Phoenix, APW color guards place first

Eight Oswego County color guards participated in the Mid-York Color Guard Circuit championships March 29 at Shenendahowa High School in Clifton Park, Saratoga County.

The Phoenix Junior guard placed first in the SRA class with a score of 81.71. Central Square JV took second with an 81.63 and Mexico placed seventh with 74.87.

In the SA3 class, APW placed first with a score of 78.98. In the SA1 class, Phoenix Senior placed second with 87.17 and Oswego Varsity took fifth with 82.98 points.

In Independent A class, Central Square Varsity came in second with 83.58 points. In the IRA class, Tapestry color guard out of Orwell placed sixth with a score of 70.43.

State budget OKed; county districts get more aid

The state Legislature passed the state budget on time Monday and all school districts in Oswego County will be receiving more  regular state aid than what was in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s original budget proposal.

State Sen. Patricia Ritchie said the new budget adds $20 million in new funding for schools in the 48th Senate District, which includes Jefferson, Oswego and part of St. Lawrence counties — the largest hike in five years and nearly three times the increase proposed in January by the governor.

Oswego County schools will receive $5.4 million, in additional aid.

“Students, teachers and taxpayers depend on state for aid to maintain the high quality of public education and to help hold the line on school property taxes,” Ritchie said.

Changes to the original budget proposal were designed to drive more aid to rural and high-needs schools and restoring funds from the aid-cutting “Gap Elimination Adjustment.”

Oswego High School lists honor roll students

Oswego High School Executive Principal Brian Hartwell has announced the second quarter honor rolls.

Highest Honors

Brynn Adner, Casey Adner, Nathaniel Ahart, Ana Alcasid, Nina Alcasid, Abigail Allen, Emilee Anderson, Meghan Anderson, Danica Aquitania, Victoria Armet, Myranda Arnesen, Erica Atkins, Dalton Babcock, Tyme Baez, Elizabeth Baker, Kaylee Baldwin, Jenna Ballard, Michael Beckwith, Tatiana Berkley, Alex Borland, Katie Bradshaw, M Bradshaw and Trevor Bradshaw.

Also: Jeremy Braiman, Connor Branch, Brooke Broadwell, McKenna Brooks, Hannah Brown, Molly Brown, Joshua Bucher, Ayla Busch, Zachary Bush, Michaela Callen, Justin Canale, Julia Capone, Derek Caramella, Joshua Carney, Jacob Cary, Raymond Casaletta, Amber Cavellier, Aaric Celeste, Alaina Celeste, Christopher Chalifoux, Nicholas Chalifoux, Cody Cheeley, Colin Clark and Katelyn Clary.

Also: Miranda Clary, Joseph Clavelli, Kyle Collins, Madison Collins, Aristotele Concepcion, Kaylee Conner, Jordan Crapser, Kyle Crossman, Nora Culeton, Kelsey Cullinan, Kerrigan Cummins, Benjamin Dafoe, Sarah Dahar, Sean Dain, Alexander Davies, Evan Davis, Samantha Davis, Samantha Dawley, Adam Delaney, Erin Delaney, Maia Delaney, John DeLapp, Morgan Demong, Alexandra DeSacia, Zachariah DeSacia, Dominick Donabella and Clare Donovan.

Also: David Dorval, Caroline Dougherty, Patrick Dowdle, Garrett Dunsmoor, Emma Easter, Heather Eastman, Laurelann Easton, Michael Farden, Olivia Farden, Brianna Fernandez, Celia Fitzgerald, Hannah Fitzgerald, Olivia Flint, Aviriana Follet, Colleen Fraser, Jacob Gerber, Carrie Gilbert, Holly Gilbert, Samuel Gilbert, Zachary Gillard, Rachel Godden, Mallory Gordon, Natalie Griffin, Anna Guinta, Alexander Haessig and Taylor Hamer.

Also: Christopher Hannock, Alexa Hardesty, Alexandra Henderson, Shea Hewitt, Sarah Hoefer, Cassandra Hondro, Daijah Hoskins, Emily Hurlbutt, Nicholas Hurlbutt, Hailey Ihlow, James Jaskula, Alexander Johnson, Courtney Johnson, Lisa Kanbur, Ryan Kearns, Kyle Kemper, John Khamis, Emily King, Sydney Knight, Katherine Knopp and Julia Kon.

Also: Alexander Kouthoofd, Brooke Krassowski, Collin Krassowski, Alec Kunzwiler, Tara Lagoe, Brianah Lane, Julia Lavery, Sydnie LeRoy, Bo Li, Mayraliz Lopez, Dylan MacIsaac, Roman Madlangbayan, Stephen Mahan, Alexander Makin, Jack Malone, Molly Malone, Ryan Martin, Nicholas Masuicca, Jordan McCauley, Kyle McCauley, Brianna McIntosh, Shannon McIntosh, Keeghan McSweeney, Natasha Mezza, Emily Mills and Taylor Montgomery.

Also: Sean Mooney, Liam Moran, Michaela Moran, Brooke Morrisseau, Allison Moshier, Tianna Moxley, Abigail Mulkerin, Morgan Mulkerin, Rebecca North, Elizabeth O’Gorman, Katherine O’Gorman, Kyra O’Gorman, Emily Oldenburg, Paul Oleyourryk, Jacob Oleyourryk, Samuel Oleyourryk, Matthew Olszewski, Reilly Patrick, Taite Phillips, Madison Plyler, Francesca Polato and Emily Purce.

Also: Rachael Purtell, Monica Randall, Kristie Reitz, Anne Reynolds, Mackenzie Rice, Claire Richardson, Alison Rodgers, Jordan Runner, Zachary Salvador, Aubrey Sanderson, Mariel Schickling, Douglas Schneider, Mitchell Schrader, Drazen Schrecengost, Elizabeth Scott, Katrina Sharkey, Brian Shaw, Connor Sheffield, Brenna Sherman, Kennedy Singletary, Garrett Skinner, Kelly Skinner, Allison Smith, Carson Smith, Sarah Smolinski, Zachary Smolinski and  Kelci Somers.

Also: Sarah St. John, Tara Stacy, Abigail Stewart, Hannah Strzelinski, Christopher Sullivan, Joshua Susino, Jacob Sweeney, Kayla Swenszkowski, Ciara Talamo, Mark Taormina, Rushen Temirova, Ashton Tharrett, Jordan Tryon, Nathan Tsutsumishita, Christopher Van Gorder, Jhannine Verceles, Kara Weiss, Tory Welsch, Mercedes Whiteside, Nikolas Whiteside, Monica Wilson, Siara Wilson, Matthew Wise, Emily Yamada, Carrie Yurkon and  Meggie Zhang

High Honors

Rana Al-Salameh, Michael Anthony, Emma Atkins, Austin Attwood, Jordan Attwood, Patrick Baer, Alicia Baker, Haley Baker, Katelin Ballard, Austin Batchelor, Matthew Bates, Sean Benjamin, Erica Bivens, Jacob Boni, Trevor Boni, Nicholas Boone, Lauren Boshart, Shane Bowman, Danielle Boyzuck, Katherine Breezee, Elaina Broadwell, Hannah Broadwell, Krysta Broeker, Zachary Burdick, Aleasia Burton and Alexander Bush.

Also: Christan Cabanlig, Hannah Cain, Amanda Cali, Angel Campos Toro, Amber Canbek, Makayla Carson, Gregory Caster, Jacob Caster, Julia Choate, Natalie Chubon, Caitlin Clemons, Steven Coffey, Caitlin Cole, Joshua Connolly, Steven Courtney, Philip Cummings, Samantha Cutro, Whitney Daino, Zachary Daino, Christian Davis, Olivia DeLorenzo, Marguerite Dillon, Jasmine Dingman, Lillian Distin, Olivia Dowdle, Sage Dudley, Seth Dunn, Zachary Eastman, Brett Ecke, Michael Edwards, Alexis Elmer and Madolyn Engle.

Also: Morgan Engle, Robin Engle, Kali Esden, Brooke Farnsworth, Sarah Fitzgibbons, Victoria Fix, Mark Forger, Kyle Freberg, Alena Fresch, Brandon Galletta, Ryan Galvin, Jacob Gardner, Cory Gates, Caitlin Geroux, Danielle Gilbert, Grace Gilbert, James Gilbert, Matthew Glenn, Kellie Gorman, Caitlin Gorton, Hannah Griffin, Darrion Groff, Alexis Hanna, Dylan Harrington, Morgan Haynes, Brandi Hibbert, William Hogan, Meghan Hourigan and  Robin Huang.

Also: Rohan Jacobs, Evan James, Riley Jaquin, Alex Jermyn, Leah Jones, Carrie Kelly, Grant Kelly, Alexander Kemper, Dylan Kimball, Marsaili Knapp, Hannah Kozel, Steven Kunelius, Amber Lagoe, Alyssa Laskevicz, Michele Lavery, Ryan Lavner, Craig Lawton, Noah Lee, Rachel Leotta, Jaielle Litchison, Meghan LiVoti, Emily Lloyd, Trey Love, Magie Maas, Meghan Maniccia, Luke May, Hunter Mazuroski, Nicole McCarthy, Benjamin McCrobie and Brittany McLaughlin.

Also: Jenna McManus, Alexander McRae, Kory McTague, Mariah Metcalf, Shanell Meyers, Jared Mills, Johnathon Monteith, Benjamin Muckey, Madelyn Muckey, Christopher Murphy, Jessie Murray, Emma Myers, Ariana Noel, Isaac Noel, Jordan Oatman, Annmarie Olcott, Martin Orta, Santiago Orta, Andrew Osetek, Dylan Pappa, Chloe Patterson, Olivia Peel, Chase Pelton, Liam Peterson, Brianna Pfeifer, Cassidy Quonce and Katiria Ramos.

Also: Elaina Rando, Conley Ratzlaff, Brianna Reis, Elijah Restuccio, Courtney Richardson, Elexis Rinoldo, Angela Rookey, Elizabeth Rookey, Jorden Roper, Tysne Ruggio, Paige Russ, Nathaniel Sanaker, Justin Semione, Edward Sheridan, Zachary Sheridan, Cole Shurtleff, Thomas Simmonds, Elizabeth Sincavage, Carlie Smith, Megan Smith, Ryan Smith, Matthew Spaulding, Corey Stevens, Carlie Stoebner, Emily Strzelinski, Alec Suits, Logan Sullivan, Laurencia Susino, Jessica Thompson, Brandon Tracz, Lydia Tryon, Kayla Volkomer and Tyler Walker.

Also: Joseph Wallace, Jonathan Wall, Isabella Waterbury, Noah Wells, Anthony Wetzel, Madisyn Whalen, Vanessa Wiltsie, Isabella Winklestine, Sophia Woods, Bradley Wyman, Tyler Youngman, Eric Yurkon, and  Richard Yurkon

Honors

Ashley Adamsky, Arialees Alicea, Michael Allen, Brittany Alton, Benjamin Annal, Isaac Annal, Alecia Ascenzi, Mari Atkinson, Hayden Avery, Natahley Babcock, Kyle Bardin, Graham Barney, Michael Barry, Allison Batchelor, Brianna Batchelor, Austin Bell, Madison Bell, Tyler Benjamin, Tiffany Billington, Derek Bivens, Tayler Bonney, Timothy Boyzuck, Crystal Brooks, Colton Brown, Alexander Burns, Jonathan Buske, Morgan Butterfield, Ismarie Camacho and Zachary Carapetyan.

Also: Alexander Carl, James Carpentier, Zachary Caruso, Cameron Casaletta, Alex Cass, Meredith Chesare, Megan Clary, Megan Cleary, Matthew Clemons, Chase Closs, Austin Coleman, Dylan Coleman, Mitchell Cook, Morgan Cook, Sydney Copeland, Austin Crapser, Danica Crawford, Patience Crawford, Zachary Crisafulli, Avery Croucher, Clara Culeton, Savannah Czuprynski and Francis Dahar.

Also: Zachary Dahar, Benjamin Davis, Spencer Davis, Sara Delbrocco, Zachary Delbrocco, Patrick Dillon, Tyler Dominick, Thomas Donohue, Merry Dowling, Hollie Doyle, Jarrett Dudley, Jacob Dumas, Joshua Dumas, Brandy Ermini, Jalen Familo, Alexander Flack, Alyssa Flanagan, Jesse Forbes, Teyler Galletta, Alaina Galutz, Victoria Gardner, Angelo Gentile, Matthew Giudilli, Laura Godden, Kevin Goodale, Nathan Greene, Peter Griffin, Annabelle Groene and Allison Hare.

Also: Shantal Harrington, Conor Henrie, Devin Higgins, Brianna Hill, Morgan Hillman, Christian Jasewicz, Halley Jermyn, Jacob Johnson, Jason Jones, Jhon Junio, Rebeckah Kelly, Katelynn Kelsey, Shania Kennedy, Nicholas Kenney, Breanna Konu, Samuel Lafond, Amanda Lagoe, Emily Lagoe, Rachel Lagoe, Kaleigh Laird, Jessa Lamphear, Denise Lamphier, Diana Lazzaro, Joshua Lazzaro, Samantha Lee, Matthew Lewis, Nicole LiCourt, Daniyel Littau and Jacob Lofthouse.

Also: Hayley Masuicca, David McNulty, Mollie McSweeney, Breanna Merz, Makayla Mesec, Brandon Meyers, Thomas Montgomery, Jessica Morgan, Mariah Morley, Collin Morrison, Desiree Myers, Emmett O’Brien, Samantha O’Neil, Courtney Osmun, Eleanor Page, Bradley Patterson, Jessica Pfeifer, Christopher Pitters, Kyra Plotner, Kiernan Proud, Madison Rahn, Sarah Reynolds, Paige Richardson, Brenna Riley, Shyanna Rivera, Matthew Rodgers, Cassidy Rose, Donovan Roy, Nathan Schultzkie and Kiana Senke.

Also: Michael Sheffield, Alexis Sheridan, Nicholas Smegelsky, Deondra Smith, Samuel Spaulding, Brianna Stenz, Kaitlyn Strong, Nicholas Sullivan, Joshua Talamo, Morgan Thomas, Kennedy Thompson, Johnna Tombolillo, Mikayla Trapasso, Tyree Varner, Rebecca Victory, Stephen Waite, Eliza Walden, Kenna Wallace, Matthew Warren, Faith Washington, Tanner Wegzyn, Matthew Weller, Carlyanna Wells, Benjamin Whelsky, Collin Wilder, Matthew Winn, Timothy Woodard, Cole Ylitalo and  Alexander Zalenski

Shop for the prom at Bodley Sweet Boutique

Allyson Fiordimalva, coordinator of the Bodley Sweet Boutique, where students can buy a brand new or gently worn formal or semi-formal dress for only $25, holds one of the many dresses that will be available for sale from 5 to 8 p.m. April 3 and April 4 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 5 in the Bodley cafeteria. Students and community members are encouraged to come with their parents or friends, all are welcome.
Allyson Fiordimalva, coordinator of the Bodley Sweet Boutique, where students can buy a brand new or gently worn formal or semi-formal dress for only $25, holds one of the many dresses that will be available for sale from 5 to 8 p.m. April 3 and April 4 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 5 in the Bodley cafeteria. Students and community members are encouraged to come with their parents or friends, all are welcome.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

The G. Ray Bodley High School ninth annual Bodley Sweet Boutique will be open for business 5 to 8 p.m. April 3 and 4 and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 5 in the high school cafeteria.

The boutique will have brand new and gently worn formal and semi-formal dresses for sale for only $25 each, perfect for the prom or senior dinner dance.

All money from the dress sale will benefit the local food pantry.

Allyson Fiordimalva, Bodley Sweet Boutique organizer and teacher at Bodley, said the Boutique was first organized to provide an opportunity for girls who wanted to go to prom but needed to find an affordable dress.

However, the Boutique also meets the need of those who do not want to spend upwards of $500 or more for a dress they will mostly likely wear only once.

Add to that the community service aspect, where all proceeds from the sale will be donated to the food pantry, and that makes the Boutique “a win-win situation for all,” said Fiodimalva.

“You can save money on your dress and help feed local families who are experiencing tough times,” she said.

The Boutique, which has more than 150 dresses to choose from, will be set up in the high school cafeteria. Many of the dresses are brand new and have been generously donated by local businesses.

Some dresses have been gently loved and worn once for prom or ball.

Again this year, organizers are asking for donations of dresses, bags, shoes, etc. in all shapes, colors and sizes and are encouraging the area’s young ladies (especially senior and junior girls) to donate gently used dresses and accessories and to check out the sale.

Any donations can be made to Allyson Fiordimalva, Jennifer Reese or Becky Crucitti at Bodley.

Because choosing the perfect prom dress is one of those magical moments in a young woman’s life, the Boutique is open to the public evenings and on Saturday to allow family members to come with the dress shopper to help them select that perfect dress.

Some shoes, accessories and jewelry will also be available to complete the outfit. Changing rooms will be available for trying on dresses.

Community Gathering of Hope for Heidi M. Allen tonight in New Haven

Heidi M Allen Missing 20 Years on April 3, 2014
“Community Gathering of Hope for Heidi M Allen”
April 3, 1994, Heidi M Allen, made her last transaction as the sole clerk at the D & W Convenience store in New Haven, New York. Her kidnapping devastated the community and leaves a void in the hearts and lives of her family. Allen remains missing today, 20 years later.
Heidi M Allen’s family invites you to join them for a “Community Gathering of Hope for Heidi M Allen” on April 3, 2014, the 20th anniversary of her abduction. This is open to the public and all are encouraged to join us for an evening of remembrance, hope, and fellowship.
Location: New Haven Fire Corporation, Route 104, New Haven, NY
We will be OUTSIDE –

 

Time: 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Social Hour
A time to remember the day Heidi disappeared & share stories of hope and catch up with old friends.
*The Oswego County Sheriff’s Department will be there to do finger printing kits for the children
*The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) will be there to share information about their “Take 25” Campaign and share information with families and children
*Photographic slide show of snap-shots taken during the initial search and rescue efforts of 1994 and some through the years at different events to remember Heidi (anyone with pictures they’d like to include can email Lisa M Buske, Heidi’s sister, at lbuskewriter@aol.com before March 28th)
- finger printing and NCMEC will be inside the fire hall

 

7:42 p.m. Candle Light Vigil
Pastor Vivian Summerville, same pastor who led the vigils in 1994 and 95’ will open the prayer time.  Lisa M Buske (Heidi’s sister)’s pastor, Pastor Daniel Groh, will also help make the vigil a special time of hope and prayer. Community is asked to bring their own candles.

 

Fulton students learn ‘who grew the soup’

Lynne Field’s first-grade class at Fairgrieve Elementary School listen to Ag Literacy Week volunteer Erica Schreiner read them the story “Who Grew My Soup” by Tom Darbyshire. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County coordinated Ag Literacy Week activities at the school as a way to get students thinking about where their food comes and what food is grown and harvested in Oswego County.
Lynne Field’s first-grade class at Fairgrieve Elementary School listen to Ag Literacy Week volunteer Erica Schreiner read them the story “Who Grew My Soup” by Tom Darbyshire. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County coordinated Ag Literacy Week activities at the school as a way to get students thinking about where their food comes and what food is grown and harvested in Oswego County.

Submitted by Oswego County BOCES

Where does food come from?

That’s the question first-graders at Fairgrieve Elementary School in Fulton talked about during Ag Literacy Week.

Erica Schreiner, a volunteer coordinated through Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, stopped at the school during the state-wide literacy campaign to read to students the book “Who Grew My Soup” by Tom Darbyshire.

The students munched and crunched on healthy carrot snacks as she talked to the classes about eating healthy. They all then played a ‘Let’s Make Soup” game in which she got the students thinking about where their food comes from and what items are grown and harvested in Oswego County.

Ag Literacy Week is a New York state Agriculture in the Classroom initiative celebrated the week of March 17 through 21. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County coordinates the educational outreach program for the Fulton City School District, organizing a literacy volunteer to stop by classrooms to discuss the importance of agriculture.

As part of the Ag Literacy Week program, the Fairgrieve Elementary School Library receives a free copy of the program’s featured book to keep in circulation for the students to sign out at their leisure.

Bodley Bulletins

By Julia Ludington

Our Music In Our Schools month concert series ended up being wonderful.

Thank you to all those who attended the band, orchestra or chorus concerts, or maybe all three! Your support is greatly appreciated.

Another big thank you to any students or others in the building who donated blood last Friday. You are truly making a difference in the lives of others!

If you have never donated blood before but would like to the next time there is a blood drive at the high school, watch for signs and announcements leading up to the event.

Multiple scholarships are available in the guidance office for any senior students who are interested. The variety of scholarships is tremendous, so you are bound to qualify for a few.

It never hurts to apply! You could be saving yourself a lot of money in whatever path you choose for this upcoming year.

Underclassmen recently filled out their course recommendation cards for the next school year. No longer being offered are meteorology and MST, however a new class called Cayuga 101 will be making its debut in the high school next year.

The purpose of the class, through Cayuga Community College, is to prep college-bound students for the next step. Stop by the guidance office for more information!

If you are interested in taking any AP, Honors, or college-level courses starting in the fall, make sure you meet with teachers to discuss if you are a good fit for the class and what the work load will be. You should always challenge yourself, but never take on more than you can handle!

Hopefully spring will be making a comeback soon so that our spring sports teams can begin practicing outside regularly. Have an excellent week!

OCO fights hunger with ‘Retro Bowl’

Hunger.

WIC Program Coordinator Cindy Palamar (l), and Sharon Deland (r) display one of WIC’s educational pieces highlighting the importance of a healthy diet and proper nutrition for pregnant mothers and children. WIC is one of many OCO programs that fight hunger in Oswego County.
WIC Program Coordinator Cindy Palamar (l), and Sharon Deland (r) display one of WIC’s educational pieces highlighting the importance of a healthy diet and proper nutrition for pregnant mothers and children. WIC is one of many OCO programs that fight hunger in Oswego County.

It’s one of Oswego County’s most pressing issues, yet the vast majority of community members are not aware of how serious the issue is.

That’s why Saturday’s Retro Bowl put on by Oswego County Opportunities is so important.

“Hunger is a pervasive issue in our county. As an anti-poverty agency combating hunger and improving nutrition are keystones of our mission,” said OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier.

“Our Retro Bowl fundraiser is an opportunity for community members to come together for an afternoon of fun, that in the long run, will help fight against hunger and put food in the bowls of those that hunger right here in Oswego County.”

Proceeds from the Retro Bowl event will be used to assist the food subsidy efforts of each of OCO’s programs and services and help build a reserve for the future.

For OCO, hunger in Oswego County is something the agency is well aware of and takes very seriously. Every program in the agency’s Crisis and Development Services and Nutrition Services, in some way, addresses the issue of hunger.

Crisis and Development Services includes a variety of prevention, intervention and care management services including:

  • Street Outreach, which operates drop-in centers and helps connect youth to other resources and services
  • PATH, a transitional living program for homeless youth 21 and under offers tips for eating nutritionally, food budgeting, and preparing meals
  • Homeless Services that provides supportive services to stabilize households and facilitate the transition from homelessness to permanent housing
  • Services to Aid Families (SAF) that provides residential and non-residential services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, elder abuse and stalking.

“Hunger has been and always will be one of OCO’s priorities,” said Eric Bresee, director of OCO Crisis and Development Services. “Whether it’s emergency assistance from our food pantry or helping individuals and families access other food pantries and resources such as WIC, or SNAP benefits, OCO is a leader in the fight against hunger in Oswego County.”

Bresee said OCO Crisis and Development Services provided more than 1,456 emergency meals and 9,759 ongoing meals to its consumers last year. More than 3,400 of those meals were for youth 16 and under.

Also, OCO partners with drop-in centers at All Saints Episcopal Church in Fulton and Our Lady of the Rosary in Hannibal to provide them with support for their food pantry and provide their visitors with assistance in connecting to other resources.

“The number of people we are providing food for increased dramatically in 2010.  While that number has leveled off, it has unfortunately not gone down,” Bresee said.

Brian Coleman, coordinator of OCO Homeless Services, and Cristy King, coordinator of OCO Intervention Services, which includes, the Crisis Hot Line, SAF and Homeless Services, echoed those thoughts.

“All of the services I oversee have maintained a high level of need. Fortunately we have been able to find a way to meet the hunger issues that our consumers need, but it remains a challenge,” said King.

King said both the number of individuals accessing services and the average length of stay in the SAF program is significantly greater that it was just few years ago.

“We are seeing an average of 15 to 20 SAF house residents a month. The average length of stay, which use to be 15 days, has risen to 45 to 50 days and continues to remain there,” said King.

Each of these residents receive breakfast, lunch and dinner during the length of their stay. While much of that is paid for through the state, OCO does provide additional emergency food for SAF residents from its modest food pantry.

“Our food pantry is strictly for emergency food supplies. We are not a full service food pantry like others in the county,” Coleman said.

“Our food pantry generally provides enough food to hold a family over until they can make arrangements to access one of the larger food pantries that exist in the county,” Coleman said. “We provide them with the resources and assistance to be able to do that.”

In regards to newborns and small children, the WIC program ensures that expectant mothers and new mothers that meet WIC income guidelines receive the proper nutrition they and their children need.

A supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, WIC provides healthy food such as milk, formula, whole grain foods, fruits and vegetables; nutrition counseling; and referrals to health care for women who are pregnant, post-partum up to 6 months, breast feeding up to one year, and infants and children up to the age of 5.

Program Coordinator Cindy Palamar said WIC is a valuable service.

“WIC offers much more than just nutritious supplemental food. It is a patient-centered program that focuses on healthy lifestyles,” she said.

“WIC’s educational aspect includes facilitated discussions where participants can share their concerns and experiences as well as one-on-one nutritional counseling services. Our staff includes several nutritionists who help participants plan healthy meals for their family, give advice on infant feeding, children’s dietary needs, and the dietary needs of pregnant and breastfeeding women,” said Palamar.

“What happens today affects what happens in the future. Healthy lifestyles lead to healthy outcomes,” she said.

To ensure that OCO will be able to continue to do so in the future the agency has dedicated its fundraising efforts to eliminating hunger in the county.

OCO’s Retro Bowl fundraiser will be noon to 6 p.m. April 5 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton. Registration is open for five-person teams, with choice of flights: noon to 2:30 p.m. and 3 to 5:30 p.m.

For registration or sponsor information, or to donate a door prize, contact OCO at 598-4717 or visit the agency’s website at www.oco.org.

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