The Poughkeepsie City School District Wellness Committee held its first meeting of the year this past Thursday, October 13th at 3:15 in the Middle School Library. Members and volunteers of the committee sat down to discuss current health and wellness related issues as well as successful events going on throughout the district.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Director, Shayna McGeady Russo, led the Wellness Committee meeting as head of the program. Alongside were other members of the committee who also happened to be faculty of the Poughkeepsie School District, including Chef David Dunn, Director of Food Services of the Poughkeepsie City School Districts. While other programs such as the Hudson Valley Food Bank and the Dutchess County Behavioral and Community Health organizations were represented as well.
Members came together that evening to join forces and come up with creative solutions to current issues at hand. The meeting started 20 minutes after the last school bell rang for the day at 2:55 PM. Here is a list of the pending issues the Health and Wellness Committee of the Poughkeepsie City School District is currently facing;
- The Poughkeepsie City School District qualifies as a member of the Community Eligibility Program, which offers free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all students in the district. Dinner is only offered at the Poughkeepsie Middle and High school from 3:30 to 5:00PM but is open to all students. Through word of mouth, posting flyers, and making calls, students mainly in the Elementary schools need to be informed and know this program offers dinner meals also.
- Friday October 14th is Breast Cancer Awareness Day at school, all schools will be wearing pink.
- The Poughkeepsie Public School Teachers’ Association will be holding walks across the Walkway over the Hudson on Thursdays at 3:30 PM for anyone who wants to show their support.
- MicroGreens is a project still in its very early stages, where they would introduce indoor organic gardens to the Poughkeepsie School District students so as to make students consciously aware of the benefits.
- The Backpack Program is a branch program from the Hudson Valley Food Bank that allows children, primarily in elementary schools, to take home a backpack filled with food for the weekend so as to provide low-income kids with meals for Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. This program is currently not working, but efforts must be made to try and bring it back.
- The Wellness Committee is in dire need of parent involvement and is always looking for active members willing to initiate change, volunteer, and come up with ideas and solutions to benefit the kids.
- November is Diabetes Awareness Month, Culinary Institute of America, Chef Jennifer Stack, will be holding a discussion with Diabetes educators as well as a taste test and cooking demonstration on Thursday, November 17th.
The committee meets once a month in efforts to bring the community and its students closer together through healthy living and clean eating. They are always welcoming college students or volunteers who are interested in education and willing to help students become more consciously aware of leading a healthy lifestyle.