COVID-19 Update from the Sylvia Center

By March 18, 2020May 3rd, 2024Archive

To Our Sylvia Center Community,
We hope you are well and are staying healthy. As you may have seen, New York City and Columbia County public schools are closed until mid-April. The Sylvia Center has suspended all in-person programs and will take our cues from the school systems as to when to restart our classes.

Our greatest concern is the health and well-being of our students, staff and communities. We know that our students will need activities that engage their bodies and minds. Cooking at home will certainly become the most economical and healthful way for all of us to feed our families.

The Sylvia Center program team is working on ways to create online cooking and nutrition instructional content for our students. While we are in the preliminary planning stages, we expect to post online classes that support home cooking with staple pantry items that will be available at local grocery stores and through emergency food distribution programs.

We are incredibly concerned about the ability of our students, and their families, to continue to feed themselves in these shaky economic times. It is important that all of us with the means to do so support critical emergency food security efforts across the region.

In addition to our own education efforts, we will be looking at ways to spread information about how to access these programs to the families we serve. You can do your part by supporting a food relief program in your community. A few of the programs we recommend are:

While we may not be able to meet in person, we know you continue to share in our mission – to open new possibilities for young people by increasing their knowledge of and desire for healthy foods. We can continue to work towards these goals and broadcast this message from our own family kitchens.

We are so grateful to everyone who supports our work and the work that lies ahead. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns at We hope to update you soon with access to our online content.

Remember to: 

  • Cook together with the people in your household! It is a great way to relieve stress in these trying times. Now’s the time to share family recipes and build new skills for cooking healthy meals. You can find recipes on our website.
  • Stay informed with reliable sources – NY HealthWorld Health OrganizationCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Use good hygiene practices to protect yourself and your community. While there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food, other viruses and bacteria can. You can keep your kitchen clean using these tips.
  • Heed governmental directives on social distancing. Stay home as much as possible.
  • Digitally check-in with your friends, families, and loved ones. We are in this together!


All the Best,
Jennifer John, Executive Director &
The Sylvia Center team