Archive for the ‘St. Mary’s Health System’ Category

Youth Lead St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

More than 100 community members, staff, youth, volunteers, supporters, and gardeners, attended the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner on Thursday, August 13, to celebrate all the hard work and community service that has been accomplished this growing season.  This annual dinner highlights the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens program; attendees included the Youth Gardeners and their families, some of the 120 families that garden in the community garden plots in downtown Lewiston, and others who have participated in or supported the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Lots to Gardens, and the St. Mary’s Food Pantry over the year.

The evening was orchestrated by the Youth Interns and Summer Youth Gardeners (SYGs).  Much of the menu was locally grown and developed and prepared from scratch by the SYGs.  It also reflected diverse culinary tastes, includingsambusa, Indonesian fried rice, Thai beef salad, cucumber salad, Asian slaw, Moroccan carrot salad, sesame green beans, baba ganoush, African greens, and beet brownies. Youth Interns,

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Community Gardener, Carolyn Messer, won the veggie basket door prize at the recent Annual Community Dinner held by St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Mohamed Abdullahi, Julian Marley, and Hafsa Ahmed guided the group of SYGs in a short presentation about their summer experience in the program.  The presentation included some original poetry and drumming.  True to the Nutrition Center’s mission, the door prize, won by Community Gardener Carolyn Messer, was a basket of fresh veggies from the Nutrition Center’s Community Gardens.

The Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens youth programs are open to Lewiston/Auburn area youth between the ages of 14-18.  Through the program, youth get job training and experience, learn about gardening, nutrition, and cooking, and participate in leadership development and food justice workshops.  Youth programs are supported by generous donations from area individuals and businesses.  Sponsoring one youth position for $1,200 is a great way to give back and engage a young person in developing lifelong healthy habits and becoming an agent of change in their community.  Interested individuals can contact Nutrition Center staff for more information.

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education.  It is home to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Lots to Gardens, Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and garden, cooking, and nutrition education programs for adults, teens, and kids.  For more information, please see www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org or call 207-513-3848.

 

 

Join us for Aquatic Fitness

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Some of the best exercise you can get is in the water. There are two ways that are most common, swimming and aqua aerobics. Both fall into the category of aerobic physical activity. Two and a half hours of aerobic activity a week is recommended for multiple health benefits including preventing and improving chronic illnesses. What better way than to enjoy that time in a pool? St. Mary’s HealthSteps offers both open lap swimming and Aquatic Fitness classes.

Lap Swim

Swim at your own pace and enjoy this individualized form of exercise in the 25-meter, 8-lane pool.

Wednesdays, 6:05-7:00 AM; Mondays and Fridays, 6:05-7:30 AM (Beginning Oct. 30, Mondays and Fridays change to 6:30-7:30 AM); Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:05-7:00 AM, (Tuesdays and Thursdays available until Oct. 29)

Aquatic Fitness

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood  Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre  Third Row: Joyce Richmond

HealthSteps members enjoy a refreshing water-based workout! Front row (L to R): Sheila Sylvester, Janet Irish, Louella Hood
Second Row: Helen McNelly, Dick St. Pierre
Third Row: Joyce Richmond

Join us for a great workout that’s easy on your joints using the water as resistance!  While swimming skills are not needed, a comfort level in both deep and shallow water is important.

Wednesdays, 6:05-6:55 AM; Mondays, Fridays, 6:30-7:15 AM

Open lap swim offers members an individualized form of exercise where they can choose their own pace. Whether you’re an Olympic swimmer or a doggy paddle expert, the pool is open to you for your aerobic exercise needs.

Aquatic fitness classes, on the other hand, are a social group activity. No swimming skills are required but feeling comfortable in deep water and shallow water while wearing a floatation belt is important.

Aquatic exercise provides many benefits including allowing for an increased range of motion, greater muscle resistance, and less impact on joints, which decreases participants’ chances of an impact injury. The following is what some of our aquatic exercise fans have to say about it.

“Going to my water aerobics class in the morning not only starts my day off right with exercise, but I also enjoy seeing my friends there!” -Janet Irish

I’m so glad I joined HealthSteps over 15 years ago. The water aerobics class is perfect for exercising without undue stress on my arthritic joints.  – Sheila Sylvester

In addition to aquatic fitness and lap swimming, HealthSteps offers a wide range of other classes with the core membership fee.

For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at www.stmarysmaine.com. Pre-registration for all programs is required. Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle in which you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more!

 

St. Mary’s Health System Names a New President and Chief Executive Officer

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

 

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary's Health System

Christopher Chekouras Named New President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System

St. Mary’s Board Chair Craig Gunderson and Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln are pleased to announce that the St. Mary’s Search Committee has chosen Christopher Chekouras of Shamong, New Jersey as the next President and CEO of St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, Maine.

Chekouras is currently Senior Vice President of Post-Acute and Community-Based Services at Virtua, a comprehensive southern New Jersey healthcare system with three hospitals. He will replace St. Mary’s current President and CEO,  Lee Myles, who is retiring in October.

The St. Mary’s Search Committee chose Chekouras following an intensive process with multiple strong candidates. According to Gunderson it was the breadth of Chekouras’ experience which impressed the group.

“Chris brings with him broad acute care leadership skills, including strategic planning, business development, physician and board relations, philanthropy, marketing, finance and operations,” said Gunderson.

“He was an outstanding choice in our mind not only because of his background, but also his proven history of achieving results through effective collaboration, transparent communication and personal accountability.”

“Even better,” said Gunderson, “he shares St. Mary’s values.  We think Chris is a great fit.”

Covenant Health President and CEO David Lincoln is equally positive about the choice.

“We are pleased to have Chris joining the Covenant Health leadership team,” said Lincoln.  “He’s mission-driven and will continue the strong faith tradition at St. Mary’s.”

“Chris brings dynamic energy, leadership skills and innovative ideas that will help clinically strengthen and grow the St. Mary’s system. We’ve made great strides this year, and we look forward to advancing our progress further with Chris at the helm of St. Mary’s.”

Chekouras, who formally begins his new role as CEO on October 5, says he eagerly looks forward to joining the St. Mary’s family.

“I am humbled to be given the opportunity to join St. Mary’s Health System.  It is an honor and a privilege to become part of their team.  Together we will continue to build on the 127-year healthcare legacy of St. Mary’s and the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Hyacinthe.”

 

“The St. Mary’s Search Committee and I are delighted that Chris and his wife Jennifer will be joining the St. Mary’s community,” said Gunderson. “We are looking forward to introducing him to St. Mary’s and the larger community.”

“You can’t help but like him,” Gunderson said, “or feel his energy, creativity and positive approach.”

 

The Truth about Teething

Friday, June 12th, 2015

By Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

CCS Pediatrics, Lewiston

Teething is one of the many celebrated “firsts” of a child’s first year of life.  Parents often wonder if their baby’s low grade fever, diarrhea, or sleepless nights are a result of erupting teeth.  There are many myths surrounding teething symptoms and treatments.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)  has recently published two studies showing that the only symptoms associated with teething are biting and mouthing, drooling, gum rubbing and irritability.  Parents and caregivers often attribute fever, diarrhea, red cheeks and rashes to teething, however, they are often times associated with illness and may warrant evaluation by your child’s pediatric provider.

There are many remedies both safe and unsafe for treating the discomfort associated with teething.  Amber teething necklaces are becoming increasingly popular as parents look for alternative ways to relieve baby’s sore gums.  These necklaces, however, pose a significant risk to infants.  They can easily break if they are able to get into baby’s mouth, and just one small bead can pose a choking hazard.  Teething necklaces can also cause strangulation.  Most teething necklace distributors have a disclaimer that necklaces should only be used under adult supervision, though many parents keep them on infants 24 hours a day.  Though these necklaces are thought to emit oils that relieve pain there are no studies supporting this claim.  Topical “gum numbing” medication can be harmful as well and has not been shown to be beneficial in alleviating pain from teething.

Teething toys are generally safe  as long as they are large enough to not fit inside a toilet paper or paper towel roll.  Anything smaller should not be given to a child under the age of three.  Teething rings are a great way to sooth sore gums.  They should be chilled in the refrigerator, not the freezer, and should never be boiled or placed in the dishwasher.  Mesh fruit traps can hold frozen vegetables or fruit which baby can chew on.  Other safe ways to help ease your infant’s pain are freezing wash clothes and letting baby chew on it.  Finally, acetaminophen and ibuprofen (for infants over 6 months of age) can be helpful in relieving teething discomfort, but should only be used when necessary.  You should talk to your pediatrician about appropriate dosing.  Teething can be a trying time for both parents and babies.  Always ask your pediatric provider for advice when you are unsure of symptoms or treatment options.

 

Suzanne Stevenson, APRN, MSN, NP-C

suzanne stevenson webSuzanne Stevenson is a Certified Nurse Practitioner at CCS Pediatrics in Lewiston.   Suzanne has a wide range of clinical experience in pediatric care. She has worked in emergency departments, newborn nurseries, transitional NICU, and a primary care office setting.  She earned her Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner specialty at Yale University in New Haven Connecticut and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.

Suzanne is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vaccination Dilemma – A Free Presentation

Monday, March 9th, 2015

The recent measles outbreak that infected more than 150 people in the U.S. cast the spotlight on the debate over childhood vaccinations.  While the debate hit its peak with the Disneyland outbreak, many parents have been teetering on the vaccination fence for decades.

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, Dr. Gerard Rubin of CCS Pediatrics will explore the immunization dilemma some parents face, weigh the pros and cons of the shots, and talk about potential side effects, during a presentation at Lepage Large Conference Room at 99 Campus Avenue in Lewiston. The talk will begin at 5:30 pm and will follow with a question and answer session. Seating is limited so register today by calling 777-8481.

gerard rubin hsDr. Rubin is the Lead Physician at CCS Pediatrics at 100 Campus Avenue in Lewiston.  He performed his residency at Albany Medical Center in New York after receiving his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine. His areas of special interest include behavioral pediatrics, child advocacy, integrative medicine, and osteopathic manipulation treatment.

Dr. Rubin is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Osteopathy, and the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Education Support.  He is general pediatric board certified as well as certified in neonatal resuscitation and pediatric ALS.

He is accepting new patients.  For an appointment, please call 755-3160.

 

 

Sam’s Restaurants Support Local Food Pantries

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Sam's Cornucopia Winning Store 2014Sam’s restaurants in Maine raised $6,400 to support local food pantries. Each fall, employees at thirteen Sam’s Italian Sandwich Shops ask if they would like to purchase paper cornucopias for $1 to help end hunger. The restaurant location that sells the most cornucopias wins prizes from Sam’s and other area businesses as a thank you. Environmental Remediation, a local business, made a significant contribution to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry as part of this effort.

This year Sam’s Sabattus Street location in Lewiston raised the most money. Mary Ellingwood from St. Mary’s Development Department presented a plaque noting the achievement to David MacArthur, Manager of the Sam’s Sabattus Street location.

9th Annual Chefs Soirée a Success

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

St. Mary’s Health System’s Nutrition Center held the 9th Annual Chefs Soirée, Exploring Our Roots, earlier this month. The event was inspired by the 125th anniversary of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and the 15th anniversary of the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens program. Courses throughout the evening featured root vegetables and other culinary delights from local farms and producers.

Chef Paul Landry of Fish Bones American Grill, Cody LaMontagne, co-founder of Forage Market, Karen Bolduc of South Auburn Organic Farm and Gerry Walsh of Forage Market educated and entertained guests with their collective knowledge and great food.

Paul Drowns, the Nutrition Center's  Community Cooking Educator (left) and Fiston Mubalama Lowitiwiya, a Nutrition Center Fellow (right), share their culinary expertise with guests of the 9th Annual Chefs Soirée at the St. Mary's Nutrition Center.

Paul Drowns, the Nutrition Center’s Community Cooking Educator (left) and Fiston Mubalama Lowitiwiya, a Nutrition Center Fellow (right), share their culinary expertise with guests of the 9th Annual Chefs Soirée at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center.

Sarah Spring of Spring Day Creamery in Durham and Pat O’Brien of Fiore Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars in Freeport offered samples of their product for tasting. A display of recently harvested vegetables and flowers from 4 Season Farm Market in New Auburn gave the Nutrition Center a market atmosphere. The Nutrition Center’s Community Cooking Educator, Paul Drowns, and Fiston Mubalama Lowitiwiya, a Nutrition Center Fellow, set up the Center’s bicycle cart kitchen outside and served Beet Carpaccio with Caramelized Onion Marmalade.

The four course meal featured roasted butternut squash, beet and goat cheese galette with a salad made with South Auburn Organic Farm’s mixed greens and Spring Day Creamery’s award winning blue cheese and warm apple cider dressing. Chicken kebobs with Ricker Hill Farm’s apples, and turnips were served with mushrooms (Maine forged) risotto and Fiore’s Wild Mushroom & Sage Olive Oil. The third course featured North Star Sheep Farm grilled lamb burgers topped with Pineland Farm’s feta cheese and greens drizzled with a mint chimichurri aioli and served with salad nicoise. Gerry Walsh of Forage Market created a Chocolate Torte made simply with eggs, chocolate and cream to finish off the evening.

Susan Hall of The Vault, a specialty wine and craft beer shop in Lewiston pared each course with wine. Baxter Beer of Lewiston donated four varieties of craft beers to the evening’s festivities.

The proceeds will support St. Mary’s Nutrition Center and its programming. The Nutrition Center serves as a hub for healthy food initiatives across Lewiston and Androscoggin County. Key programs include the food pantry, cooking and garden education programs for people of all ages, the Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and Lots to Gardens, which uses downtown gardens to create access to fresh local food, empower youth, and to build community. For more information contact the Nutrition Center at 207-513-3848.

More Than 100 People Attend St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
The crowd of community members passes through a buffet line of healthy food prepared by Cabot’s Gratitude Grille and the Nutrition Center’s Summer Youth Gardeners.

The crowd of community members passes through a buffet line of healthy food prepared by Cabot’s Gratitude Grille and the Nutrition Center’s Summer Youth Gardeners.

More than 100 community members, staff, youth, volunteers, supporters, and gardeners, attended the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center’s Annual Community Dinner on last week to celebrate all the hard work and community service that has been accomplished this growing season. This annual dinner highlights the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens program; attendees included the Youth Gardeners and their families, some of the 115 families that garden in the community garden plots in downtown Lewiston and at Meadowview and Hillview housing complexes, and others who have participated in or supported the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, Lots to Gardens, and the St. Mary’s Food Pantry over the year.

The evening was led by the Summer Youth Gardeners (SYGs). Much of the menu was locally grown and developed and prepared from scratch by the SYGs. It also reflected their diverse culinary backgrounds, including Chinese chicken and rice, Somali chicken and rice, Sahro’s cabbage dish, Fiston’s braised greens, green beans, blueberry banana smoothie, and beet raspberry brownies. True to

Community Gardener, Kirk Jones of Lewiston gets ready to enjoy his dinner.

Community Gardener, Kirk Jones of Lewiston gets ready to enjoy his dinner.

the Nutrition Center’s mission, the door prize, won by Community Gardener Kirk Jones, was a basket of fresh veggies and Lewiston Farmers’ Market gift certificates.

In addition, as a special treat this year, Cabot Cheese joined the fun with their Farmers’ Gratitude Grille, which is a traveling kitchen, conceived by the farm families who own Cabot, to thank volunteers and community-service-based organizations for the extraordinary work they do. They served pimento grilled cheese sandwiches, salad, and oatmeal raisin cookies from their mobile kitchen in the Nutrition Center’s parking lot.

The diverse group of Summer Youth Gardeners also developed and showcased a short presentation about their summer experience in the program. The presentation included skits about teenage experiences and how they are using their voices to speak up about injustices and to treat one another with more kindness. Several youth also told personal stories and gave thanks for all they learned in the program, including Mohamed Abdullahi. “Although I will not be working with Lots to Gardens anymore, the experiences, the laughter, and the learning I will take with me. I am grateful for learning how to cook healthy food, and food from other cultures, and for the gardening skills I will use later in life. I now pay more attention to how I treat people. I’m a better friend, better son, and a better person. I’m happy that Lots to Gardens is part of the community, and that the community is part of Lots to Gardens,” said Abdullahi.

Along with the youth, Kirsten Walter, Nutrition Center Director, explained that the Nutrition Center’s Lots to Gardens youth programs are open to Lewiston/Auburn area youth between the ages of 14-18. Through the program, they get job training and experience, learn about gardening, nutrition, and cooking, and participate in leadership development training. She thanked the individuals, businesses and organizations that provided youth sponsorships this year, including Agren Appliance; Lake Auburn Half Marathon; Luke Robinson and Wolfpack Fitness; Fred and Janet Bishop; Russ Donahue, Elizabeth Keene and employees at St. Mary’s Health System. “Sponsoring one youth position costs $1,200 and is a great way to give back and engage a young person in developing lifelong healthy habits and becoming an agent of change in their community,” said Walter. Interested individuals can contact Walter to learn more.

The St. Mary’s Nutrition Center promotes community health through organizing, advocacy, and education. It is home to the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, Lots to Gardens, Lewiston Farmers’ Market, and garden, cooking, and nutrition education programs for adults, teens, and kids. For more information, please visit www.stmarysnutritioncenter.org or call 207-513-3848.

Lose with Me!

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Want to lose some weight? Don’t go it alone, let HealthSteps, an award winning health education and exercise program, help you. Join them for Lose with Me! a 12-week session focused on helping you obtain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Classes are taught by Jennifer Smith and include goal setting to get you started, exercise planning to get you moving, nutrition education to ensure you eat well, food journaling to keep you on track, and peer support to keep you motivated! If you’re looking to lose weight as a part of building a healthier lifestyle for you and/or your family then, Lose with Me! is the program for you!

Class Time: Wednesdays, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
September 17 – December 3
Location: Saint Hyacinth Conference Room, 96 Campus Ave., 2nd Floor
Cost: $99
Registration Required 777-8898

HealthSteps is part of the Prevention & Wellness Services offered through St. Mary’s Health System.

Call today and start your way to a new healthy lifestyle in which you will feel better, have more energy, meet great people, and enjoy exercise even more! For more information or to register, call HealthSteps at 777-8898 or visit them on the web at: www.stmarysmaine.com

Instructor Jennifer SmithJennifer Smith holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, a bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine with a concentration in nutrition and a minor in education, and is a nationally certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor, speed coach, and tobacco cessation helper. Jennifer will help you review your eating behaviors and will instruct you as to how your eating habits affect your metabolism. She will teach you the skills you need including reading food labels, meal planning, portion control, and more to keep you eating healthy beyond the 12-week program. She’ll also help you to identify your barriers to exercise, to brainstorm strategies to overcome such obstacles, and to set goals beyond the 12-week program.

St. Mary’s Nutrition Center Celebrates Nutrition this March

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

St. Mary’s Nutrition Center is celebrating good nutrition this March.  The goal of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, located in downtown Lewiston, is to promote community health through its food pantry, cooking and nutrition education, youth development, and urban gardening programs.  In addition to sharing healthy eating tips and recipes daily on its Facebook page throughout the month, the Nutrition Center is also holding the following activities.

Community Cooking Night will be held Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 5:30-7:30pm, at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates Street, Lewiston.  This is a community get together and meal where participants practice healthy cooking techniques, try new foods, and set healthy eating goals together.  Recipes feature seasonal fruits and vegetables and whole grains and the class is participant driven. Tip sheets, helpful handouts, and recipes are all available for participants to take home at the end of the class. There is a suggested donation of $5 but no one is turned away for lack of funds.  Call 513-3848 or email NutritionCenter@stmarysmaine.com to register. 

 

Registration is now open for April’s Grow a Garden Workshop Series.  This series is for anyone who wants to grow a garden to increase their sources of healthy food. You can attend one or all! If you have the resources, there is a suggested donation of $10 per class to support Nutrition Center programs, or attend all three in the series for $25.  The sessions will be held at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center at 208 Bates St., Lewiston. To register or for more information, call 513-3844 or email Bridgette at NutritionCenter@stmarysmaine.com.


Workshop #1. Starting a GardenTuesday, April 8, 6-7pm
Things to consider when starting a garden, consultation on what type of garden is good for you, choosing a location, how to test your soil, and how to build up and improve your soil.

Workshop #2. Starting your own SeedlingsTuesday, April 15, 6-7pm
What you need and need to know to start your own seedlings for your garden. Choose a veggie to plant and take home at the end of the workshop.

Workshop #3. Making a Garden PlanTuesday, April 22, 6-7pm
Resources and advice on how to make a garden plan with a focus on making the most of small spaces and preventing pests.

 

Electricity Maine is featuring its partnership with St. Mary’s Nutrition Center throughout the month of March.  When people sign up or renew with Electricity Maine in March, they can chose to have a portion of their electricity bill support the Nutrition Center’s programming. Find more information at www.electricityme.com/NutritionCenter, or call (866) 573- 2674.

 

The last Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market of the season will be held on March 20, 2014, 5-7:30pm, at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates Street in Lewiston.  People can come by and load up on fresh, healthy produce, local meats and cheeses, and have a healthy dinner at the Farmers’ Market Café while they’re there.  More information about the farmers’ market can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lewistonfarmersmarket.

 

The Food Pantry is engaging in a Healthy Food Drive as part of a coordinated community effort this spring to focus more on healthy foods and especially, healthy snacks and lunch items for kids.  Good choices include peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, whole grain crackers and pasta, raisins and other dried fruits, and non-sugary cereals.  Because the food pantry is open 5 days a week and serves approximately 375 people per week, fresh produce can also be accepted and distributed.  Donations can be dropped off at the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, 208 Bates Street in Lewiston, Monday through Friday from 9 to 11am. 

 

Finally, the Nutrition Center’s Community Cooking Educators will be delivering nutrition education in local elementary school classrooms throughout this month and through the end of the school year.  The “Pick a Better Snack and Act” curriculum promotes fruits and vegetables as an attractive alternative to less healthy snacks.  Through hands-on nutrition and cooking activities, kids are learning that making better choices can be fun, tasty, and healthy. 

St. Mary’s Nutrition Center is celebrating good nutrition this March.  The goal of St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, located in downtown Lewiston, is to promote community health through its food pantry, cooking and nutrition education, youth development, and urban gardening programs.  In addition to sharing healthy eating tips and recipes daily on its Facebook page throughout the month, the Nutrition Center is also holding the following activities.

Community Cooking Night will be held Tuesday, March 25, 2014, 5:30-7:30pm, at St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates Street, Lewiston.  This is a community get together and meal where participants practice healthy cooking techniques, try new foods, and set healthy eating goals together.  Recipes feature seasonal fruits and vegetables and whole grains and the class is participant driven. Tip sheets, helpful handouts, and recipes are all available for participants to take home at the end of the class. There is a suggested donation of $5 but no one is turned away for lack of funds.  Call 513-3848 or email NutritionCenter@stmarysmaine.com to register. 

 

Registration is now open for April’s Grow a Garden Workshop Series.  This series is for anyone who wants to grow a garden to increase their sources of healthy food. You can attend one or all! If you have the resources, there is a suggested donation of $10 per class to support Nutrition Center programs, or attend all three in the series for $25.  The sessions will be held at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center at 208 Bates St., Lewiston. To register or for more information, call 513-3844 or email Bridgette at NutritionCenter@stmarysmaine.com.
Workshop #1. Starting a Garden – Tuesday, April 8, 6-7pm
Things to consider when starting a garden, consultation on what type of garden is good for you, choosing a location, how to test your soil, and how to build up and improve your soil.

Workshop #2. Starting your own Seedlings – Tuesday, April 15, 6-7pm
What you need and need to know to start your own seedlings for your garden. Choose a veggie to plant and take home at the end of the workshop.

Workshop #3. Making a Garden Plan – Tuesday, April 22, 6-7pm
Resources and advice on how to make a garden plan with a focus on making the most of small spaces and preventing pests.
Electricity Maine is featuring its partnership with St. Mary’s Nutrition Center throughout the month of March.  When people sign up or renew with Electricity Maine in March, they can chose to have a portion of their electricity bill support the Nutrition Center’s programming. Find more information at www.electricityme.com/NutritionCenter, or call (866) 573- 2674.

 

The last Lewiston Winter Farmers’ Market of the season will be held on March 20, 2014, 5-7:30pm, at the St. Mary’s Nutrition Center, 208 Bates Street in Lewiston.  People can come by and load up on fresh, healthy produce, local meats and cheeses, and have a healthy dinner at the Farmers’ Market Café while they’re there.  More information about the farmers’ market can be found on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lewistonfarmersmarket.

 

The Food Pantry is engaging in a Healthy Food Drive as part of a coordinated community effort this spring to focus more on healthy foods and especially, healthy snacks and lunch items for kids.  Good choices include peanut butter, canned tuna and chicken, whole grain crackers and pasta, raisins and other dried fruits, and non-sugary cereals.  Because the food pantry is open 5 days a week and serves approximately 375 people per week, fresh produce can also be accepted and distributed.  Donations can be dropped off at the St. Mary’s Food Pantry, 208 Bates Street in Lewiston, Monday through Friday from 9 to 11am. 

 

Finally, the Nutrition Center’s Community Cooking Educators will be delivering nutrition education in local elementary school classrooms throughout this month and through the end of the school year.  The “Pick a Better Snack and Act” curriculum promotes fruits and vegetables as an attractive alternative to less healthy snacks.  Through hands-on nutrition and cooking activities, kids are learning that making better choices can be fun, tasty, and healthy.