MSAC and Community Services Updates

Last Call for Qigong and Food as Medicine Registrations!

Qigong (with a new start date!)
Ellie Hayes |12 Wednesdays, starts 4/21 | 1:00 - 1:45 pm | via Zoom | $35 members/ $60 public | Ages 15+
In this class you will learn qigong practices from various sources. Qigong literally means “cultivating the Qi” and is effective at moving stagnant energy, strengthening your immune system, and establishing relaxation, and ease. Open to all levels of experience. Class will begin online but likely move outdoors once weather permits. Registration details/form: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/751/Classes

Food as Medicine Fundamentals (needs at least 3 more!)
Lisa Mase | 4 Fridays, starts 4/23 | 1:30—2:30 pm | via Zoom | $35 members/$60 public | Ages 14+
ARE YOU READY TO TRANSFORM YOUR HEALTH WITH FOOD AS MEDICINE? This four-week course is for you! Lisa created Food as Medicine Fundamentals because she knows that we are in a pivotal point in the well-being of ourselves, our species, and our planet. The way we eat and care for ourselves has tremendous ripple effects. May this course help us heal ourselves so we can heal the planet. UPGRADE YOUR NUTRITION KNOWLEDGE. During this 4- week course you will: 

  •  Find healthy eating rhythms for yourself and your loved ones 
  •  Work with Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and the Mediterranean Diet 
  • Explore nutrition science, macronutrient balance, and personalized nutrition 
  •  Learn how to heal common conditions with food and herbs 
  • Understand which culinary and tea herbs are best for digestion 
  •  Feel empowered around using food and herbs for health 

From intuitive eating for stress reduction to learning about your body’s internal cues for nourishment, we will delve into the importance of what we eat and how we eat it. With traditional nutritional philosophies as our foundation and your common interests as our tools for exploration and growth, we will create a community of wellness. Weekly live courses and our online community will help us deepen our knowledge of food as medicine and keep connected! Take the course at your own pace. You will have lifetime access to materials. All classes will be recorded to watch anytime.  Registration details/form: https://www.montpelier-vt.org/751/Classes

Senior Center Re-opening update
Much planning for our re-opening is in the works, and we are taking the slow path forward.  Several drop-in groups will restart outdoors in May, and a few more online classes will pivot to in-person outdoor gatherings (as Drawing already has). In June we will host a few activities in-person inside the Center, including our Annual Meeting on June 22 (limited space with distance, masks, and some will attend on Zoom). In July, some Summer classes and meals will be able to return for in-person gathering at MSAC, and by August, we may have a few van trips able to run.  We will continue to stay informed of State Guidance and keep you posted about what our staff team, city leadership, and Advisory Council decide for MSAC's slow, safe re-opening. Meanwhile, we encourage everyone to please get vaccinated!  

2021 AARP Tax-Aide Clinic Wraps up at MSAC

Lead coordinator/volunteer Georgia Valentine shared the following message: "With enormous thanks to the Staff at MSAC and a group of dedicated volunteers, and despite the procedural constraints of COVID, we managed to serve 80 clients this season, down just slightly from last year.  We surely hope to be back to full steam next year."

MSAC Staff offers immense gratitude to Georgia and all the volunteers, along with all those who made contributions to MSAC after having your tax returns prepared. 

City Pool Facility News
The Montpelier City Pool (on Elm Street) will be opening for the 2021 summer season but may be operating differently than in previous years. At the April 14th City Council meeting, City Council directed staff to come up with a few plans to open the pool that allows for COVID safety guidelines and safety considerations for the Summer Camp programs. Staff will be presenting their opening options to Council for a decision at the April 28th Council meeting. Stay tuned for more information!

FEAST Farm has a New Farm Manager! Welcome, Dave Hershberger!
Bio picFrom Dave: "Since I was a young child helping my dad in our vegetable garden, I have always had a keen interest in growing things. In high school, I started working for a local vineyard and winery where I continued working on and off throughout college. After graduating with a degree in Environmental Science, I enjoyed working there for several years as they expanded their vineyards and wine production. My experiences working in the vineyard led me to develop a passion for local, sustainable agriculture. I started my own business selling vegetables using the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model. By 2019 it was time for our family to make some big changes. We orchestrated a move to Montpelier in January of 2020 and spent the past year taking care of our two little girls. As the new farm manager for Feast Farm, I am excited to get my hands dirty again working with our community to grow our local food system."

Older Announcements

MSAC Re-opening planning and State of VT updates to COVID guidance 
We don't yet know exactly how new state COVID guidance will affect everything at MSAC and will be publishing more updates by later this month. Thank you for your patience. If you'd like to read the State of Vermont's latest guidance for re-opening senior centers -- a document we are carefully studying -- click here.  There is a related "FAQ" document available here

Montpelier City Council Resolution Condemning Recent Attacks and Discrimination
Our City Council (elected officials) passed a resolution on March 24 condemning attacks and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Click here to read the full text.  On a related note, the local school board and principals released Letters of Support for the AAPI communities, which can be read by clicking here.

Volunteer with the MSAC Village – MSAC at Home!
Throughout the many different Villages across the country and beyond, one consistent factor remains the same: the need for volunteers. Volunteers are the heart and soul of each and every Village. We need to grow our pool of volunteers as we continue to roll out Village-related offerings (technology assistance, wellness calls, and outdoor chore assistance to start). Since the volunteer onboarding process includes a background check to ensure the safety for those receiving the services, there is no better time to sign up as a Village volunteer to ensure you are ready to go when the next volunteer opportunity arises. To sign up as a volunteer or to learn more about needs and expectations, contact MSAC’s Aging in Place Coordinator Andrew Gribbin at msac-americorps@montpelier-vt.org or 262-6287.

Summer Class and Program Proposals Invited
If you'd like to propose a summer class or program, please submit your proposal by Thursday, April 8 by email to msac@montpelier-vt.org. Contact Harry in the office at 223-2518 or hdivack@montpelier-vt.org if you need a proposal form!

Older Vermonters Caucus weekly meetings, Wednesdays at 12 pm
The OV Caucus is organized by Representatives Noyes and Wood of the House Human Services Committee. Each meeting hosts a guest presenter on a topic pertaining to older Vermonters and is an opportunity for caucus members to voice their opinions, ideas, and issues. MSAC Director, Janna Clar, was a guest 3/31, speaking as one of two co-chairs of Vermont Association of Senior Centers and Meal Providers to discuss emerging developments and challenges of the state’s vital centers and services. This is a platform that cares greatly about Vermonters and all are welcome. Public participation is very much encouraged! If you would like to engage with the caucus, you can watch our previous meetings on Youtube as well as catch them live each week at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfA1g7IQ0QfRSYGh6PPqkFg. Comment your questions and we will do our best to raise them during the meeting! For more information please feel free to email brian.s.anderson@uvm.edu.  

Free Exercise guides for healthy aging, available at MSAC for pick-up (and online)!
We know that online exercise programs don't work for everyone, even during a pandemic. So, we reached out to the National Institue of Health and requested copies of their "Get Fit for Life" booklets that include exercises and physical activity strategies for healthy aging. Arrange to pick up a copy by calling 223-2518. Or, read it online or forward to a friend with this link: https://order.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/2021-02/exercise-physical-activity-get-fit4-life.pdf.

Check out our Helpful Resources webpage and new additions!
We've posted some new resources on our "Helpful Resources" page recently and wanted to encourage you to check them out. In addition to a lot of other links, you'll now find COVE's 2020 Aging in Vermont Resource Guide & Directory, Finding Help: VT's Abuse, Exploitation & Neglect in Later Life Help Guide, and MSAC 2020 Wellness Call Volunteers Training Resources Guide.