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MDI Hospital and Havana’s Food Revolution Day 2017 Aims to Bring Greenhouse Project to Fruition

Conners Emerson students learned how to make their own tamales during MDI Hospital and Havana’s Food Revolution Day 2016. This year, they will learn to make baked vegetable empanadas.


BAR HARBOR—Conners Emerson students will be learning to make empanadas this Food Revolution Day thanks to MDI Hospital and Havana Restaurant. The hospital and local restaurant are again partnering to bring increased food knowledge and food education to Island children. This year, Havana chef Uel Sugg and MDI Hospital’s Marisa Marinelli will be teaching fifth and sixth graders how to make baked vegetable empanadas, while MDI Hospital wellness coaches Laura Clapp and Ben Billings, and dietitian Amory Gray will be leading them in several outdoor activities.

Food Revolution Day 2017 kicks off in the school’s cafeteria the morning of Friday, May 19, with the hands-on cooking demonstration and wellness session, but it doesn’t end there. In the evening, thanks to local restaurant owner Michael Boland, Havana is hosting a free reception for parents and students from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. to give students the chance to showcase the dishes they helped to create. All proceeds from dinner service at Havana that evening, from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., will be donated to the greenhouse project at Conners Emerson, spearheaded by former Conners Emerson teacher Steve Gabel-Richards. If all goes according to plan, this year will mark the completion of the greenhouse project and a completion ceremony will be held at the school at the close of the year.

Gabel-Richards first started the greenhouse project while he was a teacher at Conners Emerson and has continued to work with the school, A Climate to Thrive and College of the Atlantic to bring the project to fruition. This year, MDI Hospital and Havana hope to raise enough to help Conners Emerson complete the greenhouse.

“Building food knowledge and awareness in our schools is so important,” said MDI Hospital President/CEO Art Blank. “We are very grateful to Conners Emerson and to Michael Boland and Havana for partnering with us to continue to develop food education for our Island’s children.”

Established in 2011 by renowned chef Jamie Oliver, Food Revolution Day is an international day of action designed to promote food education for children. MDI Hospital began participating in the initiative in 2013, and first joined with Havana in 2014 to bring a unique hands-on cooking class to Conners Emerson. By all accounts, the partnership has been a great success.

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