Healthy and HAPpy:  Flint Farmers’ Market event drew crowds

Healthy and HAPpy:  Flint Farmers’ Market event drew crowds

Chilly fall days and costumed kids are a hallmark of October, but so it seems, are family-friendly events that focus on healthier habits that are far from ho-hum, like the Fit for Fall Health Fair.

Crowds came out for the HAP Midwest Health Plan-hosted event, which featured information on Medicare and Medicaid plans, as well as cooking and fire safety demonstrations, along with health screenings and fitness activities.

HAP’s Director of Wellness and Community Programs Tom Spring

With enrollment season underway, the timing of the event couldn’t be better, according to Tom Spring, director of wellness and community programs for HAP.

“We’re very pleased with the turnout and happy that so many people wanted to talk to HAP about Medicare Advantage and Medicaid plans,” says Spring. “Considering that we’re in the middle of open enrollment for Medicare, it feels good to know that we helped educate folks on the basics of each of these health plans.”

Families and individuals strolled through the main room at the market where like-minded organizations set up tables as well, such as the Michigan State Extension who instructed people on how to read labels, and Flint-based Fresh Start Community Development Corporation, who had boxes of broccoli, squash, and bananas, among other fresh fruits and vegetables, to distribute at the fair.

Families received an abundance of health and wellness information at the hap table at the Fit for Fall Health Fair. Pamphlets on everything from cancer prevention to daily dozen exercises to a healthy dining guide were available for take away.

One of the more popular attractions of the event was the cooking demonstrations hosted by HAP Chef Kristi Zebrowski, who showcased quick and simple meal and snack preparation tips and passed out recipes to an appreciative audience.

TheHUB‘s street team was also on hand promoting the upcoming Savor the Flavor of Flint event, which will take place on January 27, 2018.

The team was out surveying Fit for Fall Health Fair patrons about their favorite Farmers’ Market vendors, asking guests about the foods that they just could not live without, and their favorite food stories.

Friends Kelly and Lisa who made a day of it were asked what their favorite go-to healthy snack was. “Apples,” Kelly contributed. “There is such a great variety in the fall. Lisa said smoothies. Any particular type? “All of them!” she joked.

Ariana was enjoying the day with daughter Sky and friend Daniella. When asked what healthy dish made her happy, she answered “Vegetables!” immediately, both cooked and raw. Asparagus especially was a huge favorite. They both were regulars at the Farmers’ Market and found the day’s fair hugely informative when it came to raising their health awareness.

History, as well as health, had a place at the Fall Health Fair this past Saturday at the Flint Farmer’s Market, as one Flint family came dressed as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton Fit, and Aaron Burr.. Photo Cindi Cook

“It was a pleasure to work with Fresh Start. It’s the first year that HAP sponsored their Veggie Fest program and we couldn’t be happier with the initial results,” Spring continues.“We know that many neighborhoods around Flint are food deserts—meaning that these communities don’t have grocery stores or any other means to get fresh food. With Fresh Start’s Veggie Fest program, many of these families can get nutritious fruits and vegetables that can balance out their diet and keep them well.”

Free flu shots were provided by the Genesee County Health Department, which also assisted parents with verification for their children’s immunization records.

HAP is a Michigan-based nonprofit health plan that provides health coverage to approximately 650,000 individuals, companies, and organizations in the Flint-Saginaw and Bay City area. The 50-year-old organization partners with doctors and hospitals, employers and community organizations with the aim of streamlining coverage.

Spring knows knowledge is power when it comes to making the right choices for one’s health:  “I think people who attended the fair walked away with good information to help them make the best decisions for their healthcare.

“HAP believes in giving back to the community and collaborations like this can help improve their well-being. By working together, we can identify practical, feasible ways to reduce barriers to good health.”

Free flu shots were provided by the Genesee County Health Department, which also assisted parents with verification for their children’s immunization records. 

Editor’s Note: Other participating organizations include the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint, the Office of the Attorney General, Genesee Intermediate School District, National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, Hurley Medical Center, the CRIM Fitness Foundation, the American Heart Association, North Flint Baptist Church, Total Life Prosperity, Fresh Start Community Development Corporation and the World Wide Toxicology

To learn more about HAP, visit or follow them on Instagram or at @HAPMichigan on Twitter.

To get additional detail about the Savor the Flavor of Flint event  scheduled for January 27, 2018 visit:








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