Orange County receives $250,000 annual grant to start Healthy Orange Schools and Communities Program

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GOSHEN – Orange County has received
a $250,000 annual grant for the next five years from the state health
department to implement the Healthy Orange Schools and Community Program.

The local program was created by the county health and planning departments
to implement sustainable policy, system and environmental changes in the
Newburgh and Port Jervis school districts, serving students, their families
and the communities in which they live.

The county will use the grant to increase access to healthy affordable
foods, while increasing opportunities for physical activities in the Newburgh
and Port Jervis school districts, and surrounding areas.

“This is a great joint effort to strengthen our Health Orange initiative
and continue to affect healthy change for our youth in the cities of Port
Jervis and Newburgh, where the school districts and municipalities have
agreed to partner with our department of health, planning department and
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County,” said Robert Deitrich,
the director of the county’s Community Health Outreach program.
“It is the next step in continuing the work we have done with our
Farm to School Program over the past two years.”

Cornell Cooperative Extension will serve as a not-for-profit link to both
schools and communities to meet program deliverables, providing knowledge
and experience through previous work in Farm to School programs, agricultural
education in the classrooms and obesity education for families.

Orange-Ulster BOCES will provide culinary training to food service personnel
in each district.

Grant funding will also be used to hire two full-time coordinators, one
school-based and the other community-based.