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!
Thank you to Aurora Health Care & Julie Wisneski for supporting the Oshkosh Area School District’s Farm2School tastings. Providing new fruits and vegetables at school allows students to try new foods they may not normally be exposed to at home. This program helps promote buying from local farmers, trying new foods, and making healthy choices.
re:TH!NK is always fortunate to have interns and AmeriCorps members supporting the coalition. It is with mixed feelings we announce that our summer intern and our two AmeriCorps members- Jamie Constantine, Stevie Brookly and Tae-In Lee (shown left to right in the photo)- will be leaving the Winnebago County Health Department and starting their new journey. They have all worked hard and accomplished so much, and we are truly grateful for all that they have done. While we are sad to have them leave, we are also excited for them and wish them the best of luck in their new endeavors. Here are their thoughts about the experience at the health department:
Jamie: “This summer I’ve really enjoyed my time working as a member of the community health and prevention division. I volunteered with the re:TH!NK Youth Coalition for the majority of my teenage years and learned a little bit about public health, but, my internship has taught me way more and provided invaluable experience. My main duties included tobacco-free parks education, working with the youth coalition, and conducting tobacco compliance checks. I’ve also been able to become a part of the social place connectedness team and policy team which has helped me learn more about the public health sector and explore other interests. The time I’ve spent with WCHD has been great and has influenced whatever I end up doing with my life. I’m so thankful for the opportunity I’ve had and hopefully it won’t be the last (wink wink, see you in December?).”
Stevie: “I spent a year at the health department as the Farm to School AmeriCorps, and I would like to thank everyone for all they have done for me. I really enjoyed going to schools and teaching children about healthy eating behaviors and supporting local farmers. I’ve learned so much, and I hope to cherish this experience for the rest of my life. Thank you!”
Tae: “What an awesome and unforgettable year it has been! I can’t express how thankful I am and how much I will miss everyone here. All the experience, the personal and professional growth, and getting to meet and know you are only three of the numerous reasons that I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life. I will be continuing my public health journey at Boston University, but I will definitely be visiting Oshkosh/Wisconsin again.”
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!