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TR FILE PHOTO – The annual Healthy Family Fair, sponsored by Child Abuse Prevention Services in partnership with the Marshalltown Public Library and Marshall County Youth Shelter Services, is held on Saturday with around 25 health-themed booths for information and support activities of families with children.

Raising children isn’t easy, but Marshalltown has support.

The “Healthy Family Fair”, A free family briefing will be held in the parking lot of the Marshalltown Public Library on Saturday from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm to learn about the community resources available to them.

The event is hosted annually by the Child Abuse Prevention Services, and this year is conducted in collaboration with the Marshall County Library and Youth Services.

Approximately 25 agencies will be available for families to ask questions and get information about their services, including McFarland Clinic, Mid-Iowa Community Action, Disability Rights Iowa, and more.

Esmeralda Monroy, director of the Child Abuse Prevention Program, said the purpose of the fair is to bring community partners together in one place to give families an easy way to see what is out there. She said that many families simply do not know what is available to them, such as various mental health services and family support in the area.

“I think even people who have lived in Marshalltown for a long time probably don’t know what we really have to offer to support families with children.” said Monroy.

In her own agency, she said the Child Abuse Prevention Service was working hard to remind families of their home visit support services for families with a child under 5 years old or expecting a child.

The fair helps agencies be more accessible, Monroy said. In the past few years she has seen families who needed physiotherapy or speech therapy for a child finally take the step to accept these services after they were able to give the name a face at the fair.

Monroy said she saw a need for resources for Marshalltown families with children and was excited to connect those families with those resources.

“Upbringing is difficult, and any support that can be offered is always good.” She said. “But I think when you combine that with the pandemic and a community that has had two major natural disasters in the past few years, that really creates a need for everyone within the community. But I think, especially for families with children, they need connection and support from their community. “

Monroy said one of the most common requests they get from families at the fairs is about social opportunities for children.

“So it worked really well for us to work with the public library this year because it has so much for families and for free.” She said.

Joa LaVille, director of youth services at the Marshalltown Public Library, said she looks forward to working with local organizations to provide the mass.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with the other organizations in the community, there is just a lot of overlap in the missions we all have so it’s a pleasure to see the collaboration.” She said.

In addition to agencies that offer support services, the Gesunde Familie fair also provides family fun.

The Marshalltown Police and Fire Department will have vehicles at the event for children to explore. Free take-away kids activities are provided. The juggling costumed figure “William and Blackjack the Dragon” a local favorite, will attend the fair to keep the kids entertained.

The COVID-19 vaccine will also be available without an appointment. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available for people aged 18 and over and the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 12 and over.


Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or

[email protected].

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