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Mayoral candidate Ken Houston introduces “Chip” to children at the Aug. 11 Health & Job Fair. Chip, the Bay Bridge Chicken, honorary member of the Oakland Beautification Council, is dedicated to helping communities and their youth understand the value of urban gardens and healthy food. Photo by Sue Taylor.
Last Saturday, August 11, the 41st annual Health & Job Fair in East Oakland was a festival of fun with free food, clothes, haircuts, raffle prizes, information, health screenings, and more.
Over 700 people ate a free lunch and 400 backpacks with school supplies were given away.
Folks came from all over the Bay Area. Chairman of the event, Deacon Harold Goodman said, “attendance was far greater this year and we thank the Oakland Post for their partnership in letting people know about the event.”
Organizers also reached out to local churches and guests came from as far away as Mountain View.
For the first time, free showers were offered to unhoused neighbors in need.
Children enjoyed pony rides hosted by the Oakland Black Cowboy Association.Their joy was visible in their smiling faces. The Black Cowboy Association will hold its 44th annual parade and festival on October 6th at Defremery Park.
Funding for the event comes half from the church, and half from individual and corporate donors.This year corporate sponsors included Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, AC Transit, and more. Each year the list grows as the theme
“Building a Beloved and Healthy Community” motivates many who care about the SF Bay Area community and needs of the people in it.
The Susan B. Komen mammogram truck offered free testing and staffperson Kelly MacMullan said, “We have done first-time mammograms and found individuals needing follow-up. Lives may have been saved!”
A Job Fair at the event was a bustling center of interest. Fed Ex, UPS, City of Oakland, AC Transit, and Oakland Fire Department, were among the more than 15 employers talking to interested guests.
The event is held annually in August.