Community resource fair offers citizens a chance to connect with organizations

MARQUETTE — The first ever Marquette community resource fair was held at Lakeview Arena this afternoon. The Upper Peninsula Health Plan and Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions were the organizers of the event.

The goal of the resource fair was to connect citizens with resources to assist them in their day-to-day life, if need be. The event offered free food, health screenings and information on a variety of services that are available in the community.

“We really weren’t sure what to expect. This is our first event and we have over 450 free lunches available and we have more on back order if we need to. We have a feel we’re probably going to have to order some additional ones and I think this really just highlights how much of a need there was for a fair like this to take place here in Marquette county” said the CEO at U.P. Health Plan, Melissa Holmquist.

Because of the large need for the resources, a group came together to create the fair. There were over 70 community-based organizations providing information and 100 volunteers at the event.

“This is something that has just become a bigger focus in the health care community. A lot going into a person’s health and it’s really beyond those traditional health services that we think about” said Holmquist. “We’re just finding out that many times people just don’t know where to go. So really, we’re hoping they can just learn more about how they can help; or maybe they have a friend or neighbor that could really use some assistance. Really getting the word out so these organizations can continue to do the good services that they do right now.”

They hope that they were able to successfully provide the information the community is looking for and that they can keep the fair going in Marquette  and possibly expand it to other communities.