Last week, Seven Valleys Health Coalition was happy to assist with the Cortland Youth Leadership Program. This immersive event allowed young adults from local schools the opportunity to get to know one another and learn about local food systems while developing their leadership skills by participating in four interactive stations.
The first station involved teaching participants the value of meditation and reflection.
At the second station, young community leaders were encouraged to create an open dialogue about the food they eat and where it comes from. Discussion topics included:
What participants had for breakfast
Where their food comes from
Who helps cook and shop for food
What they think about when making food choices
How food choices impact mental and physical health
How food impacts individual and community relationships
How food choices impact the environment and local economy
How to improve school foods and create and maintain healthy eating habits
This discussion allowed peer leaders to better understand the significance of eating healthy local foods.
The third station allowed participants to learn knife safety skills as well as how to make salads in the kitchen.
At the final station, participants learned about vegetable identification and how to prepare hummus for a quick, easy, and healthy snack with Bobcat from Main Street Farms.
Participants were presented with the opportunity to become a farm-to-school ambassador at the conclusion of the event. This opportunity would allow them to have an active role in bringing nutritious local foods into their schools, creating a healthier environment for themselves and their peers.
It was a pleasure to work with such receptive young members of the community!