ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WETM) – For those that may feel stuck in their health journies amid the pandemic, you can now take a free virtual class that helps with exercising and food nutrition.

The Center of Community Health and Prevention in partnership with Wilmot Cancer Institute under the University of Rochester are providing a program that empowers participants to make diet and healthy lifestyle changes. The free eight week zoom-focused program helps with lowering the risk of chronic diseases and cancer.

The program was in-person until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

The Regional Program Manager, Sarah Merritt, said the zoom meeting helps with socializing too.

“The need for something to do virtually that promotes activity is huge,” said Merritt. “When you’re with a group of people, especially for 8 weeks you kind of grow a bond. So there’s a big social aspect to these classes, and I found that to be just as helpful I mean to me as well during this pandemic where we’re all kind of isolated.”

The next eight-week online program is being offered two times for participants’ convenience – participants in the Finger Lakes region can register for either a Tuesday morning class, starting October 6, from 11 a.m. to noon or a Thursday evening class, starting October 8, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Spots are limited.

Those interested can contact Sarah Merritt, Regional Program Manager of Promote Health. Prevent Cancer., at (585) 738-5539 or


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