Healthy Preschool Program The Healthy Preschool Project partners with childcare providers to introduce healthy, fresh, local foods into their environment. Partners crafted an age-appropriate curriculum that is fun, inexpensive for providers to use in order to present healthy foods and learn about growing and using fresh foods. The project is multidimensional using the Farm to Preschool model, integrating nutrition, farming, and gardening using local resources and professionals in the community. The project is based on the belief that better nutrition paves the way for improved school readiness and healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.
Senior Shares Programs Seniors are increasingly forced to make difficult choices between paying for heating oil, medication or food. Partners for a Hunger-Free York County provides produce to low-income senior citizens through our Seniors Shares program. We are helping seniors increase their consumption of healthy foods, increase social activity, and help make their limited incomes go a little further. This is a year-round program that provides summer food shares at local farms and gift cards to purchase fresh produce during the winter.
Advocacy, Networking, and Education Partners identify and mobilize local resources to eradicate hunger and malnutrition through sustainable solutions in York County. Our priorities are to increase access to healthy foods and improve education on integrating these foods into everyday diets. Through a group learning process, in which we invite specialists in emergency food, nutrition, government-funded nutrition and hunger-relief efforts to meet with us, we identify gaps in service and opportunities to work together in innovative, sustainable ways that build upon and reinforce community connections. Network building is a key priority for Partners. At our monthly meetings, we actively share information and seek out best practices that could be replicated or adapted for use in our community.
Since 2012, Partners for a Hunger-Free York County has: • Provided over 1,850 summer and seasonal shares of fresh, local fruits and vegetables to low-income senior citizens • Distributed over 800 grocery store gift cards to low-income senior citizens during the difficult months of winter • Established three community gardens in Biddeford and Sanford, built a 3 season hoop house in Alfred, and 19 raised-bed gardens at pre-school daycares in low-income neighborhoods • Provided fresh, local fruits and vegetables to local daycare centers as part of our “Veggie-of-the-Month” project • Worked with schools and community organizations to increase the number of free summer lunches served to children – with an increase of nearly 22,000 meals served in just 3 summers! • Organized over 56 public events in York County with experts in the fields of food systems, nutrition, and public policy through our monthly meetings and special events – including speakers like Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and USDA Under-Secretary Kevin Concannon • Provide networking and volunteer opportunities for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others
We envision families and individuals across York County having regular access to enough nutritious food to support their health and well-being.
Partners for a Hunger-Free York County is an organization of diverse stakeholders leveraging relationships and resources to identify and mobilize sustainable, community-based solutions to ending hunger and malnutrition in York County, Maine.
Building the Network: There is a responsive, active, and engaged network of individuals and organizations in York County working to combat hunger through innovative, sustainable, community-based solutions linking together farmers, schools, pantries, food banks, social service organizations, farmers’ markets and others.
Access: Families and individuals in York County have access to enough food to support their health and well-being. Fresh, healthy foods are integrated at increased levels through the emergency food system, in markets, at schools, and in meal sites.
Knowledge: Families and individuals throughout York County are exposed to information and instruction in how to integrate healthy, fresh foods into everyday meals.