Another outreach that came out of the initiative is a cooperative venture between Pathfinder Village — a residential community for those with Down’s syndrome and other mental disabilities — and Edmeston, in which a farmers’ market was created.
“We found that one reason people were not eating fresh food was because it takes about 30 minutes of car time to get to the nearest grocery store — so people only go once a week,” said Paul Landers, CEO of Pathfinder Village. “It was a natural fit. We have a store, so we buy extra produce. Our supplier gets us locally grown produce, so we have a farmers’ market once a week. The residents work the store — they get job training; and the community gets locally grown produce in their community at a price they can afford.”
Landers said the produce is affordable because Pathfinder is not expecting to make a profit on the produce.
“It is nice for us because so many times people think that we are the ones that need help and money,” Landers said. “It is nice to be the one helping the community.”
Bassett has given grants to the two schools from an endowment controlled by the hospital. The programs are created by the administration and faculty of the individual schools.
“We gave out 19 mini-grants to Delhi,” said Chris Burrington, project coordinator for Bassett’s involvement with Delhi. “This is a multi-sector grant, we have community involvement as well as businesses getting involved.”
Some of the programs include holiday teaching tools, such as eating like a rabbit for Easter and heart-healthy games on Valentine’s Day. A field trip to Bassett hospital focused on cardiac surgery. Zumba classes and physical exercise clubs were formed, and the teaching aspects of the program was presented to participants in organized sporting events.