This week I had the immense pleasure to visit the Head Start center at Columbia Child Development Program. I was able to see some of the ways that the Berwick center chooses to keep healthy choices as an integral part of their program. As Health Coordinator Becky Aardweg shared with me, the community plays a large part in ensuring that the children are given multiple opportunities to learn about how agriculture impacts their every day life.
“The community really values agriculture and it is a big part of their lives. We do what we can to make sure they have fresh and healthy food not only here, but to take when they go home as well”
Community plays a huge role in the success of the program. When sharing the many ways that each family is supported, the list of collaborative partners is lengthy. CCDP works with a local food bank to ensure that families are given bags of healthy and fresh food to take home at the end of each school week. The program alternates the preparations of the bags with a program located in the next town to ensure that the hands on work isn’t overwhelming to one program. A local car dealership donated the bags, and parents from the program lend helping hands to sort and distribute the bags.
The program had the chance to work with the local WIC program. They were able to distribute MyPlate infographs at each enrollment meeting in both English and Spanish, ensuring that parents see the commitment to healthy eating from the beginning of the school year.
In addition, CCDP shared with me how they are diligently working to ensure that each student is offered fresh fruits and vegetables each week while at school. The program works with the local school district to ensure the students are getting healthy food choices and portions!