Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – The Oswego County Nutrition Collaboration invites you to join in its recognition of National Food Day, October 24.
A grassroots campaign aimed at encouraging Americans to “eat real” by supporting healthy, affordable food grown in a sustainable, humane way.
“The need for food subsidy, and the lack of accessible nutrition information, is of great concern to the many human services agencies that serve Oswego County,” said Oswego County Opportunities’ Nutrition Services Director, Amy Roland. “Area food pantries are serving more families and individuals than ever before and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep our pantries sufficiently stocked with food.”
To help meet this demand for food subsidy the Oswego County Nutrition Collaboration is asking community members to donate non-perishable food to their local food pantry.
“We are committed to making a difference in our community by doing everything in our power to raise awareness of, and alleviate, the problem of hunger in Oswego County. I invite community members to join us in our efforts and be a part of National Food Day by donating non-perishable food items to your local food pantry,” added Roland.
In addition to requesting donations to area food pantries, Roland announced that the Nutrition Collaboration would be expanding its community garden project.
Established last spring to compliment the efforts of area food pantries, the Oswego County Nutrition Collaboration, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County, the City of Fulton – Dept. of Parks and Recreation, and project sponsors, Alliance Bank, Rural Health Network of Oswego County, Food Bank Of CNY, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, Oswego County Department of Social Services, the Fulton Housing Authority, United Way of Greater Oswego County, and the Cancer Services Program of Oswego County established a community garden at John Lincoln Park near the Pathfinder Courts / Gilberts Grove complex in Fulton.
“Each participating resident received their own garden plot,” explained Danielle Wert, coordinator of OCO’s Rural Health Network, a partner in the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County. “The vegetables, herbs, or flowers that they raised were theirs to enjoy. Volunteers from Cornell Cooperative Extension, including Cindy Walsh and master gardener, Jan Smith, along with AmeriCorps Member, Jenna Skubis provided assistance for the project and aided those who had never tended a garden before. Participants will also be helping with the fall clean up as greens and plants will be composted following the first hard frost.”
According to Roland the community garden was a success and plans are to expand the project for next spring.
“In addition to providing participants with fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers, the community garden encouraged self-reliance, stimulated social interaction, beautified the neighborhood, created an opportunity for recreation and exercise, and helped develop a sense of wellness and belonging. In the spring of 2013 we will be adding an additional 10 garden beds to make a total of 22 available garden beds. We are pleased with the outcome of the community garden project and anxiously awaiting next season,” said Roland.
Comprised of a number of human services agencies that have a nutrition focus, school districts, food pantries, the Rural Health Network, and concerned community members, the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County works together to positively effect nutrition, wellness, and hunger in Oswego County and is focused on ensuring that children, seniors and families do not go hungry.
For more information on the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County, the community garden project, or to locate the food pantry nearest you, contact Roland at 315-598-4712, ext. 1811.