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Port Townsend Public Library Is Serving Up Resources For Healthy Eating!

With a 2008 Express Outreach Award, the Port Townsend Public Library is helping families and individuals learn about choices for healthy eating. Project Coordinator Carol Cahill has developed a colorful web site – www.HealthyEatingLibrary.org – that points users to high quality health resources, such as MedlinePlus, the Healthwise Knowledgebase via Group Health, and ParentHelp123, a statewide resource that links parents to health care and food programs.

As part of the project, the library partnered with Port Townsend’s popular Food Co-Op to provide special programs, including last fall’s five part Language of Food series presented by co-op outreach and education manager Brwyn Griffin (the program slides and podcasts are posted on the Healthy Eating web site).  Each program focused on a topic related to choosing and preparing meals using organic – and ideally locally grown – ingredients.  The series was also broadcast on local TV, and library patrons have been checking out DVDs of the presentations ever since.  During February and March the library and the Co-Op teamed up again to present two workshops on searching online for health information (resources from those workshops are also on the web site).  While attendance was disappointing, the partnership gave the library the opportunity to offer search workshops beyond its own walls (thanks in part to the Co-Op’s wifi connection).

The new web site offers lots of healthy eating resources, including the USDA’s new nutrition.gov site as well as the latest research on how parents and communities can ensure healthier food choices for kids.  And the library is “tweeting for healthy eating” at www.twitter.com/HE_LibLinxServing Up Resources for Healthy Eating will live on as one of the library’s three core community outreach initiatives, along with “Help in Hard Times” employment support and a new grantseekers’ resource center.

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