News Release: 12/30/2019- A SINGLE BITE KICKS OFF PROGRAM FOR SULLIVAN COUNTY
A SINGLE BITE KICKS OFF PROGRAM FOR SULLIVAN COUNTY
The Non-Profit Celebrates Four Years of Success and Announces Expansion in 2020
Livingston Manor, NY– On a chilly Saturday evening in November, a small yet enthusiastic group gathered for an intimate event to celebrate A Single Bite, a free, interactive, volunteer-presented program that empowers students to care about the food they eat and where it comes from. The intimate dinner party held at the Arnold House on Shandelee served as a kick-off for both fundraising and community awareness of the project as the foundation enters its fifth year.
Established four years ago to address Sullivan County’s dismal health rating – ranking 61 of 62 counties in New York State – A Single Bite educates through classroom presentations and “real” food field trip experiences; teaches young adults a new perspective on current food systems and how to navigate them; improves their confidence in making sound nutritional choices; and encourages them to take greater responsibility for their overall health and wellness.
A Single Bite Founders Sims Foster, a Sullivan County native, and his partner and wife Kirsten Harlow Foster also wanted to help address the health crisis in the region. Calling on their background in hospitality, the Fosters are the founders of Foster Supply Hospitality, they strive to create small moments for students where the experience and resulting memories of food have the potential to redirect their life trajectory. As part of the program, students also meet respected chefs and hear about food sourcing and preparation, integral themes to the overall education process.
“We were motivated to launch the program to respond to Sullivan County’s health crisis. Looking at the factors that impact our community's health, especially the pervasive food insecurity crisis, there was one area where we could help,” commented Sims Foster, who has committed the resources and talent of his highly trained professional culinary and management team to support A Single Bite. "The goal is to reach every eighth grader in Sullivan County."
Throughout the evening fundraising event, guests enjoyed a meal highlighting locally sourced and simply prepared delicacies designed to reinforce the program’s mission, including a few single bites very similar to those served to students. Just like many students, some guests were introduced to new flavors and ingredients such as velvety, buttermilk and beet puree or fresh smoked trout.
“The program hits the mark as students explore two of the six FACS curriculum modules - Nutrition and Wellness and Food Systems and Production. Participants experience firsthand that where their food comes from and how it is prepared matters to their health and wellbeing,” says Mary Ellen Reynolds, Home and Career Educator at Livingston Manor Central School. “I still recall a student coming up to me after A Single Bite session saying they didn’t know how food could be so delicious, so simple and yet so good for them, and that’s what changes their lives.”
Thanks to donations, grants and the support of multiple businesses, A Single Bite will expand to Roscoe, Downsville, Sullivan West and Tri-Valley schools beginning in 2020.
Tax-deductible contributions to A Single Bite enable the expanding non-profit to continue to provide exciting, educational and inspiring real food experiences. Learn more at asinglebite.org.
Executive Director, A Single Bite
Director of Marketing, Foster Supply Hospitality