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School Nurse Program gets a boost

School kids who need nutrition during the day look to the school nurse program for healthy snacks. And the school nurse program relies on the generosity of donors like the Ashland Food Co-op for help.

The Ashland Community Hospital Foundation is grateful once again to the Ashland Food Co-op for continuing to support the Healthy Foods — an Alternative to Medication initiative of the School Nurse Program. The initiative was implemented in 2014 by Belinda Brown, RN, when school nurses recognized children were seeking medication to relieve symptoms of hunger and dehydration.

On a typical day, the school nurses see between 18 and 22 children at each of the Ashland and Talent middle school sites. Of these, between two and four children are complaining of physical symptoms such as stomach aches and headaches, the result of inadequate nutrition and hydration.

However with support from the Ashland Food Co-op, fruit, drinks and healthy snacks are available for students throughout the school day. This is the seventh year the Ashland Food Co-op has supported the program, and this year it increased its support in response to the School Nurse program expansion into the Phoenix Elementary and High School and Ashland High School. Thanks to them, hungry students can continue to have healthy snacks, and also learn about creating healthy eating habits.

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