Maggie Caroompas, our Farm to School AmeriCorps member's term is coming to a close. Maggie helped to expand the Food and Health Network's Farm to School program and has grown from all of her experiences. Now, she will take what she has learned with her as she explores her career path. Here is what Maggie had to say:
I’ve enjoyed spending the last ten months with RHN! I feel that a lot of progress was made with the Farm to School Program during my term, and I’m pretty sure half of my brain is now filled with all of the acronyms I had to learn! But seriously, I’m very thankful for this experience. Before serving with AmeriCorps, I was unsure of what I wanted to do in the future. Being a part of this organization has opened my eyes to many new possibilities and has helped to shape my professional goals.
Thank you all for welcoming me into your family and helping me grow!
The Food and Health Network continues to grow! Our new Program Assistant VISTA began service August 19, 2019.
Jamie's role with FaHN will consist mostly of grant writing and fundraising activities, along with public relations and assistance with FaHN programming.
Jamie is originally from Dansville, NY, a small town in the western Finger Lakes. In May 2019, she graduated from Alfred State College with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. She is looking to branch out as she begins her professional career, which is what brought her to South Central New York. Jamie is looking forward to what this place holds; she is eager for the opportunity to develop her own professional skill set, but most importantly, her goal is to better the communities in which she lives and serves.
In the future, she wishes to continue developing as a public health professional by serving a variety of communities, each with its own specific problems, needing individualized solutions. Jamie hopes she can be one of the people to help conceive and implement these solutions. She expects that her time serving the communities in South Central New York will propel her to a place of greater understanding and will provide opportunities to develop her own professional acumen. She says that this will allow her to effect change in the most effective ways as a future public health professional.
Jamie Henry, Program Assistant VISTA
Maggie Caroompas, outgoing Farm to School AmeriCorps member, demonstrating to Homer Brink students.
Developing Community Food Systems
We are excited to announce that we recently awardedfive Broome & Tioga School Garden Grants, totaling $1,000 to A.F. Palmer Elementary School, Glenwood Elementary School, Binghamton West Middle School, Homer Brink Elementary School, and Johnson City Elementary School! The grants will be used to purchase a variety of supply and material needs for their school gardens, and promote student and community volunteerism. We look forward to working with these school districts to help them achieve their goals for the gardens!
The Food and Health Network team took a field trip to the Vestal Farmers' Market last week to speak with Lisa Bloodnick, the Vestal Market Manager. Lisa told us that the market has been operating for 39 years and is the longest running market in Broome County. They usually have around 23 different vendors selling a variety of products and they are currently partnering with us to offer the FVRx program. Lisa stated, “the FVRx program has been a super great program for the market and the vendors.” We encourage everyone to visit the Vestal Farmers’ Market at the Vestal Library! It runs on Wednesday and Saturday from 9am-1pm.
Rural Health Service Corps members and members of the Food and Health Volunteer Corps partnered with VINES for a 9/11 Day of Remembrance. Activities for that day included preparation for upcoming events, trimming garlic, raking, weeding, and harvesting. VINES is always looking for volunteers to get involved, and the Rural Health Service Corps is currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members. Visit the VINES and RHSC websites to learn more.
There is an upcoming webinar by the School Garden Support Organization entitled SGSO Network Webinar: Volunteer Management and Community Support. This webinar will take place on Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM and will cover topics related to building, maintaining, and celebrating school gardens. Also discussed will be how to engage and manage volunteers and how to keep your garden looking good! Register here.
Incoming Farm to School AmeriCorps member Nicole (left) and Cornell Dietetics Intern (Karissa) are seen here trimming garlic.
Kevin Brouillard, Farm to School AmeriCorps member poses beside Sidney CSD students at their Sidney CSD Kids' Farmers Market.
Growing Farm to School
The first annual Sidney Harvest Dinner was a great success! The dinner was held on September 10, 2019, and included food from Sidney CSD's school garden, which not only provided food for this meal, but also provides valuable education and programming to students. This garden is managed by Farm to School AmeriCorps member Kevin Brouillard. On the menu at the festival were many fresh, delicious options. See the photos below!
The first NY Thursdays lunch is coming up! On Thursday, September 19, we will be kicking off our first NY Thursday meal of the 2019-2020 school year! The menu will include an All-beef Hot Dog, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, a Fresh Berry Cup, and Low Fat Milk. Many students from our various partner districts in Broome-Tioga BOCES schools helped out in the cafeteria this week shucking corn!
Later this month, Tioga Central Schools will be highlighting local agriculture with their annual Harvest Celebration! On September 26th, students from all grade levels can eat the NY Thursday lunch outside, explore different topics in agriculture, join in a scavenger hunt, and dig potatoes on their student farm, Tiger Farms!
Lonny Schaefer, owner of Catskill Cattle Company, and Nichole Anderson, business manager, prepare for NY Thursdays corn delivery.
A successful delivery day for Catskill Cattle Company! We can't wait to eat their delicious, local sweet corn this Thursday at NY Thursday.
Utilizing Food as Medicine
The South Central NY Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) is in full-swing for the 2019 season! Now in its third year, the program has taken an exciting step towards value- based payment through integration in three cohort projects in the Care Compass Network Cohort Management Program. Community Health Workers at Rural Health Network are able to enroll eligible individuals within these cohort projects in the FVRx program, providing access to fresh, nutritious local food to individuals with chronic diseases and their families. Community Health Workers also coach participants towards meeting their nutrition goals using evidence based care planning tools.
News from Our Network
Rural Health Network is making progress towards its fundraising goals in the capital campaign to support purchase and renovation of our headquarters at 455 Court Street. The capital campaign will allow the Rural Health Network to expand and improve the space while also increasing capacity to implement more beneficial programs! If you are interested in contributing to this project, visit here. The generous support of donors allows RHN to achieve its goals!
Greater Binghamton Health Center is hosting a job fair on September 25, 2019 from 2 PM to 4 PM. The event will be located at 114 Clinton Street, Binghamton, NY. Among the employers attending the event are Ascension (Health), Broome Tioga BOCES, Express Employment Professionals, Greater Binghamton Health Center, Paper Alternatives, UHS, and Willow Run Foods.
Farm to School AmeriCorps member Kevin Brouillard stands among school administrators and food service staff at the Sidney Central School garden.
A plate of fresh food served at the Sidney Harvest Festival! The menu included barbecue chicken, chips and fresh salsa, elotes (Mexican street corn), broccoli salad, and blueberry cobbler.
Open Grant Opportunities
American Heart Association Teaching Gardens Network Grant Program
Application deadline: October 11, 2019. Learn more here.
National Head Start Association Gro More Good Gardens Grants
Application deadline: October 11, 2019. Learn more here.
Whole Kids Foundation School Garden, Salad Bar, and Bee Grant Programs
Application deadline: October 15, 2019. Learn more here.
Chef Ann Foundation Get Schools Cooking Grants
Application deadline: October 28, 2019. Learn more here.
Annie's Grants for Gardens
Application deadline: November 1, 2019. Learn more here.