MHP Salud has a long history of promoting the health of farmworkers as well as individuals in a wide variety of industries located in rural areas across the U.S. The Rio Grande Valley population in Texas is home to one of the largest concentrations of farmworkers in the United States with many being Migrant Seasonal Agricultural Workers (MSAW).
In many cases, entire families, including children participate in work as farmworkers. They are often exposed to hazardous working conditions, long hours, extreme heat, and high physical demands. This population is more likely to disproportionately experience certain chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes due to work and living conditions, lack of access to healthy foods, and lack of access to education on healthy eating habits.
Despite the presumption that residents would have direct access to the crops they produce, residents often must travel several miles without adequate transportation for fresh fruits and vegetables. Much of the area is considered a food desert, and CHWs often serve as the only means of accessing fresh food for residents with the help of their local churches, health centers, and food banks.
CHWs teach parents and children practical ways to adopt healthy habits with resources readily available to them in their communities along with ways that they can incorporate short daily physical activities into their lifestyles. In addition, they provide assistance with applying for federally available programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).