Community Health & Nutrition

Increasing the awareness of the risks associated with obesity and chronic disease.


Senior Lunch & Learn Series:

Beginning in January of 2012 a quarterly Lunch and Learn series will be offered at the Old Town/Orono YMCA and the Old Town Housing Authority focusing on preventing and managing chronic disease, diet and nutrition, medication management, and increasing physical activity.


Each session begins with physical activities facilitated by the Old Town/Orono YMCA, followed by a nutritious meal and an educational presentation focusing on health and wellness issues, such as “The Pharmacist”, “A Perspective on Memory”, Stroke Awareness, Irritable Bowl Syndrome, Stretching & Strength Training, “Brain Teasers Club”, Nutrition, and Chronic Disease Management, 


Family Health and Nutrition:

Family Health and Nutrition is our most successful and well received informal program. This program has grown from assisting the Old Town Barbara Bush Family Literacy Grant with a meal and childcare at their monthly meetings to the development of a Family Health and Nutrition course in the RSU 34 Adult Education program and Crossroads Ministries “Getting Ahead” program.  Components of this program include:


Healthy Family Day Activities – A free family fun day at the Old Town/Orono YMCA and other local community venues. The free program combines both “fun” family oriented physical activities, educational health presentations, a nutritious meal and incentives to develop healthy lifestyles for all family members.  A typical event is as follows:  families arrive in the morning and participate in open swim, climbing wall, skate park, open gym, supervised gymnastics, etc.  This is followed by assisting in the preparation of a nutritious meal with health education presentations ongoing during the meal.  Structured family physical activities follow the meal with a wrap-up session ending the event.  Nutrition and Physical Activity Incentives are earned through participation in the monthly events.  Activities will be provided 3 times per year beginning in November of 2011.


Healthy Kid’s Day  - the Old Town/Orono YMCA sponsors Healthy Kid’s Day in conjunction with the National YMCA organization.  This program brings nutrition education and a nutritious meal to the event. 


Community Garden – currently a small garden plot is being prepared for planting next spring.  Families are invited to participate by sharing the garden space, tools, equipment, planting and harvesting.  Ongoing plans are to work with the UMaine Cooperative Extension, and UMaine Witter Farm to expand this program to have enough space for at least 20 families.  Harvesting and Preserving Classes will be presented in the fall of 2012 in coordination with UMaine Cooperative Extension.  Any over-abundance of harvested produce will be shared with Crossroads Ministries food pantry. 


RSU34 Adult Education has been an integral partner in River Coalition programs beginning with the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Program.  This has led to the development of the Family Health and Nutrition course currently being offered through RSU 34 Adult Education. Partnering with Head Start, UMaine nutrition department students, UMaine Cooperative Extension and local area Physicians and Registered Dieticians the program delivers a comprehensive family health and nutrition education program to families with young children.  The program will focus dietary management of weight, diabetes and hypertension, stress reduction, feeding fussy eaters, and simple food budgeting.


Learn the “Trails” ” – a myriad of trials currently exist throughout our service area which are underutilized by community members.  The program will develop a comprehensive trail map that will be available free of charge in local stores, gas stations, churches, community centers, town offices, schools, etc.