Meeker-McLeod-Sibley Healthy Communities is making a difference!

June 25th, 2014

The Healthy Communities Collaborative has been working for the past 4 1/2 years to help create good health where residents, live, work, learn and play.

Through SHIP funding, we are working on making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice! See the You Tube Video below.

YouTube Preview Image

Below are report summaries divided out by sectors – Worksites, Schools, Community, and Health Care. We are proud of our partners and our staff assigned to work on these initiatives though Statewide Health Improvement Program funding through the Minnesota Department of Health.

The work we are doing through SHIP improves health and saves money by building stronger communities. Our local communities chose SHIP strategies that are best for them. The result? Real, community-led improvements in healthy eating, physical activity and reduced commercial tobacco use.

MMS Progress Report Summary 2013

Communities 2013 Report

Health Care 2013 Report

Schools 2013 Report

Work Sites 2013 Report


SHIP Success: Litchfield School Garden

April 21st, 2014

Litchfield Students are playing in the dirt!  Thanks to the new school garden and renovations to the middle school green house, students are learning how to grow, care for, harvest, and eat vegetables!  Three raised bed gardens provided a home for vegetables grown by students which were later harvested and used in the classroom.  The hands on education provides great enthusiasm and a sense of ownership of the garden.  Salsa making was a highlight in Ms. Rick’s FAC’s class which incorporated tomatoes, onions, and peppers into a tasty treat for students.  Apple trees and raspberry bushes were also added to the garden with the Youth Energy Summit Team assisting in the planting of these.  Stop out and visit the garden or visit with a student about their experiences of playing in the dirt.

School Garden

SHIP Success: Litchfield Farmer’s Market

April 8th, 2014

Many more Meeker County residents were able to support  the Litchfield Farmer’s Market after August 1st due to new hours which extended the market to 5:30 pm.  Community members voiced great appreciation for the change in hours which now provides those who are working with the opportunity to buy fresh locally grown produce on their way home.  New hours weren’t the only things that Farmer’s Market organizers worked to achieve.  Taste testing, recipes, music and special events for market go-ers of all ages were on the agenda for most market days.  The goal is to create a vibrant market and atmosphere that is inviting to people of all ages.  The goal is to support local growers and our local economy, increase foot traffic at the market and the consumption of healthy, locally grown produce.  Be sure to watch for 2014 Litchfield Farmer’s Market events to be announced.


SHIP Success: One Vegetable, One Community

April 8th, 2014

Grown out of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), One Vegetable, One Community (OVOC) brought people together around food, healthy eating and healthy communities.  The idea is to inspire and rally the community around growing and preparing a single vegetable.  In 2013, the pepper was selected as the Vegetable of the Year.  Through One Vegetable, One Community, we hope that people can grow together, cook together, eat together and learn together, and at the same time build a stronger local food system, increase access to healthy foods, and nurture a healthy community.  Below:  A young gardener proudly shows off his pepper plant that has matured and ripened. 1200+ pepper plants were grown and given to community members including all 1st grade students in the Litchfield schools last May.



August 8th, 2012


From salsa to spaghetti sauce, from spicy tomato juice to tomato jam, home preserved tomatoes are versatile and tasty!  Learn the safest and most current tomato preservation methods for canning, freezing, drying, and making salsa.

Join us for Preserving Tomatoes and Salsa on Tuesday, August 14 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm and repeated from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at the Litchfield Senior High School in Room C110 (FACS Room).

Presenter will be Deb Botzek-Linn, University of Minnesota Extension Educator in Food Safety.

This class is sponsored by “One Vegetable, One Community” and the Statewide Health Improvement Program.  Attendance  is free, although pre-registration is requested by calling Meeker County Public Health at 320.693.5370.

Whether you are new to home food preservation or have been preserving tomatoes for years, this session is for you!