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January 29, 2013

Drive stocks Delhi Food Pantry's shelves

By Mark Boshnack
The Daily Star

---- — Students and staff at SUNY Delhi have helped make a recent drive to support the Delhi Food Pantry a success, people involved said Monday.

In December, Christine Burrington, a research assistant at the Bassett Research Institute, collaborated with Delaware Opportunities to design an event promoting the 5-2-1-Every Day program. It is a multifaceted effort to reduce childhood obesity involving many levels of the community, Burrington said. The initiative’s name comes from its four components: five or more fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary drinks and more water or low-fat milk.

This project involved organizing a food drive to benefit the Delhi Food Pantry, which Delaware Opportunities operates in partnership with the United Ministry Church of Delhi. It called for Bassett to donate $1 for every can of fruits and vegetables that were donated to the pantry. The money will be used to have fruits and vegetables available all year long.

Jackie Howard helped organize the college’s participation. She is a veterinarian science technology instructor. She got her passion for the effort because her mother was involved in food banks her whole adult life, she said. After seeing the college’s involvement in previous drives, she said she wanted to help make the December drive a success. Her efforts can be seen in the results — 389 cans, five times more that an effort in November, Burrington said. Overall, the community collected 602 cans of fruits and vegetables.

“People just responded to the promotion,” Howard said. “Our campus is like that. It’s like a big family. If people hear there is a need, they respond.” She said she hoped a similar effort could be done in the spring.

Burrington said she is new to the project which includes Edmeston and Delhi. Getting to know Delhi, “I am very much impressed with what is doing going on,” on a college and community level, she said.

After the research shows which parts of the program work best, it could be expanded to other area communities, she said.