Winter 2020

Bike CF (3)
Bike Cannon Falls Rolling Forward in 2021
By Becky Youngmark

Bike Cannon Falls has hit a few bumps in the road with the coronavirus in 2020 but will be rolling forward in 2021 beginning with activities, programs and social rides during May to celebrate National Bike Month. The initiative, sponsored by Live Well Goodhue County, is hoping to offer social rides beginning in April and running through October. Another goal is to recruit more bicycle advocates to join their team.

“We want to continue to work with the city, county and state to make road improvements so that it’s safer to bicycle throughout the Cannon Falls area,” said David Anderson,co-coordinator of Live Well Goodhue County. “We began by recruiting bike advocates in 2018 and meeting monthly to figure out how to make it safer and easier for Cannon Falls residents to bike,” he continued. The group had three goals:
1) Increase the number of students biking to and from school
2) Increase the number of children teens, adults and seniors biking to and from community destinations
3) Increase the number of residents and visitors biking to and from local businesses

During 2018, the group decided to learn what keeps people from biking and to try to learn what needs to be done so more people would bike. A survey of 3rd – 8th grade students was taken during lunch. Parents and children were also surveyed during community events. The group decided to offer activities to encourage biking including Bike to School Day, Bike to School Week, Bike to the Cannon Valley Fair, and offered social rides.

In May of 2019, the advocates hosted a Bikeable Community Workshop. They also recruited more bicycle advocates, city staff, school staff and others to participate in a day long workshop organized by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Health and the Bike Alliance of Minnesota (Bike MN). With the mindset to continue to offer encouragement through activities, a Bicycle Safety Campaign called “Watch for Me Cannon Falls” was developed and implemented.

During 2020, Bike Cannon Falls applied to become a Bike Chapter with BikeMN and developed a website  and a Facebook page. They planned to celebrate National Bike Month in May and sponsor a variety of activities including social rides. These included: Moms Bike Cannon Falls, Bike to School Day, Bike to Workday, Kick off the Bicycle Benefits Program, Cannon Valley Trail Challenge and more. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus most of the activities were postponed or canceled. Residents were recruited to join the team for the National “Love to Ride” Challenge, the group promoted “Bike Anywhere Day” and recruited 7 businesses to participate in the Bicycle Benefits Program. Last fall, Bike Cannon Falls applied for the Bicycle Friendly Community Designation with the League of American Bicyclists.

Moving forward in 2021, Bike Cannon Falls plans to work with the city, county and state to make road improvements, so it is safer to bicycle throughout the Cannon Falls area. For more information, or to become a bicycle advocate, contact Megan Roschen, RDN, LD, Live Well Goodhue County Coordinator,  by phone at (651)385-6140 or email.

Living Well will Continue in Retirement for David Anderson

By Becky Youngmark

David Anderson has said good-bye to his job, but plans on “Living Well” after his retirement. He is ending his job as co-coordinator for Live Well in Goodhue County but has big plans for his retirement. “I am planning to become a professional volunteer,” David says with a smile. He also plans to bike the Mississippi River Trail from the Headwaters to the Minnesota/Iowa border in 2021. If that is not enough to keep him busy, he plans to hike the Superior Hiking Trail in 2022.

David was hired as the coordinator for Goodhue County Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) in December of 2013. He worked with Kirsten Ford of Focus Design to rebrand the local initiative as Live Well Goodhue County. During his work with Live Well, he has helped to accomplish many successes including partnerships with the Cities of Kenyon, Pine Island, and Wanamingo to begin community gardens as well as Cannon Falls School District to install a school garden.

In 2017, David helped to organize the “Ride to Restock”, a 100-mile bike ride through Goodhue County to raise awareness for the need for healthier donations to our food shelves. A campaign called “Rethink your Drink, Every Sip Counts” was developed and implemented to educate kids and parents on the amount of sugar in sugar sweetened beverages and encouraging people to drink more water. Dave was essential in working to make it safer to walk and bike in Cannon Falls, Goodhue, Pine Island and Zumbrota. Live Well Goodhue County partnered with the Super Bowl 52 committee to install a “Breakfast Nook” at the Red Wing High School and a new playground/soccer field at Pepin Woods Manufactured Home Community. He also was instrumental in organizing Bike Cannon Falls and working with the Cities of Goodhue and Pine Island to help start Farmer’s Markets to get fresh produce to residents. In addition, he also partnered with the Farmer’s Markets in Red Wing, Goodhue and Pine Island to offer the Power of Produce (POP) Program.

David and his family, including two daughters, live in Red Wing. This is not the first retirement for David. He retired after 30 plus years with the Red Wing Family YMCA. He said he wanted to explore other options during his retirement, including reaching people in a different way. After seeing an ad in the Red Wing newspaper about Encore Careers, he applied at Live Well Goodhue County and was hired. The rest is history, one thing is certain, David will continue “Living Well” during his days of leisure!


Food Pantry Expansion at Minnesota State College Southeast Red Wing, Minnesota

By Josiah S. Litant, Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students

Minnesota State College Southeast was delighted to receive a $4,000 grant through SHIP to fund expansion of our existing campus food shelf this fall. In this project we have expanded our former food shelf on our Red Wing campus into a full-fledged food pantry. A key part of this involved not only expanding the space, but enhancing access to food-- particularly nutritious and fresh food--for our students.

With the grant we were able to purchase new shelving, storage, and refrigeration. Where the food shelf was
previously a literal shelf in the corner of a room, we have now more than quadrupled the capacity in our pantry.

We have just completed the hiring of a Basic Needs Outreach Specialist through a new partnership with Americorps. The Specialist will begin work December 7th and, as part of their job, will help manage the pantry and facilitate ongoing donations of food.

We are working through our foundation to establish a donor's program that provides food donations on an ongoing basis. As a part of this effort, besides nonperishables, we are now building partnerships with local food providers to bring fresh fruit, vegetables, and refrigerated items to our pantry to greatly enhance access to these healthy items for our students in need.

The pantry is open access, self-serve—no questions asked. It is open whenever the building is open, five days a week. This resource is available to all of our Red Wing campus students and employees.

We are grateful to SHIP for providing this funding to help us significantly increase our access to these vital needs for our students. We are also delighted to share that we recently received an additional $10,000 through Goodhue County CARES Act funds to support the purchase of food for our pantry, ensuring a strong start to stocking our shelves this academic year.
These dollars have helped to make a significant impact for our Red Wing students. In the words of one of our staff, Melissa Carrington-Irwin, Associate Dean of Students an Director of Student Success at Minnesota State College Southeast:

"We know that food insecurity is an issue that is impacting students nationally but locally as well. In 2019 a #RealCollege Survey Report, conducted by The Hope Center, it was reported that, amongst Minnesota State 2- year college students, 1 in 3 ran short on food, and 26% of them said they went hungry. By offering our students access to fresh food as well as to non-perishable staples, we are helping to reduce the stress of wondering where their next meal will come from. This will have a major impact in allowing them to focus on learning. We believe this will increase their overall academic performance and help them reach their academic and career goals. The SHIP grant has provided critical funding to allow us to make this all possible, and it is directly impacting the lives of our students who live right here in our Red Wing community."

Thank you for your support of the MSC Southeast community. We are delighted to have partnered with SHIP in order to further decrease our students’ barriers to success.

Feeding Goodhue County

By Becky Youngmark

Feeding families in Goodhue County is a priority for Live Well Goodhue County, according to Megan Roschen, Live Well Goodhue County Co-Coordinator. “We know people are struggling with food issues due to the coronavirus,” Megan explained. The goal is to work with other groups and organizations to promote a healthier lifestyle to those who live in the county. The food distribution is open to all county residents at no charge, no documentation required, she explained. “They pull-up and volunteers put the boxes in their cars. No one has to get out of the vehicle.” Social distancing and face masks are implemented for the safety of all.

Live Well Goodhue County was contacted by the Channel One Regional Food Bank to see if they would organize pop-up food distributions. The funding came from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, originally called Farmers to Family Food Box, which is a federally funded program from the United States Department of Agriculture. Live Well was asked to join the effort to serve county residents. They started to meet with other community partners at the beginning of the pandemic to discuss the needs in the community. The need for food was identified and they wanted to provide additional support and resources to local communities. “We collaborated with Channel Food Regional Food Bank to coordinate pop-up food distributions in our county,” Megan said. The Live Well program has sponsored 6 pop-up food distributions to date, one each during June, July, August, September, October and November. Distributions were held in Cannon Falls at the Cannon Falls High School and the Cannon Valley Fairgrounds and in Red Wing at Twin Bluff Middle School. “They were open to anyone experiencing challenges during the pandemic. We had a great turnout for volunteers at every event which made the event run very efficiently. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing volunteers!” Megan added. Monthly distributions varied from 225 to 350 boxes and each shipment was totally distributed at each event.

“As the pandemic continues, we anticipate food insecurity to become even more of an issue, so we are still exploring ways to help in this area,” Megan said. Anyone who would like to partner with us to work on helping end food insecurity in Goodhue County is encouraged to contact Megan by email or by phone at 651-385-6140.

Wellness @ Work Collaboration

Mark your calendar! Our next Wellness @ Work Collaboration is Thursday, January 21st from 12-1 pm via Zoom. Julie Woodruff will be presenting “The Power of Positive Thinking – A Balanced Approach to Life”. Register here.

Are you approaching 2021 with thoughts of apprehension -- waiting for the other shoe to drop? Or, are you thinking that the New Year will be full of opportunities for you? Maybe your sentiment is a combination of the two perspectives.
Even during difficult times, good things can happen. The struggles within the current pandemic are very real. At the same time, successes are happening, too. How you think about and respond to challenging situations affects your path forward. Our brains are hardwired to first think about the worst. Learning to reframe and replace negative, self-defeating thoughts with positive ones can lead you to a better place – of mind, body, and spirit.

This program will provide some techniques to help you become more aware of how you are thinking and will suggest ways to ‘lean toward’ positivity -- not by looking through rose-colored glasses or denying reality, but by looking through a lens of hope, expecting that the best possible outcome is going to happen.

Join us for Julie’s inspirational presentation! Julie holds a Master of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She has been a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota and a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist at Rochester Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and at Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center. In 2001, Julie received a Special Recognition, “Champion of Health Award” from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Minnesota for her “outstanding efforts in tobacco control advocacy.” She has given presentations at local, state and national conferences. She currently serves as Instructor for the Goodhue County Teen Tobacco Diversion Program. Julie has given numerous presentations on the power of positive thinking, resilience and stress management (personal and organizational). Julie has also facilitated sessions on mentoring, team building and critical communication skills.

The Wellness @ Work Collaboration is open to anyone in Goodhue County who is interested in workplace wellness. Registration information will be coming soon!