Spring Newsletter
March 2020
COVID-19 Coverage
Local Resources
Updated at hccame.org
While COVID-19 is a global crisis, we know that you need local resources to navigate this trying time. Healthy Communities of the Capital Area has added a page to our website to collect and share resources as they are released and shared with us.
Take part in HCCA's
Instagram Photo Contest!

We know from partnering with local youth that times of "boredom" are when they are likely to use substances or vape.
Since our young community members are being kept home from school during the COVID-19 crisis, we are stepping up our outreach by holding an Instagram contest!
Simply post a photo of an activity you are doing instead of vaping using hashtag #HCCA. You will be entered to win 9 mega rolls of toilet paper!
Hike the Appalachian Trail from home!
In a time when all of us are social distancing, it can be difficult to be as active as we would like. While the lure of smart phone and TV screens is hard to overcome, the staff at HCCA is putting on hiking boots and hitting the trail - sort of. We are taking part in a steps tracking challenge , competing against the HCCA Board of Directors to reach the end of the Appalachian Trail!
If this challenge sounds like something your team or family would like to take on, reach out to Rachael Reynolds, SNAP -Ed. Coordinator , for more information!
Our Deepest Condolences...
Jeff Bridges with HCCA Assistant Director Renee Page at the 2018 Maine Farm to Institution Conference.

RSU 38 Maranacook Area Schools and Healthy Communities of the Capital Area have lost a dedicated and beloved colleague. Jeff Bridges, Nutrition Director at RSU 38 , passed away February 8, 2020. He had been a longtime advocate for healthy food for children and was well-known for being dedicated to his staff and school community. Hundreds of family and community members gathered for a celebration of his life on February 29 at the Augusta Elks Club, 397 Civic Center Drive.  Read his obituary here . In lieu of flowers or gifts, his family is accepting donations in his name to  Capitol Area Recreation Associatio n  for CARA P.O. Box 5275, Augusta, ME 04332-5275
Big Changes for Tobacco Prevention in 2020
2020 kicked off with two major events

  • Federal Tobacco 21 law bringing the legal age to purchase all tobacco products to 21 
  • FDA crackdown on flavored vaping products but left several loopholes that the tobacco industry rapidly filled. The House recently passed a bill to close those loopholes; it must now be voted on by the Senate.  

In response to these and other changes, we are increasing community outreach, including:

  • Tobacco Retailer Virtual Coffee Talks to inform Kennebec County retailers about No BUTS! Training and the new tobacco laws. Contact April Hughes, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, if you know someone who'd like to attend!
  • Healthy Workplaces: Interested in a water-drinking challenge, walking challenge, or supporting employees ready to go tobacco free? We are here to help local employers - contact Elizabeth Deprey, Tobacco Prevention Specialist, to learn more!
Reaching More Moms
 Materials Available Online
January 2020 saw the end of funding for Reaching More Moms . This was an HCCA-led effort designed to support and engage moms, friends, and family in quitting tobacco.

Fueled by a statewide network of providers, local moms, social services agencies and practitioners, RMM created evidence-based materials to engage moms who are considering quitting.

 All videos and print materials will continue to be hosted online, and we will continue to distribute printed materials, magnets, and bracelets to health professionals working with pregnant and new moms while they last.

Reaching More Moms was funded by March of Dimes: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation and Maine Cancer Foundation between April 2017 and January 2020
Tobacco Prevention Coordinator Elizabeth Deprey displays RMM materials at statewide District Tobacco
Prevention Partners meeting for colleagues to distribute around the state. 
Nutrition Education
Cooking Matters to the Boys and Girls Club
of Kennebec Valley
HCCA SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educator Alexis Guy and Let’s Go! Coordinator
Nan Bell spent February break at the Boys and Girls Club of Kennebec Valley, leading two Cooking Matters classes for 36 second through fifth graders. Students learned about nutrition, label reading, cooking, knife skills, building healthy meal patterns, and healthy habits. Students’ favorite parts of the week included cooking with friends, cutting peppers, and avocados, and learning about reading nutrition labels. 
Eat Well, Play Hard
Who says you can't play with your food?

SNAP- Ed Nutrition Educator Alexis Guy engages Pre-K classes at Litchfield's Libby -Tozier Elementary in the Eat Well Play Hard program to make veggie faces with SNAP Ed. This program focuses on improving the nutrition and physical activity behaviors of preschool age children and their parents/caregivers by using educational strategies and skill building activities to promote
healthy behavior.
Local Fresh Food for Maine Schools
Learn about
Maine Food Convergence Project
Maine Farm Institution network at HCCA is a core organizer for a collaborative, statewide Maine Food Convergence. This project connects a diversity of Maine food system initiatives, featuring regional dialogues that build up to a statewide convergence. Read more about the project here .
Maine Youth Empowerment Network
HCCA and the Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater (MSIIT) offered an Improv training at the Waterville Armory on January 30. Students from Lawrence High School, Cony High School, MCI, Maine Arts Academy, and also some youth from the Augusta Boys and Girls Club for Teens attended.

Attendees created improvisational scenarios about topics like discrimination, vaping, and bullying and discuss with other students their thoughts and feelings behind each side of each situation. Everyone in attendance learned a lot and had a fantastic time! 

For more information about opportunities hosted by HCCA, developed by youth partners, and supported by Maine Youth Action Network, contact Keven Carter at k.carter@hccame.org or (207)588-5351.
Our Community Health Champions
Jodi Beck, RN, Board Vice Chair
Benjamin Brown, MD
Samantha Deming-Berr, DO, MPH
Cathleen Dunlap, MEd, MSW, LCSW
Deborah Emery, MEd
Patricia Hart, MS, CPH
Patricia Hopkins
Lisa Miller, MPH
Sarah Miller, MA
Barbara Moss, DO, MPH, FACOFP
Cecil Munson
Merry St. Pierre
Ashley Tetreault, MBA, Board Secretary
Tom Warren, Board Treasurer
Frederick White, PhD, Board Chair
Courtney Yeager

Be a Community Champion

Thank you Evergreen Dental for supporting HCCA programs by purchasing Hannaford Gift Cards!

Here are t hree ways to consider supporting  HCCA  programs
throughout the year:

  1. Buy a Hannaford Gift Card from HCCA for someone or yourself & 5% of the purchase price goes to support HCCA programs contact Jane Hutchinson
  2. If you are shopping online, log onto Amazon Smile and select Healthy Communities of the Capital Area as your charity.
  3. Looking to make a charitable donation? Go to our website and click on the DONATE button.