Community Organizations Collaborate To Feed Area Children As Schools Close Due To COVID19

MARCH 18, 2020 – Area nonprofit and community organizers are working together to ensure that children are fed as schools close across Strafford County and the rest of the country due to the coronavirus outbreak. For students that rely on the meals they receive throughout the school day to combat food-insecurity, school closure often means, those children do not eat.

A current list of who is providing food, a list of area food pantries, school district meal plans, churches and other organizations in the area who are modifying how they are feeding kids, seniors, homeless and others in need can be found at https://straffordcap.org/covid-19-meals/

Also at risk are seniors who are considered high-risk of developing severe complications if exposed to COVID-19 according to the CDC. For older people who are also low-income or homebound, ensuring they have access to food without putting them at greater risk is paramount.

Organizations including Community Action Partnership of Strafford County (CAPSC), Region 6 IDN, End 68 Hours of Hunger, Gather, City Welfare, area Food Pantries, School Districts and Churches, have come together to document who needs food, where they are and how they will be fed.

Local food providers need more resources and are to working together to keep people fed, but also safe and healthy. If people want to help, please make a monetary donation to your local food program so that they can purchase food in bulk from vendors and distributors or give gift cards to help clients buy milk, eggs, and other proteins.  Specific requests can be found on local program social media and websites.

This list will be updated every Tuesday. Please check back on the website for updates.


Strafford County Public Health

Unity Recovery, WEconnect Health, Alano Club of Portland, & SOS Recovery Offering Free Online Substance Use and Mental Health Support during COVID-19

Unity Recovery, WEconnect Health, Alano Club of Portland, & SOS Recovery Offering Free Online Substance Use and Mental Health Support during COVID-19

Virtual support groups, led by peer and family recovery specialists, occurring daily

Philadelphia—Individuals and family members dealing with substance use, mental health, disordered eating, and other behavioral health disorders will be able to participate in free online recovery support meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unity Recovery, a non-profit recovery community organization in Philadelphia, WEconnect Health, an evidence-based digital app based in Seattle, Alano Club of Portland and SOS Recovery, recovery support providers, are providing the daily service since public health officials have urged people to avoid gatherings or have shut down cities due to the pandemic. The daily online recovery support meetings are available immediately and are led by certified peer who are in recovery themselves.

To attend a meeting or learn more, individuals and family members can visit:
https://unityrecovery.org/digital-recovery-meetings

In just the last 72 hours, more than 2,000 individuals from 50 states and 10 countries have participated in the meetings which run at 9AM, 12PM, 3PM, 6PM, 8PM. and 9PM EST. “As recovery meetings have continued to close around the country and world, the need for connection and ongoing mutual aid is larger than ever”, said Robert Ashford, person in recovery and Unity Recovery Executive Director, “people are connecting in creative ways and maintaining their recovery in the most trying of times.” “The need for support doesn’t go away during this time. It only grows as people socially distance and there aren’t any options for those in or seeking recovery to get the support they need,” said WEconnect Health cofounder and CEO Daniela Tudor, who is in recovery herself. “Family members and loved ones need just as much support as individuals during this time, and being able to offer both types of recovery meetings is so important,” said Brent Canode, Executive Director of the Alano Club of Portland.

As of 2019, there are more than 66,000 12-step meetings in the U.S. alone and thousands of similar type of support groups. Particularly for those new in recovery and just leaving treatment, having no access to recovery meetings or therapy during this time exponentially increases the likelihood of recurrence of substance use, overdose and even death.


ABOUT Unity Recovery
Unity Recovery is a community-based, non-profit recovery community organization based in Philadelphia. At Unity Recovery, we partner with the entire community to bring comprehensive community-based recovery support to those that need them – from recovery meetings, peer recovery specialists, education and vocational training. As a hybrid recovery community organization, we support individuals in all types of recovery utilizing various pathways, all for no fees and no strings.


ABOUT WEconnect Health
WEconnect Health provides the most effective digital solution for substance use. Cofounded by Daniela Tudor and French Open Tennis champion Murphy Jensen, both in recovery, they have made it their mission to save lives, provide accurate outcomes data, and support healthcare ecosystems, communities and families.


ABOUT SOS Recovery Community Organization
SOS Recovery Community Organization is a recovery community organization based in
Somersworth, NH with recovery community centers in Dover, Rochester and Hampton, NH.
The mission of SOS Recovery Community Organization is to reduce stigma and harm associated with substance use and misuse by providing safe space and peer based supports for people in all stages of recovery. SOS is a program of Greater Seacoast Community Health is a 501c3 non-profit federally qualified health center.

Strafford County Addiction Summit to focus on trauma-informed communities

SOMERSWORTH — The Strafford County Public Health Network’s 2019 Strafford County Addiction Summit will take place Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Garrison Wing. The theme of this year’s event is Building Trauma-Informed Communities.

The summit aims to educate and provide community members with the knowledge, skills and tools to address challenges such as adverse childhood experiences (ACE) by utilizing trauma-informed care (TIC) principles in their everyday lives and work. By hearing concrete examples, learning about funding opportunities, and listening to experts across fields, attendees will learn how to cultivate resilient communities that are built on a foundation of trauma-informed care.

Attendees can expect to gain valuable insight on the core principles of trauma-informed care, practices that can be utilized in the workplace, enhancing communication skills, and how to apply trauma-informed best practices into your life.

The keynote addresses include ACES in Action: Building Trauma-Informed Communities by Dr. Larry McCullough, executive director and founder of Pinetree Institute, and Tomorrow’s Funding by Tym Rourke, director of New Hampshire Tomorrow with the NH Charitable Foundation. The event will also include six breakout sessions and a panel of experts discussing “Examples of Trauma-Informed Work in Our Communities.”

There is a $20 registration fee per person. The event includes breakfast and lunch. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify, please contact SCPHN for more information. Continuing education credits are available.

This is the eighth annual Addiction Summit coordinated by the Strafford County Public Health Network. This event is coordinated with support from Greater Seacoast Community Health, Dover Coalition for Youth, the Pinetree Institute and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. More information can be found at SCPHN.org or by contacting SCPHN@GoodwinCH.org or (603) 994-6357.

 

Read article on Foster’s Daily Democrat

Rochester property owners urged to attend free lead removal seminar

ROCHESTER PROPERTY OWNERS URGED TO ATTEND FREE LEAD REMOVAL SEMINAR

ROCHESTER, November6, 2019 – The City of Rochester and the Strafford County Public Health Network are hosting a free educational program for property owners and managers in Rochester whose properties may contain lead.  Residents owning property built before 1978 are strongly encouraged to attend this free program and dinner at the new Mitchell Hill BBQ, 50 North Main Street, Rochester, at 5:30pm on Tuesday, November 12.

Attendees will hear from NH state experts, Gail Gettens and Ross Malcolm from the NH of Division of Public Health Services on the dangers of lead as well as financial programs that will assist with removing lead. Attendees will learn about new laws like the one passed in 2018 in New Hampshire passed requiring providers to conduct blood lead level tests for all 1 and 2 year olds.  It will also connect attendees with resources and information on things property managers and homeowners can do to test their homes for lead that may exist in interior paint, exterior paint and their water.

“In 2017 652 NH children were poisoned by lead.  Lead is a toxic poison. It can slow growth and impair brain development, especially among children; the effects can be permanent and continue into adulthood. One of the most common source of lead exposure for children is lead paint and lead−contaminated dust in older homes, said Ashley Desrochers, Prevention Coordinator, Strafford County Public Health Network.  “It only takes a speck of lead dust the size of a grain of salt to poison a child. We are working with some of NH’s highest risk communities so that we can prevent further lead poisoning in our children.”

The Strafford County Public Health Network, whose mission is to improve the health of all the individuals in Strafford County, is seeking individuals interested in joining both its Rochester and Somersworth Lead Safety teams.  Anyone interested can contact Ashley Desrochers at 603-749-2346 x2579 or adesrochers@goodwinch.org. For more information about the free dinner and seminar, contact Julian Long at Julian.long@rochesternh.net.

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Media Contact:  Lara Willard, 603-516-2558

STRAFFORD COUNTY ROLLING OUT 3-YEAR COMMUNITY HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PLAN

phac2016SOMERSWORTH, February 3, 2016—The Strafford County Public Health Network has released a 3-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP is a systematic, county-wide plan that summarizes the health of the county, assesses gaps and assets, and recommends evidence based solutions to address the county’s most pressing public health issues.

The CHIP was driven by the Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) Network, comprised of over 165 local stakeholders, including medical, educational, government, law enforcement, and social service personnel. The PHAC Executive Board and Network met regularly over the past year and a half to prioritize the county’s most pressing health issues, and craft strategies to address these issues. In addition, the PHAC Executive Board, comprised of 18 high level subject matter experts, guided the creation of the CHIP and will be overseeing the implementation.

Strafford County currently ranks 8 out of 10 in the state for overall health outcomes, health behaviors and self-reported quality of life according to the 2015 County Health Rankings. Other concerning Strafford County health findings include a 31% adult obesity rate, the highest rate for hospital admissions attributable to stroke, less than 1/3 of residents report being prepared for a wide scale disaster or emergency, and has a high overdose rate, with 4 communities  making the top 10 for naloxone administration in the state.

The top 5 priority areas are Substance Misuse (Prevention, Treatment and Recovery), Mental Health, Obesity and Nutrition, Emergency Preparedness, and Heart Disease and Stroke. Each of these priority areas were assigned goals, objectives, measures and evidence based strategies, and is to be used as a guideline for organizations and community stakeholders in the area to improve the health in the county. A few of the initiatives selected  in the CHIP are already in the making including creating a recovery community center for those suffering from addiction, building a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) coalition, and strengthening coordination with hospitals and human service organizations to better align resources.

To successfully implement the CHIP, continued collaboration among community organizations and stakeholders will be critical. To get involved and to view the full Community Health Improvement Plan visit scphn.org

About The Strafford County Public Health Network

The Strafford County Public Health Network (SCPHN) is part is one of thirteen regions in NH that strives to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for all individuals in Strafford County. The SCPHN is an umbrella program that also includes ONE Voice for Strafford County, which is focused on substance misuse prevention, treatment and recovery, as well as Ready Strafford which is focused on emergency preparedness.  SCPHN works to align multiple public health priorities while developing an integrated system.  SCPHN is representative of Dover, Rochester, Durham, Somersworth, Barrington, Farmington, Milton, Lee, Strafford, New Durham, Rollinsford, Middleton, Madbury, and the University of New Hampshire. The Strafford County Public Health Network is located at Goodwin Community Health.  For more information or to get involved, please visit www.scphn.org under the contact us section.

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FARMERS MARKET BRIDGING THE HUNGER GAP

Local farmers, volunteers and staff of the Strafford County Public Health Network gather to close out the inaugural season of the Somersworth Farmers Market.
Local farmers, volunteers and staff of the Strafford County Public Health Network gather to close out the inaugural season of the Somersworth Farmers Market.

By Judi Currie
jcurrie@fosters.com

November 13. 2015 4:21PM

SOMERSWORTH – While living in a downtown area with a selection of restaurants and convenience stores works well for some, it can be a challenge when trying to feed a family on a budget.

Without transportation, even a vibrant downtown can become a food desert when it comes to accessing healthy affordable meals.

That is where the Somersworth Farmers Market comes in. Held every Thursday at Goodwin Community Health on Route 108, the market brought fresh food to a more accessible location.

Liz Clark, Somersworth Farmers Market Manager and Community Health Improvement Coordinator for Strafford County Public Health Network (SCPHN) said when the market wrapped up its first season at the end of September, it met its goal of improving access to fresh produce and reducing disparities to accessing healthy food.

“One of the great things about the market is that we were bringing the fresh produce to an area with a bus stop right out front,” Clark said. “So that helped to increase healthy eating.”

This season, SNAP/EBT members accessed a total of $5,799 to spend at the farmers market, $4,531 of which was distributed as free incentives through programs like market match and close the gap.

SNAP is the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program where benefits are now accessed using an EBT card; which works like a debit card.

Through the partnership with Seacoast Eat Local, SNAP/EBT users could get a weekly market match of up to $10.

“If they spent $10 on their card, they received an additional $10 free to spend on fruits and vegetables each week at the market.” Clark said. “Additionally, they received $20 free to spend on food at the market during the last week of the month as part of a program called ‘Close the Gap.’”

Clark said Close the Gap aimed to bridge the gap between the time recipients ran out of benefits until the card was refilled at the beginning of the next month.

“For many, the benefit is not enough to cover what the average person needs for food,” Clark said.

The success of the market was made possible by financial support from the Public Health Network and Stonewall Kitchen, partnership with Seacoast Eat Local and many volunteers from Goodwin Community Health.

Clark said the WIC program, administered through Goodwin Community Health, really helped drive customers to the market by letting them know about the matching programs and how far their benefits would go.

“I was really excited when I heard we would be accepting SNAP/EBT, but seeing it happen at the market really put it in perspective for me how important it was.” Clark said. “On more than one occasion, I saw participants cry when the received the Close the Gap funds.”

The Somersworth Farmers Market is an initiative of the SCPHN and Goodwin Community Health to address the obesity/nutrition public health priority as identified by the Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council.

The Somersworth Farmers Market is looking forward to bringing back the market next year from June through September. Clark said all of the vendors have already committed to return.

This Fosters article can be found at: http://fdweb.sx.atl.publicus.com/article/20151113/news/151119678

SOMERSWORTH FARMERS MARKET IMPROVING ACCESS TO FRESH PRODUCE AND HEALTHY FOOD

Somersworth Farmers MarketSOMERSWORTH, October 29, 2015 — The Somersworth Farmers Market wrapped up its first season on Thursday, September 24 and met its goal of improving access to fresh produce and reducing disparities to accessing healthy food.

This season, SNAP/EBT members accessed a total of $5,799 to spend at the farmers market, $4,531 of which was distributed as free incentives through programs like market match and close the gap.

Through the partnership with Seacoast Eat Local the Somersworth Farmers Market provided SNAP/EBT users with a weekly market match of up to $10.  If a SNAP/EBT recipient spent $10 on their SNAP/EBT card they received an additional $10 free to spend on fruits and vegetables each week at the market. Additionally, all SNAP/EBT customers received $20 free to spend on food at the market during the last week of the month as part of a program called “Close the Gap.” Close The Gap aimed to bridge the gap between the time that SNAP/EBT recipients ran low or out of benefits, and when their EBT cards were refilled.

The Somersworth Farmers Market was an initiative of the Strafford County Public Health Network (SCPHN) and Goodwin Community Health to address the obesity/nutrition public health priority identified by the Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council. Improving access to fresh produce and reducing disparities to accessing healthy food were the goals of the Somersworth Farmers Market that completed its first season last month.

The success of the market was made possible by financial support from the Public Health Network and Stonewall Kitchen, partnership with Seacoast Eat Local and many volunteers from Goodwin Community Health.  Additionally, the WIC program administered through Goodwin Community Health made a significant impact on the success of this market by assisting us in outreaching to its service population of SNAP/EBT users.

Local farmers, volunteers and staff of the Strafford County Public Health Network gather to close out the inaugural season of the Somersworth Farmers Market.
Local farmers, volunteers and staff of the Strafford County Public Health Network gather to close out the inaugural season of the Somersworth Farmers Market.

“Making such a positive impact in our community during our inaugural season of this market is remarkable. The SNAP/EBT numbers truly reflect the need in the community and the success we had in reaching our goals of reducing disparities and increasing access to healthy food,” said Liz Clark, Somersworth Farmers Market Manager and Community Health Improvement Coordinator, Strafford County Public Health Network

The Somersworth Farmers Market is looking forward to bringing back the market next year from June through September.  More information can be found Goodwinch.org/community/farmers-market or on the Somersworth Farmers Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SomersworthFarmersMarket

More information about the Strafford County Public Health Network can be found at www.scphn.org

STONEWALL KITCHEN DONATES TO THE SOMERSWORTH FARMERS MARKET!

Posted Jul. 9, 2015 at 3:15 AM

SOMERSWORTH — Goodwin Community Health is pleased to announce that local specialty food manufacturer and retailer Stonewall Kitchen has generously donated $2,500 to sponsor The Somersworth Farmers Market.

The Market has partnered with Seacoast Eat Local to be able to accept SNAP/EBT cards. Through this partnership, a matching program is available every week to all SNAP recipients. The matching program doubles SNAP purchases dollar for dollar, for up to $10, allowing SNAP recipients to double their spending power.

Additionally, the Somersworth Farmer’s Market is also now participating in “Close the Gap.” Close The Gap aims to bridge the gap between the time that SNAP customers run low or out of benefits and when their EBT cards are refilled. All SNAP customers can attend the last market of the month and will receive $20 free to spend on food.

“We are thankful that the new Somersworth Market is off to a great start and attracting the support of a community leader like Stonewall Kitchen, and a partnership with an organization like Seacoast Eat Local” says Liz Clark, Somersworth Farmers Market manager. ”Together we are making an impact on creating more access to healthy, locally grown food.”

The Somersworth Farmers Market runs every Thursday through Sept. 24 from 3-6 p.m. at Goodwin Community Health, 311 Route 108 Somersworth.

For more information, please visit www.stonewallkitchen.com and www.seacoasteatlocal.org.

This Fosters article can be found at: http://www.fosters.com/article/20150709/NEWS/150709411/