by Nicole Reitz
Recognizing Oswego County, a local organization, committed the month of May to finding individuals and groups that work to improve the community in the area of summer food services and nutrition.
The community champions selected were Oswego County Opportunities’ Summer Food Service Program, AmeriCorps, Cornell Cooperative Extension Nutrition Program and the Food Bank of CNY.
Each month, ROC uses this recognition effort as a platform for emphasizing the good work that is happening in Oswego County to promote the health and wellness of its children, families and adults.
“We had four incredible nominations this month and selecting just one to honor was too difficult,” said Abby Jenkins, ROC co-founder and program coordinator of the Tobacco Free Network of Oswego County.
The OCO Summer Food Service Program is funded through the New York State Education Department and provides free meals to all children 18 years and under. Their goal is to provide good nutrition to children during the summer months.
The program provides healthy meals to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition needed to learn, play and grow. Meals are available at local sites, like parks, recreation centers, schools, summer camps, libraries and places of worship.
OCO employee Lori Halstead said that last year’s program reached 11 sites and this year the program hopes to be at 13.
Oswego County AmeriCorps is also committed to being part of the ongoing battle of childhood obesity in America through its fitness and nutrition objective.
Through this program, AmeriCorps members develop fitness and nutrition activities for children at recreation programs and promote the value of a healthy lifestyle within local libraries and after-school programs.
Catholic Charities Emergency Services Program Supervisor Helen Hoefer will be working with an AmeriCorps member on the community garden in Fulton.
The AmeriCorps member will help to maintain the garden throughout the summer.
Some of the produce from the garden will be given to the food pantry at Catholic Charities, where clients will be able to enjoy fresh vegetables.
The AmeriCorps member will also create recipes that clients of the pantry can use to make a complete meal.
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