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SUNY Erie, Waterfront Elementary celebrate Childhood Nutrition Day at Canalside

Article by: Michael Farrell

BUFFALO—SUNY Erie Community College faculty and staff hosted more than 50 students from Buffalo’s Waterfront Elementary for its second annual Childhood Nutrition Day, a culinary, arts and education-focused event at the college’s Learning Garden at Canalside on Tuesday, October 17.

Sponsored by the American Culinary Federation, Chef and Child Initiative, the morning event—complete with arts and crafts, cooking, fitness, and reading activities—was led by SUNY Erie’s award-winning Culinary Arts staff and students, with support from the college’s Early Childhood and Health, Wellness and Physical Education Studies programs. Together with students from nearby Waterfront Elementary, all partook in six different educational stations intent on familiarizing attendees about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their families. And whether through instruction on plant life, vegetables or constructing seasonal fruit skewers with pumpkins, SUNY Erie community members connected with young students at a time when their dietary habits are forming—and can be significantly influenced.

The event is yet another element of the college’s robust service learning initiative, as well as the latest example SUNY Erie and its Culinary Arts Program’s commitment to community programming at the college’s Canalside-set Learning Garden, which opened to students and the public in June 2015. Since then, SUNY Erie and visiting students have used the downtown expanse to learn about the integral relationship between people, land and food, as well as the biological, chemical and physical need for green spaces. The garden now features several different types of plant propagation methods for soil-based growing systems, including open field, square foot vertical, and greenhouse gardening.

Since 1946, SUNY Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, SUNY Erie’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu or call (716) 851-1ECC.