FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: July 16, 2014
CONTACT: Chris Mayer, director of the Fulton Center for Sustainable Living
Phone: 717-264-4141, Ext. 3247
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Wilson College is using two grants to offer a summer children’s program, “Vegetable Literacy at Fulton Farm,” aimed at raising awareness and improving nutrition among area children and their families.
Summit Endowment, which is part of Summit Health Inc., has granted the college $8,000 to help address nutrition deficiencies identified in a 2012 health needs assessment performed by Summit Health. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has awarded the college $3,000 for environmental education at Fulton Farm, Wilson’s on-campus organic farm.
Fulton Farm hosts a wide variety of environmental education programs. The college plans to use both grants to hire interns, as well as an education coordinator to develop a curriculum and facilitate programs.
“It’s really about helping make sure local kids learn about proper nutrition and the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables so that they and their families can improve their diets and health,” said Chris Mayer, director of Wilson’s Fulton Center for Sustainable Living.
She said children from Building Our Pride in Chambersburg (BOPIC), the Lincoln Intermediate Unit's Migrant Education Program and the Chambersburg/Shippensburg Boys and Girls Club will visit the farm one day a week in July to learn about - and taste - food grown on the farm. The goal is to increase their consumption of fresh produce.
"The idea is if kids are exposed and they learn about fruits and vegetables, they may be more inclined to eat them," Mayer said.
The health needs assessment performed by Summit Health showed that area Franklin County residents need to improve their diets, according to Mayer. “They found that Franklin Countians don’t eat well. Many don’t eat the minimum daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables,” she said.
Officials hope the vegetable literacy program will begin to change that. The program began July 2 and will conclude Aug. 8.
The Summit Endowment provides grants to non-profit organizations in the area for collaborative, outcome-focused projects that address health issues affecting residents in Summit Health's service areas. To date, the endowment has awarded 157 grants to local organizations for a total of more than $3 million, according to the organization.
Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a private, coeducational liberal arts college offering bachelor’s degrees in 27 majors and master’s degrees in education, the humanities, accountancy and nursing. Wilson is committed to providing an affordable education that offers value to its students beyond graduation.
Located in Chambersburg, Pa., the college had a fall 2013 enrollment of 662, which includes students from 20 states and 14 countries. Visit www.wilson.edu for more information.