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Report available on local residents’ access to food.

Food access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin is complex. While farm fields and food venues abound, many people struggle to get enough nutritious food to eat. In Franklin County, over 10% of people and 18% of children are food insecure.

​In order to effectively implement strategies to improve residents’ access to healthy food, the Partnership for Youth conducted focus groups with residents, seniors and youth to assess the food access landscape from the perspective of those who experience greater challenges in accessing food. The publication Food Access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin reports on findings from those focus groups. This work was made possible through Mass In Motion funding from the MA Department of Public Health. 

Food Access Report

 

Low-Cost Food Safety Certifications

The Cooperative Public Health Service health district is pleased to offer three opportunities this fall for residents and businesses to improve their food safety skills and build their resumes.  On October 7, the evenings of November 3,7, and 9, and during the day on January 27,  CPHS Food Safety Agent Randy Crochier will teach  a low-cost ServSafe, Allergen, and Chokesaver certification for people living or working in food service establishments in CPHS health district towns:  Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne.  Residents of other towns will be accommodated as space allows.

CPHS Member Boards of Health are offering these workshops to both improve food safety in their towns and build employment skills for local residents. These certifications are made possible through the support of the FDA’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Standards Program, which has awarded the health district a five year food safety grant.

Information about how to register can be found here:

ServSafe Flyer 10-7-16

servsafe-flyer-11-3-7-9-16

servsafe-flyer-1-27-17

 

Food Access & Public Health Infographics Released

New infographics illustrate the links between income, food access, diet, activity and health and focus primarily on Franklin County data. Funding for the development of these infographics was made available by Mass in Motion. The complete set of infographics is available here.

This infographic highlights the link between lack of good access to food and public health.

This infographic highlights the link between lack of good access to food and public health.

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FRCOG Program Updates

Interested in learning a bit more about what has been happening here at the FRCOG in the last three months? Check out the updates presented to our Council members on July 21:

Click here for July 2016 Updates

Preventing Mosquito Bites

Public Health Nurse Lisa White recommends the following steps to “fight the bite” and avoid infection with West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE or “Triple E”):

Applying Insect Repellent when Outdoors. Repellents with DEET, permethrin, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 are effective.  Be sure to use these according to the instructions on the product label and note precautions for use on infants and children.

Avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many mosquitoes.

Wearing long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors to help keep mosquitoes away from your skin.

Draining standing water where Mosquitoes lay their eggs.  Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, store wheelbarrows upside down, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Installing or repairing screens. Keep mosquitoes outside by having tightly-fitting screens on all of your windows and doors.

Protecting your animals.  Flush water troughs at least once a week and keep horses in indoor stalls at night with lights off to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes.

Zika virus, Dengue fever, Chikungunya are other mosquito-borne diseases you can get when traveling abroad.  At this time, only people traveling to places with ongoing Zika virus outbreaks or engaging in sexual activity with someone who has traveled to these places are at risk for getting these infections.  For up to date information about where Zika virus is occurring: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.

For more information on WNV, EEE, repellent use and other mosquito-borne illness prevention visit www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito or contact Lisa White, Regional Public Health Nurse for the towns of Buckland, Charlemont, Conway, Deerfield, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Rowe and Shelburne at 413-665-1400 x114.

Lisa White, the new public health nurse for Deerfield, takes a woman's blood pressure in her office in the Town Offices in South Deerfield. 07/03/22 Franz

Lisa White takes a woman’s blood pressure in her office in the Town Offices in South Deerfield. Recorder/Franz

Rural Policy Advisory Commission kicks off in Greenfield

Massachusetts’ new Rural Policy Commission held its first meeting at the Olver Transit Center recently.  Franklin County representatives on the Commission include our own Linda Dunlavy (who was elected Treasurer) and local realtor Corinne Fitzgerald.

The Commission will serve as a research body for issues critical to the welfare and vitality of rural communities and, according to its creating legislation, shall: study, review and report on the status of rural communities and residents in the commonwealth; advise the general court and the executive branch of the impact of existing and proposed state laws, policies and regulations on rural communities; advance legislative and policy solutions that address rural needs; advocate to ensure that rural communities receive a fair share of state investment; promote collaboration among rural communities to improve efficiency in delivery of services; and develop and support new leadership in rural communities.

The Commissioners decided to organize into four subcommittees and to meet again in September. Interested in learning more about what the Commission will do? Check out the webpage here.

Presentation on Rural MA June 10 2016

Recorder article about the event

Commission Members are sworn in.

Commission Members are sworn in.

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Presentation on the demographics of rural Massachusetts

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.

Senator Rosenberg and DHCD Undersecretary Kornegay kick off the day.