On October 24, 2019, over 150 students, residents, and representatives of non-profits, and community organizations came together to enjoy a Fall Harvest Meal prepared with vegetables grown by students at Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School in Binghamton.  The event also celebrated the successes of the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, Eat Well. Play Hard. Binghamton! Project.

Families were able to learn about future programs and activities hosted by community partners such as the Farm to School Program, VINES Farm Share, Binghamton Food Rescue, the UHS School-Based Health Clinic, and Cornell Cooperative Extension food and nutrition afterschool program.

At the event, children learned how to use a cider press, participate in a black bean brownie tasting, paint rocks for the school garden, and even got to listen to live music from the Local Farmers Union Band!

Roosevelt Elementary Principal David Chilson said, “The students and families of Roosevelt Elementary School are so fortunate to have the support of the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and its many partners to support many initiatives for our students! From afterschool sports, cooking, wellness, and nutrition programs to academic support programs, we have truly benefitted from their support!” “The amount of work accomplished by residents and our organizational partners over the last seven years is truly impressive,” said Kimberli Schwartz, Healthy Lifestyles Coalition Manager. “It’s wonderful to see children and families get excited about coming to cooking classes, growing food, and improving our neighborhoods. We’re not just promoting healthy lifestyles. We’re empowering residents to embrace their power to make a positive change in their own lives and in the community.”

This fall, several new programs under the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition, including a Diabetes Prevention Program hosted at the Lee Barta Community Center, were launched  Residents have access to a 23 week CDC recognized wellness program taught by a licensed dietician.  The program focuses on behavior change, nutritional literacy, and adding small amounts of physical activity into your daily routine.

Also new this fall is a resident-driven and operated grocery shuttle named the Wellness Wagon.  Residents living in the Northside of Binghamton neighborhood with limited access to a constant source of fresh affordable food can ride the Wellness Wagon on Tuesdays and Fridays, weekly going to stores like Aldi, Maines, and Wal-mart.  The van, donated by VINES, can take 8 passengers per trip.

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