For four years, MHP Salud has joined a group of Michigan partner agencies and other stakeholders to visit migratory agricultural worker camps across the state in a series of outreach events with the Migrant Child Task Force.
Four times a summer, the Task Force identifies a region of the state with a dense migrant population, and they caravan from camp to camp to camp. Representatives from Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan, The Office of Migrant Affairs, Safe Child, Michigan Primary Care Association, Michigan State University Extension, journalists, Michigan Workforce Development Agency and others visit the sites to discuss working conditions and distribute health and social services information.
The outreach activities are partially funded by MHP Salud with a grant from Clannad Foundation and private donations to distribute car and booster seats, books, first-aid kids, toys, personal hygiene products, blankets, diapers and clothes.
MHP Salud participates in the outreach events in order to support the Task Force in fulfilling its mission: To promote the wellbeing of Michigan’s migrant children through education of their caregivers, advocacy for effective public policy, in collaboration with community partners.
Two or three representatives from MHP Salud attend each event in order to collect demographic information in each camp. This was Special Projects Director Rebecca Epstein’s first year attending.
“It was a great opportunity for us to visit the camps and collaborate with other agencies as we delivered important information they might not get, especially in Spanish. A lot of people had questions about where to find certain items, like sheets,” she said. “It was also nice for the experts in the group to be able to immediately offer help and assistance for people with medical, legal and social services needs, who might not have known what to do otherwise.”
This year’s Task Force outreach season has ended, and the group looks forward to continuing next year in June of 2016.