Winter Newsletter
December 2019
HCCA & Gardiner Thrives Awarded a
5-Year Drug Free Communities Grant!

For more information: The Truth Initiative
DID YOU KNOW that the LGBT Community is disproportionately impacted by tobacco?
It’s common for LGBT individuals to experience disparities that stem from social stigma and discriminatory treatment. On top of that, there is a different kind of disparity in the LGBT community that is often overlooked: disproportionately high smoking rates.
Overall, lesbian, gay and bisexual adults smoke at rates up to 2.5 times higher than straight adults, due in part to targeted marketing by Big Tobacco.

For years the tobacco industry has made efforts to appeal to LGBT consumers through things like targeted advertisements in LGBT press, cigarette giveaways and free tobacco industry merchandise. Today, the LGBT community is among the hardest hit by tobacco.

Maine Youth Action Network Youth Leadership Conference
District Youth Coordinator Kevin Carter and Tobacco Prevention Coordinator  April Hughes  accompanied four youth to the 2-day  Maine Youth Action Network (MYAN) Youth Leadership Conference in Bangor  on November 6 and 7.  
The youth attended workshops about youth voice, youth activism, and many other topics all  led by other young people . The conference also provided an opportunity for youth across Maine to see the other youth led efforts happening around our great state
of Maine.  
Everyone had a great time, with plenty of laughter and enjoyment.  
To find out more about youth engagement opportunities as well as trainings for adult leaders, please contact Kevin Carter, the Central District Youth Coordinator:   (207)588-5351.   
Let's Go! Champions: Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice for Children
Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 SCHOOLS
Mount Vernon Elem. - GOLD
Hall-Dale Elem. - SILVER

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 LUNCHROOMS
Fayette Central - GOLD
Manchester Elem. – GOLD
Farrington - GOLD
Lincoln - GOLD
Winthrop Grade - GOLD
Winthrop MS - GOLD
River View Community - GOLD
Maranacook HS - SILVER
Wayne Elem. - SILVER
L.P. Hussey - SILVER
S.J. Gilbert - SILVER
Gardiner Area HS - SILVER
Gardiner Regional MS - SILVER
Helen Thompson - SILVER
Laura E. Richards - SILVER
Pittston Consolidated - SILVER 

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 CHILD CARE SITES
Jen-E-Jeans Daycare - GOLD
KV YMCA Learning Center - GOLD
Magic Years SKCDC - GOLD
Gardiner Head Start SKCDC - GOLD
S. Gardiner Head Start SKCDC - GOLD
Room To Bloom Early Learning & Childcare Center - GOLD
Winthrop Grade School /SKCDC Collab - SILVER
City of August - Buker Comm. Center - SILVER
Children’s Discovery Museum - BRONZE
City of Augusta- Farrington Elem. - BRONZE
Wendy Mansir - BRONZE
Lazy Bear Daycare - BRONZE

Let' s Go! 5-2-1-0
Hall-Dale After School Program - GOLD
Winthrop YMCA Kids Club - GOLD
City of Augusta Buker Community Center - SILVER
City of Augusta Farrington Elem. - BRONZE
Children's Discovery Program - BRONZE

Let’s Go! Champions at 36 sites
in Southern Kennebec County practice
Let's Go! 5-2-1-0!

  • 2 Schools
  • 17 School Lunchrooms
  • 12 Childcare Sites
  • 5 Out-of-School Sites

Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 All children deserve the opportunity to be healthy and successful. Healthy eating and physical activity improve concentration, memory, and mood, helping children become better learners.

Sites registered with Let’s Go! support the 5-2-1-0 message
  • 5 fruits and vegetables - Limit unhealthy choices for snacks and celebrations, provide healthy choices
  • 2 hours or less of recreational screen time
  • 1 hour or more of physical activity - Provide opportunities to get physical activity every day
  • 0 sugary drinks - Limit sugary drinks; provide water.

Important Role Models:
Teachers, childcare providers, food service workers and healthcare professionals who are Let’s Go! Champions are important role models for our children.

When adults practice good health behaviors, children notice and are more likely to pick up the behaviors themselves.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area wants to THANK all the Let’s Go! Champions who work with children who help them make the healthy choice the easy choice
If you want to know if your child’s school or child care program is a registered Let’s Go! Site, contact: Nan Bell @ Healthy Communities of the Capital Area;
Call 207-588-5341 ~ Visit Let's Go!
Local Fresh Food for Maine Schools
2019 Maine Farm to School Conference Draws 150 Attendees
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area (HCCA) is the fiscal and staffing home to the Maine Farm to School Network (MFSN), a statewide collaboration of farm to school organizations and stakeholders. HCCA staff Renee Page and Stephanie Cesario, in collaboration with the MFSN Leadership Council, organized and hosted the biennial Maine Farm to School Conference this past October. The conference gathered 150 school food advocates from across the state and the region to collaborate and network around farm to school* initiatives. Conference workshops ranged from demos of school garden programming ideas, to strategies for local food policy advocacy. View photos and highlights from the conference  here ! Learn more about the Maine Farm to School Network  and the benefits of farm to school  initiatives. 

To get involved in the farm to school movement in Maine, contact Stephanie at

*Farm to school defined as: local food in school cafeterias, agricultural education, and school gardens
Maine Farm to School Network Awarded USDA Grant

The MFSN at HCCA received a $25,000 USDA Farm to School Training Grant to support these networking events and build K-12 local food procurement capacity. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, USDA Farm to School grants can help farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. Through this funding support, HCCA staff coordinated and hosted a Pre-Conference Local Food Procurement Training geared towards Maine school nutrition directors to discuss strategies for increasing the amount of local foods served in school meals. MFSN at HCCA will also be offering a training on local procurement and network building at the Tri-State School Nutrition Conference in spring 2020. Stay tuned for more news from the network!

Trainings & Workshops
Two Youth Training Opportunities in the
Central Public Health District

  • FREE Improv Training by Marti Stevens Interactive Improvisational Theater at the Waterville Armory on January 30, 2020
  • Must be an existing in- or out-of-school youth group dealing with difficult topics located in Kennebec or Somerset Counties
  • The adult leader must register the group ad participate
  • FREE Youth Summit is in the planning stage
  • Dates to be late February to early March
  • Youth are part of the planning team and are designing workshops to engage other youth including team building activities.
  • Again designed for existing youth groups.
For more information about these opportunities hosted by HCCA, developed by youth partners, and supported by Maine Youth Action Network, contact Keven Carter at or (207)588-5351.

Kennebec Valley Community Action Program offers a suite of parenting and enrichment classes. For class details,  click here   for the Kennebec Winter 2019/20 schedule.
Meet the New Staff at
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area
Kevin Carter

Kevin is the Central Public Health District Youth Coordinator working in both Somerset and Kennebec counties. This role includes
·          Facilitating Youth Policy Boards to address problems in their school or community
·          Supporting existing youth groups and leaders with Youth Taking Action strategies.
·          Engaging adult leaders by sharing a range of free trainings and providing technical assistance. 

Kevin graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a degree in Community Health Education. Kevin was born and raised in Maine. In his free time, Kevin likes to hunt, fish, and enjoy the beautiful wildlife Maine has to offer. 
Elizabeth Deprey
E lizabeth is a Tobacco Prevention Coordinator at HCCA, serving Kennebec County. She works with
·          Municipalities and Public Places
·          Hospitals
·          Behavioral Health Agencies
·          Work sites
·          and Social Service Providers
to create and/or update tobacco-free/smoke-free policies that
·          Reduce secondhand smoke exposure
·          Increase the social norm of not using tobacco
·          Provide information to support those who wish to quit.

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Maine with a bachelor’s in journalism and has spent her career in news writing and corporate communications. She lives in Gardiner and enjoys reading, quilting and baking.  
Alexis Guy
Alexis is a SNAP-Ed Educator. She looks forward to getting to know communities in southern Kennebec County through her role as a Snap-Ed Nutrition Educator with HCCA.

Her undergraduate studies in biochemistry and interest in health disparities and community guided work led her to public health nutrition. She received her Master’s in Public Health from the University of North Carolina in 2018 and is a Registered Dietitian.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest with an appreciation for the outdoors, she is also eager to explore the hiking and skiing of a new region.
Your Kennebec County 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
"Tis the Season"
Give a Holiday Gift & Help Support HCCA

Consider donating today to support the programs offered to help thousands of people in Southern Kennebec County.

Three ways to GIVE to HCCA over the Holiday Season:
  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 this Holiday Season, log onto Amazon Smile and select HCCA as your charity
  3. Looking to make a charitable donation before the end of 2019? Go to our website and click on the DONATE button.