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New Milford Hospital's Plow to Plate® Youth Chef Advocacy Program and Sullivan Farm’s Sustainable Farming Internship Announce Collaboration

NEW MILFORD, Connecticut – February 19, 2013 - New Milford Hospital's Plow to Plate® Youth Chef Advocacy program and Friends of Sullivan Farm's Sustainable Farming Internship program, two popular programs that provide invaluable educational experiences and opportunities for our community's youth, are collaborating in an effort to bridge the gap between local food production and the dinner plate. Students will continue to apply to the respective programs, but will intermittently join together to mentor each other on the fundamentals of their respective programs.

The Youth Chef Advocacy program coincides with the Connecticut growing season and will run from March 12 to July 5. Except for the orientation and some field trips, classes will take place after school on Tuesdays from 2:30 – 6:00 at the First Congregational Church on the Green in New Milford and on select dates at Sullivan Farm located on Route 202, New Milford. Transportation from Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford High School and for field trips will be provided. The cost for the Youth Chefs program is $50.00. Financial aid is available.

Through this peer-led team experience, both groups will learn about the value of local and sustainable agriculture and the preparation of the healthy foods it provides. Shared sessions will include field trips to CT farms, documentaries and discussions about sustainable food systems, preparing and sharing dinners with the community, and advocating for a healthy food system. This unique collaboration demonstrates the ability to pool together existing resources to further strengthen these two invaluable community programs.

The Youth Chefs Advocacy program is open to 10 New Milford students, grades 7 through 10, who are interested in local food and agriculture, health and environmental implications of food choices and learning how to prepare and serve seasonal meals.

The downloadable application, informational letter and calendar for the Youth Chef Advocacy program is available on the Plow to Plate® website: PlowToPlate.org . Deadline for applications is March 4, 2013.

About New Milford Hospital's Youth Chef Advocacy Program

Since 2008, the Plow to Plate® Youth Chef Advocacy Program has educated more than 50 New Milford middle and high school students about sustainable and local agriculture and the health benefits of eating fresh, local food while teaching them the professional culinary skills needed to prepare and serve seasonal meals. These students completed the program by creating advocacy projects which educated the community as to the importance and benefits of eating local and sustainable food and supporting CT farmland.

About The Sullivan Farm Internship Program

The Food Connection Corps (FCC) is a paid internship program offered through Friends of Sullivan Farm. FCC aims to teach students the basics in sustainable farming, modern day food issues and job readiness training. Interns are expected to complete a volunteer component during their time on the farm.

Interns participate in all aspects of farm work, attend class discussion sessions, as well as complete a project at the end of their term. There will be four intern sessions to choose from; Spring, Early Summer, late Summer and Fall. For more information, or to apply, visit Sullivan Farm, or call 860-354-4600.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. The organization is anchored by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the two hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes the following affiliates:

  • Western Connecticut Medical Group, an integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • Western Connecticut Home Care, an agency for home care and community health services
  • The Western Connecticut Health Network Foundations
  • emergency medical and Level II trauma services
  • an occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry
  • a nationally renowned Biomedical Research Institute

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in women's health, cardiovascular and cancer services; minimally invasive joint and spine surgery; digestive disorders, weight-loss (bariatric) surgery, and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for neonatology with a Level IIIb neonatal intensive care unit and accredited sleep disorder centers. Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns. Danbury Hospital was named a Top 100 Hospital by US News and World reports in 2012; a and a Top 100 for Value by Cleverly and Associates. New Milford Hospital is well known as a Planetree hospital and for its Plow to Plate, farm to table food program.

For more information, visit WesternConnecticutHealthNetwork.org, DanburyHospital.org; NewMilfordHospital.org and share your comments with us at Facebook.com/DanburyHospital or Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospital.

Date posted - 02/19/2013