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CCFSA Newsletter-Fall 2022 Update

Read on to meet our new Leadership Council members, read updates from our partner organizations, and view upcoming events.

New CCFSA Leadership Council Members

We are pleased to announce that Amy Santarelli and Laurie Cross recently joined the Cumberland County Food System Alliance Leadership Council.

Amy Santarelli was an Early Childhood Educator for 15 years, most recently with the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster Thrive to Five. Currently, Amy is a Nutrition Education Adviser with Penn State Extension Nutrition Links, serving Adams and Cumberland counties.
The decision to join the CCFSA was initiated by the desire to connect and network various healthcare, policy, and education systems, aiming to advance the common goal of increasing food security and promoting wellness in the community where we work and live.
When not at work, Amy enjoys crafting, jewelry making, and spending time at the beach. After recently moving back to the community, Amy looks forward to working and serving neighbors in Cumberland County. 
Laurie Cross is the Director of Behavioral Health for Sadler Health Center. Laurie has spent 35 years working in the behavioral health field in a variety of administrative roles, as well as 6 years working in a primary care medical clinic with integrated behavioral health services. Outside of work, Laurie enjoys going on hikes, spending time camping, and gardening.
In addition to providing primary medical care to 10,000 patients residing in Cumberland County each year, Sadler Health Center prides themselves on being a “community care giver.” The community health response has placed a team of community health workers throughout the service area conducting outreach to engage individuals in the community that are not connected to a medical home, do not have health insurance, or are negatively impacted by social determinants, including, but not limited to, food insecurity, transportation barriers, and housing instability.
The mission of the alliance is to decrease food insecurity, promote wellness, and advance community resilience, which has a direct impact on the patients served at Sadler Health Center, many of whom are challenged with food insecurity each day. Laurie expresses that if we can assist these individuals in accessing the resources and services they need, we can collectively improve the health of our community.

Nutrition Links
With the goal of enhancing nutrition, increasing physical activity, and developing life skills needed for self-sufficiency and better health, Nutrition Links helps people and families with limited resources by providing research-based nutrition education. The program is free of charge, and eligible participants complete lessons, both virtual and in-person. These include activities and cooking demonstrations, with themes of achieving good nutrition and health, practicing resource management skills and food safety, and increasing physical activity. Through the program, an improvement in food resource management practices was shown by 78% of participants. Nutrition Links affects participant behaviors regarding selection of food, dietary intake, resource management, and food safety, with positive dietary changes being made by 93% of participants. Additional information may be found at:
Health Equity Dialogues

As a community foundation, the Partnership for Better Health strives to serve as a catalyst, advocate, and collaborator to establish health as a shared priority, toward ensuring that everyone has what they need for good health. Working closely with key stakeholders, their mission is to champion and invest in ideas, initiatives, and collaborations that improve the health of the people and communities in our region.

Facilitated by Dr. Marcellus C. Taylor, Director of Health Equity, four health equity dialogues were hosted by the Partnership for Better Health throughout September at Bosler Library in Carlisle. Each dialogue held a space for conversation, deep listening, and vision casting. The September 22nd dialogue was centered around food access. Many barriers to food access were discussed, including a lack of cultural humility in food sharing programs, racism, cost of food, laws that put limits on who can be served, and not enough wages for healthier food options. Possible ways forward from these barriers include an increase in wages, addressing laws that prohibit comprehensive services, partnering with local farms, increasing awareness of food access challenges, and incorporating gardening into communities. Additional recommended outcomes from the dialogues were providing systems work and community-centered design training, as well as an increase in grant availability to empower communities to promote health equity. 
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Please join us for the Cumberland County Food Assessment 2.0!
RSVP (required):
Date: Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
Time: 2:30 - 4:00 pm
Location: Dickinson College, Stern Great Room, 208 W. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA

Dickinson College, the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and the Cumberland County Food System Alliance invite you to attend the Cumberland County Food Assessment 2.0 on December 14, 2022. This presentation will highlight research on food access and security, community demographics, and agricultural resources in Cumberland County, PA. The research was conducted by Dickinson College students led by Dr. Heather Bedi. The project seeks to assess and inform community food planning in the county to improve food access and security, updating and expanding on the first assessment conducted in 2018. Following the presentation, we invite you to discuss your needs and perspectives regarding the assessment and food-related issues in the community.

Appetizers, dessert, and hot drinks will be available.

Following a brief presentation, there will be roundtable discussions with food service clients, people who work in the food field, and other community members. Please RSVP if you plan to attend. If you are unable to make it, feel free to email Dr. Bedi at to request a copy of the report.
School Breakfast Program
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the national free school lunch program was open to all students; however, after two years, the program had come to an end. Congress did not extend the flexibilities the Department of Agriculture granted through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). With children needing access to healthy foods to learn and families experiencing food insecurity, Public Law No: 117-158, cited as the “Keep Kids Fed Act of 2022,” became law on June 25, 2022, just before the expiration of the FFCRA on June 30. However, free meal programs were not included in the act, and while some students remain eligible for free or reduced-cost school lunches, many are faced, once again, with budgeting for school meal costs. 
When comparing 2018-2019 with the 2021-2022 school year, there was a 16% increase in school breakfast consumption. Gov. Wolf could not accept that 16% of students would now be starting their day hungry. At the state level, the Universal Free Breakfast Program was created. The Universal Free Breakfast Program now provides over 1.7 million students in Pennsylvania “enrolled in public schools, intermediate units, charter schools, career and technology schools, and child care institutions that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs” free breakfast for the 2022-2023 school year, regardless of household income.

Hound Packs

Support the Hound Packs Program to help food-insecure students in the Shippensburg Area School District!

Learn more at
In the United States, more than 34 million people, including nine million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA. Furthermore, according to Feeding America, one in eight Pennsylvania children face hunger. The Shippensburg area is no exception to this, further limited by community resources being split between two counties. In an effort to combat hunger, the Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition (SCRC) serves youth experiencing food insecurity in the Shippensburg Area School District through the Hound Packs Program. Hound Packs provides a ‘take home’ backpack of seven meals each school-year weekend to students whose families have expressed the need of assistance. The SCRC would not be able to provide this program without the support of partners and sponsors, including Summit Endowment, Partnership for Better Health, Shippensburg First Church of God, and Shippensburg University.

Additional information may be found at:
Rooted In Progress
Mark your calendars! The 107th Pennsylvania Farm Show will be held Saturday, January 7, through Saturday, January 14, 2023.

As publicized:

This year's theme, “Rooted in Progress,” honors our roots and vision for the future. We were “Harvesting More” in 2022 following a virtual year in 2021 during the pandemic – and now we're celebrating accomplishments in agriculture, while recognizing the agricultural drive and vision to innovate and inspire.
Additional information may be found at:

Support Local Farms

This holiday season, support local farmers markets and farm stands in Cumberland Valley!
While the fall season fades away to the winter season, many of us feel our lives slow. For the agricultural community, the work doesn’t stop – there is no off season. Year-round, but especially throughout the colder months, they need your support.
While you think of upcoming holiday gatherings and meals, consider local produce, like apples for a delectable pie, potatoes for a fan-favorite side dish, or cabbage for homemade sauerkraut. On those cozy winter days, enjoy local honey in a mug of warm tea, homemade jam and bread, or a serving of market-made soup. The options go on and on with many hidden gems unbeknownst until visiting.
To find a local market in the Cumberland Valley region, browse the resource linked above. Remember to check with the local business itself for the latest operating hours!
Partner Organization Updates
Current Events
Shippensburg Community Resource Coalition (SCRC) Community Conference Call
1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 11:00 am on Zoom
SCRC facilitates a community conference call the first and third Tuesday of each month to address changes in programs, gaps in services, and problem-solving as a community to fill in those gaps. If you are a human service provider, teacher or professor, concerned community member, religious organization, or would like to find out more, please join the call!

Project Share Cooking Classes
Kids in the Kitchen hands-on cooking classes:
-    In-person classes held the first Thursday of the month (October through May) at 5:00 p.m.
-    Virtual classes held the fourth Thursday of the month (October through May) at 5:00 p.m.

Slice of the Month classes for adults
-    Second Thursday of each month (October through May) at 5:00 p.m.

Events in Cumberland Valley
Stay up-to-date on events in the valley with information from the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau.
Stay Connected

Many thanks to our partners for helping build a local food system that supports healthy and resilient communities. Please let us know if you have project highlights, updates, or resources to share!

Click here to share with us directly via Google Forms
Phone: 717-477-1509
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