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The healthy choice should be the easy choice – for ALL families. Statewide, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program works with partners on community engagement projects to create healthier communities. These projects include community gardens, local food projects, farmers' markets, policy and environmental changes in schools, and more. The goal of our partnerships and projects is to help increase access to healthy foods and physical activity for everyone.
Helping kids form healthy habits now can help them develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle in the future. The Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) is vested in kids’ health and partners with early childhood education centers, elementary schools, and after school programs to offer direct education using youth curricula and to implement healthy choice interventions. In 2018, CNP began working with youth partners to implement physical activity interventions in the form of playground stencils.
Local food projects can increase access to fresh produce for limited resource populations, but also provides opportunities for skills development. In Park County this summer, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) educator, Debbie Kelly, worked to develop a hoop house and community garden to donate fresh produce to food pantries and to engage at-risk volunteers in gardening.
When it comes to improving health, education is just one piece of the puzzle. The other pieces are made up of the supports necessary to make, encourage, and maintain healthy choices. For many years, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) has provided nutrition education to Wyoming’s limited resource families and individuals, including to youth at income-qualifying schools. In recent years, CNP has shifted from providing solely direct education to engaging in community interventions to help create the supports necessary to build healthier communities.
Food insecurity can be a tough topic to address. Wyoming’s communities provide food pantries and soup kitchens, host food drives and gather donations to increase food security across the state. However, asking for help can be intimidating for some people with limited resources. For those reluctant to ask for help, the public nature and locations of food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency food sites can be a barrier to accessing food. Providing anonymous access to food can help reach those reluctant to visit these sites. In Campbell County, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP), Gillette Saturday Farmer’s Market, and the Council for Community Services (Gillette) came together to make anonymous food sites possible by starting the Little Free Pantries program.
The University of Wyoming Extension (UWE) office in Platte County and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension Center (SAREC) hosted a Hoop House Workshop July 16-19 in Wheatland. The goal of the workshop was to build two hoop houses, which will be used to increase access to fresh produce for families and individuals with limited resources in Platte County.
Beginning in the fall 2018, the Cent$ible Nutrition Program will be working with the Department of Education on their newly awarded Farm to School Grant by the U.S. Department of Education.
Natrona County Cent$ible Nutrition Program partnered with the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission (CWRM) and the Wyoming Food for Thought Project to develop a garden at the CWRM. This garden will help the CWRM provide more fresh produce to its clients and help it to be more sustainable.
Wind River Indian Reservation (WRIR) Cent$ible Nutrition Program (CNP) partnered with the Shoshone 477 Program to help them develop a garden to increase access to local produce for its clients. WRIR CNP worked with UW Extension to donated a hoop house for the garden.
In summer 2017, Natrona County Cent$ible Nutrition Program used its plot in the UW Extension community garden and donation from fellow community gardeners to donate fresh vegetables to the Salvation Army. In this video, the Salvation Army shares how the donations made an impact on their clients.