PLAINVILLE — Programs supporting swimming safety and healthy eating are available to local residents thanks to two grants from the Main Street Foundation, based in Bristol, to the Wheeler Regional Family YMCA and the Plainville Food Pantry.
“We’re very thankful for the support of the Main Street Foundation,” said the YMCA’s Exective Director Francine Coleman, who accepted the $3,000 grant in front of the YMCA’s pool on July 30. The funds allowed them to bring back their First Wave program, last held in 2015, which teaches basic floating and energy saving skills for children who don’t know how to swim and fall into a body of water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States.”
“Water safety is one of the basic life skills. It’s not just for enjoyment,” Coleman said. “These things can potentially save your life, so it's very important for us at the Y that every child and adult is exposed to the water.”
Main Street Foundation President Susan Sadecki said providing children with water safety skills also provides valuable peace of mind for parents as their kids go to events or friends houses where there may be bodies of water.
This was just one program out of many benefitting from $110,000 in grants provided to organizations in the greater Bristol area.
The Plainville Community Food Pantry will be using $4,000 they received to expand their Healthy Food Initiative to offer classes on how to cook with slow cookers and will provide a limited number to families who receive services from the pantry.
“We’re going to teach them the good foods and the not so good foods,” said pantry Executive Director Susie Woerz. “It will help them eat healthier, fresh foods and vegetables.”
By learning to cook with slow cookers, she said families with limited time and resources will be able to rely less on prepared and canned foods for meals. Rather than buying canned soup, which tends to have higher levels of sodium, a slow cooker allows one to make a receipe that could last for days.
To get families started with buying their own ingredients, the grant will also be used to allow the pantry to buy vouchers for the Plainville Farmer’s Market to provide for those taking the classes.
“It really does help a lot for them to not only eat healthier, but they have more food,” Woerz said.