Positivity in the Park – FREE Outdoor Movie!

On Thursday, June 8th B.A.D.G.E.S. and SACK are hosting a FREE Outdoor Movie at Library Park to continue with the Positivity in the Park initiative! “The Secret Life of Pets” will be shown and will begin at dusk, around 8:45 p.m. Please bring a lawn chair and/or blanket.

We are Better Together!

FREE Webinar – “Marijuana and America” by Dr. Ken Winters

Dr. Ken Winters of the University of Minnesota hosts monthly FREE webinar workshops. On Friday, June 9th, Dr. Winters webinar workshop “Marijuana and America,” will be available from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. (CST). 

This webinar will be a “snapshot” of a longer in person workshop that Regional Prevention Coordinator Jenilee Telander attended last week. If you are interested click on the link below to register for the webinar.  If you are unable able to attend, you can still look through the PowerPoint slides by clicking on the “register” link and event materials are available to download. 





Attention SACK Coalition Member!

There will be a survey sent out on Friday, June 9th that we would like you to participate in. This is an annual survey that is required by the DFC Funding Action Plan that was submitted for Year 8. The questions will be simple and direct. We are hoping for a timely response with honest and helpful feedback. 

We appreciate your time, efforts and commitment to keeping the SACK Coalition a highly functional and productive coalition!




School-age breakfast and lunch during summer break

If you know of a school-aged student in need of breakfast and lunch this summer, this is great information to share with them! Simply have them text the word “FOOD” to 877877. They will then be asked to send their zip code (this works outside of Kanabec County as well). They will receive a message back with a location near them where they are able to get free summer meals. 

Crunch Time will not be available this summer in the Mora area. This is a good alternative for those that need a nutritional and FREE meal over the summer. 

Please share with anyone you feel could benefit from this. 

Congratulations Ogilvie & Mora Graduates!

High School graduation is a milestone you won’t soon forget. For at least the past twelve years, you’ve undoubtedly heard, “What grade are you in?, “What is your favorite subject”, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  Now that you’ve completed your last school grade, your story and life journey begins! 

Some of you may be off to college in the fall, others have committed to serving in the United States military and some are ready to hit the ground running and get to work! Whatever your path, the time you spent in school will bring back memories of your favorite teacher, an exciting field trip, band concerts, Friday night football games or the part in the play where you had the audience on the edge of their seats and so much more!

Community members, like myself and members of the SACK coalition, often feel as though your graduation is an extension of who we are as a community. We may have never meet but we noticed your involvement, watched you grow and may have visited with proud family members once or twice. There is a great sense of pride knowing that we are sending the next generation of educated, spirited, goal-oriented and talented young adults into the world to do great things! In a small way we hope we have contributed to your success. 

On behalf of the SACK Coalition, we wish you both a happy ending and an exciting future – congratulations graduates! 

Patti Miller
SACK Coalition Coordinator
Better Choices | Better Lives
“We are Better Together”


High Environmental Cost of Tobacco

Smoking kills 7 million people a year, and it scars the planet through deforestation, pollution and littering.

Details of the environmental cost of tobacco are revealed in a study released Wednesday by the World Health Organization, adding to the well-known costs to global health, which translate to a yearly loss of $1.4 trillion in health-care expenses and lost productivity.

From crop to pack, tobacco commands an intensive use of resources and forces the release of harmful chemicals in the soil and waterways, as well as significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Its leftovers linger, as tobacco litter is the biggest component of litter worldwide.

“Tobacco not only produces lung cancer in people, but it is a cancer to the lungs of the Earth,” said Dr. Armando Peruga, who previously coordinated the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative and now works as a consultant. He reviewed the new report for the WHO.

Commercial tobacco farming is a worldwide industry that involves 124 countries and occupies 4.3 million hectares of agricultural land. About 90% of it takes place in low-income countries, with China, Brazil and India as the largest producers.

Because tobacco is often a monocrop — grown without being rotated with other crops — the plants and the soil are weak in natural defenses and require larger amounts of chemicals for growth and protection from pests.

“Tobacco also takes away a lot of nutrients from the soil and requires massive amounts of fertilizer, a process that leads to degradation of the land and desertification, with negative consequences for biodiversity and wildlife,” Peruga said.

The use of chemicals directly impacts the health of farmers, 60% to 70% of whom are women. This is especially prominent in low- and middle-income countries, where some compounds that are banned in high-income countries are still used.

Did you know? 300 cigarettes = one tree

Farming also uses a surprisingly large amount of wood, rendering tobacco a driver of deforestation, one of the leading causes of climate change.

About 11.4 million metric tons of wood are utilized annually for curing: the drying of the tobacco leaf, which is achieved through various methods, including wood fires. That’s the equivalent of one tree for every 300 cigarettes, or 1.5 cartons.

This adds to the impact of plantations on forest land, which the study describes as a significant cause for concern, citing “evidence of substantial, and largely irreversible, losses of trees and other plant species cause by tobacco farming.”

Deadly gases

In 2012, 967 million daily smokers consumed approximately 6.25 trillion cigarettes worldwide, the WHO estimates.

“That means about 6,000 metric tons of formaldehyde and 47,000 metric tons of nicotine are released into the environment,” Peruga said.

Tobacco smoke contains about 4,000 chemicals, at least 250 of which are known to be harmful. It also contains climate-warming carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides. “The combination of greenhouse gases from combustion is equivalent to about 1.5 million vehicles driven annually,” Peruga said.

Secondhand smoke is particularly deadly: It contains twice as much nicotine and 147 times more ammonia than so-called mainstream smoke, leading to close to 1 million deaths annually, 28% of them children.

Some of these pollutants remain in the environment (and our homes) as “third-hand smoke,” accumulating in dust and surfaces indoors, and in landfills. Some, like nicotine, even resist treatment, polluting waterways and potentially contaminating water used for consumption, the study notes.

Non-biodegradable litter

Tobacco litter is the most common type of litter by count worldwide.

“We calculate that two-thirds of every cigarette ends up as litter,” Peruga said.

The litter is laced with chemicals including arsenic and heavy metals, which can end up in the water supply. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable, and tossing one on the ground is still considered a socially acceptable form of littering in many countries.

The WHO estimates that between 340 million and 680 million kilograms of tobacco waste are thrown away every year, and cigarette butts account for 30% to 40% of all items collected in coastal and urban clean-ups.

“In addition to that, there are 2 million tons of paper, foil, ink and glue used for the packaging,” Peruga said.

A way forward?

Even though smoking is declining globally, it is increasing in some regions, such as the eastern Mediterranean and Africa. China is a world leader both in production (44%) and consumption, with 10 times more cigarettes smoked than in any other nation.

Every stage of the production of a cigarette has negative effects on the environment and the people who are involved in manufacturing tobacco products, even before the health of smokers and non-smokers is affected.

“Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a note. “It exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”