Partners for a Hunger-Free York County: Healthy Preschool Project
Partners for a Hunger-Free York County (PfHFYC) is a broad-based coalition working to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in York County, where an estimated 26,000 people are food insecure. PfHFYC priorities are increasing access to fresh, healthy foods and increasing awareness and education around how to integrate these into everyday diets. PfHFYC has regular network meetings and also coordinates several projects to improve food security and nutrition awareness.
The PfHFYC Healthy Pre-School Project started in April 2013 and serves as an early intervention for children at-risk of hunger or malnutrition. This project supports childcare providers to incorporate lessons on nutrition, and increases access to healthy foods at their centers. We partner with 20 childcare providers throughout York County. The childcare provider partners are all part of the "CareLink" food program through Child Care Services of York County. Our Project supports providers in teaching kids about healthy foods, where they come from and how to use them in simple ways to improve overall nutrition. Better nutrition paves the way for a improved school readiness and healthy eating habits that last a life-time. In the first phase of the project, a curriculum for providers was created and distributed with age-appropriate, fun lesson plans around healthy foods. Providers were encouraged to complete activities from the curriculum with the children, and receive a certificate when they have completed enough healthy eating activities. In a second phase of the project, six providers will begin tending small on-site, child-centered gardens as pilot sites. PfHFYC coalition partners, including Master Gardeners, the UMaine Cooperative Extension, and other volunteers will assist individual providers, setting them up for success in teaching kids how healthy food can be grown, using a modified version of the "Kids Can Grow" square foot gardening program.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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