times

Bridesburg health fair to offer medical services and crafts Saturday

At Brides­burg Health Fair, loc­als can shop at arts & crafts and flea mar­ket tables while get­ting ba­sic health screen­ings free of charge. Pro­ceeds be­ne­fit the Brides­burg Food Pantry.

This Sat­urday, the bi-an­nu­al Brides­burg Coun­cil of Churches Health Fair will provide res­id­ents with blood pres­sure tests, flu shots and free health screen­ings.

“The more in­formed you are, the bet­ter off you are,” ex­plained Bar­bara Gei­ger, vice pres­id­ent of the Brides­burg Coun­cil of Churches, about the mo­tiv­a­tion be­hind plan­ning the fair.

The fair will take place at the Brides­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, 4601 Rich­mond St., and will in­clude tables of­fer­ing health screen­ings and ser­vices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Craft and flea mar­ket tables will also be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gei­ger said that eight to 10 med­ic­ally trained staff from Mercy Health Ser­vices will be at the fair this year, an­swer­ing ques­tions and provid­ing ba­sic med­ic­al ser­vices free of charge. Rite Aid Phar­macy will also be send­ing med­ic­al staff to provide flu shots.

“Brides­burg is a great com­munity and we just want to bring the com­munity to­geth­er,” Gei­ger said. “It’s not like there’s one is­sue that’s plaguing Brides­burg or any­thing. It’s just that maybe they just don’t take care of them­selves as well as they would if they were bet­ter in­formed.”

This is the fourth time the coun­cil has or­gan­ized the health fair in Brides­burg. It was first held eight years ago, Gei­ger said, and takes place every oth­er year, al­tern­at­ing with the years when Brides­burg com­munity pride week events are sched­uled.

All pro­ceeds will be donated to the food pantry at Brides­burg Meth­od­ist Church, which provides 10,000 pounds of food each week to over 200 loc­al fam­il­ies. The church is loc­ated at 2717 Kirk­bride St.

This is the first year that arts, crafts and flea mar­ket tables will also be fea­tured at the fair.

Twenty-three loc­al vendors, as well as some from Bucks County and Port Rich­mond, had been re­served as of Monday, said Car­ol Socki, a vo­lun­teer at the food pantry who is help­ing to or­gan­ize the crafts tables and flea mar­ket.

Socki grew up in Brides­burg, and her par­ents lived in the neigh­bor­hood for 50 years. While she’s moved a little up north, she and her hus­band still re­turn to Brides­burg reg­u­larly to vo­lun­teer at the food pantry and oth­er char­it­able or­gan­iz­a­tions.

About 20 to 25 new fam­il­ies sign up each week to get their gro­cer­ies at the the food pantry, which opens its doors Tues­days and Thursdays, she said, and the need is grow­ing.

Gi­ant Food su­per­mar­ket donates food twice a week, but the food pantry’s rising costs in­clude buy­ing food from hun­ger re­lief or­gan­iz­a­tion  Phil­abund­ance which the pantry can give away. That’s why it needs donated food or money to stay up and run­ning, Socki said.

On Sat­urday, a kit­chen will be serving up food, mu­si­cians will per­form, and there are ru­mors that one of the Cam­den River­sharks’ mas­cots will show up.

“It’s bet­ter for the com­munity when neigh­bors can get to­geth­er to do things and greet oth­er people,” Gei­ger said. “Every­one is in their own little houses, and if you can bring people to­geth­er to mingle, it draws things to­geth­er.”

Re­port­er Sam Ne­w­house can be reached at sne­w­house@bsmphilly.com.

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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