Welcome to Allison Laverty Montag! Allison is new to the Healthy Food & Beverage team this year and will be involved in the Farm to Early Care Initiative to help encourage increased consumption of veggies and fruit in early childcare programs. Serving as the team’s staff team chair, she will be involved in organizing coalition meetings, planning activities and creating social media content.
Allison has been with the Winnebago County Health Department for 9 years and is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor with WIC. We are excited to have Allison join us!
In 2018, re:TH!NK updated the mission statement and logo, worked on Safe Routes to Parks audits, educated youth about healthy food choices, partnered with the Sacred Heart Neighborhood Association, conducted Festival Scans, and finally reached its goal of tobacco-free parks in Oshkosh!
re:TH!NK has exciting news to share! The Leadership Council took time this past summer to discuss the current and future state of re:TH!NK and has updated the mission statement to reflect our current and potential priorities.
The mission statement is now more reflective of the kind of organization and the kind of work we are involved with re:TH!NK effectively engages the community in creating a healthier environment and opportunities to improve quality of life in Winnebago County.
Along with our updated mission statement, each team now has their very own team logo! Team members gave input on final selections from a cohesive color palate. As re:TH!NK grows and evolves, so can our teams and their logos.
C-r-u-n-c-h-! Every year in October, the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch celebrates National Farm to School Month by asking everyone to crunch into locally grown apples at noon. The Great Apple Crunch is a fun and engaging event to promote our region’s apple orchards, celebrate healthy eating, and connect rural and urban communities together. Their mission is to support farm to cafeteria efforts. This year’s Great Apple Crunch is on Thursday, October 11, 2018.
Agencies and organizations throughout the region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio participate in the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch. Last year 1,543,781 people of all ages across the region crunched on locally grown apples! Participants are invited to help reach the goal of 1.7 MILLION CRUNCHES this year!
Sign up your school, early care center, workplace, or organization by 4 pm on Friday, September 29, to receive Crunch stickers and the updated 2018 Crunch Guide. Register here and check our the Crunch Facebook page!
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Head Start program is a new addition to re:TH!NK’s Healthy Food and Beverages team and has quickly become an invaluable contributor and partner in extending Farm to Early Care efforts to Winnebago County families, especially those of vulnerable populations. Staff at Head Start are passionate about bringing healthy foods and teaching healthy habits to not only the children that they serve, but also bringing this to whole families. Head Start programs in Oshkosh have partnered with re:TH!NK and University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to provide a community health experience for college students to teach nutrition lessons to their classes as a way to teach and inspire through hands-on experience for both college students and preschool students!
Head Start brings insight into the team to ensure that any Farm to Early Care strategy meets established standards, includes multi-culturally appropriate material, and is mindful of family needs. Val, Director of Health Services of Head Start, has participated in community meetings regarding healthy foods and beverages in Winnebago County and continuously provides an invaluable perspective from the community about the community. We thank Head Start for joining our efforts to bring Farm to Early Care into vulnerable populations and for being a strong partner in building a healthier nutrition environment in our community!
re:TH!NK’s Healthy Food and Beverages team partnered with University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Politics of Food Quest class to teach nutrition lessons within area childcare programs. Groups of college students developed nutrition lesson plans about locally grown produce and introduced them to young students at UWO Childcare Center and Head Start programs in Oshkosh.
Partnering with UWO and Childcare providers is a win-win: UWO students gain an appreciation of local food and early intervention in the early care setting, and children within childcare settings receive this nutrition education. One UWO student shared, “It is really cool to see how just by sitting down to talk about a new food, using our senses to describe it, and having fun interactions with it, gets the kids really excited about trying it! What a fun experience!”
The re:TH!NK Healthy Food and Beverages team offers support to any organization interested in getting involved in increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables in children 0-5 years.