Since mid-March, the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition (HLC) partner organizations and staff have put their best foot forward to ensure that our community has access to food, healthy resources, enriching activities, as well as staying connected to their communities in this trying time.
The Lee Barta Community Center has transitioned to becoming a twice a week pantry location, distributing food from our partner, the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse – better known as CHOW, as well as distributing supplies generously donated by community groups and individuals. The pantry at the Lee Barta Community Center is open every Monday and Wednesday, from 12-1pm, and serves on average 25 households a week. In addition to our partnership with CHOW, the pantry at the Lee Barta Community Center has distributed household supplies, as well as home-sewn masks. Ann Supa, a longtime HLC partner from Cornell Cooperative Extension, has been producing masks for the Lee Barta Community Center Pantry for several weeks, in which they are finding a home across the Northside of Binghamton. Additionally, a generous donation of 30 home-produced masks was given to the Lee Barta Community Center Pantry for distribution by Eileen Hanrahan and Sonny Dewitt. Thank you!
HLC community partners have been instrumental in ensuring that the most vulnerable people in our community continue to have access to food in this difficult time, even if they are unable to leave their homes. In addition to supplying many food pantries throughout Broome County, CHOW distributes and delivers hundreds of emergency food boxes to those who cannot leave their homes. Binghamton Food Rescue, a completely volunteer-operated HLC community partner also distributes over 100 food deliveries of perishable and non-perishable foods including breads, fresh produce, meats, and more to families and households in the greater Binghamton area, including many deliveries to Binghamton’s Northside.
In order to continue to stay connected with our many community partners, volunteers and participants, HLCstaff and partner programs have worked to translate activities and engagement to online platforms such as Facebook, and web conferencing. HLC staff continue to offer a once a week fitness class, now through Facebook Live, so community members seeking to stay physically active can participate in free at-home exercises. With the aid of our HLC interns, we continue to provide engaging activities for youth and parents, while sharing helpful health guides from evidence-based sources. Balance: Food and Nutrition, an HLC partner offering chronic disease management classes at the Lee Barta Community Center, has also aided HLC in providing content on healthy nutrition and diabetes management. Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, VINES has adapted their Green Thumb Workshop series to take place online as well, recently hosting a Gardening 101: Seed Starting Workshop for community and home gardeners for the public on Zoom, at no cost.
HLC has been and will continue to positively impact the community. Check out our Facebook page here to stay up to date with all our programs and activities!