JEFFERSON CO., N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County is awarded FreshConnect Foodbox grant through NY State Ag & Markets to provide fresh, local produce to senior citizens at a reduced cost.
Senior Citizens face many barriers to health. Among these is access to fresh, healthy foods. They may not have reliable access to transportation or live near a grocery store or farmers market. For many older Americans living on a fixed income, cost may also be a barrier. The Farm Fresh Shares for Seniors initiative hopes to help. This program, a collaboration between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County (CCEJC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed), aims to improve access and eliminate barriers to fresh produce for low-income senior citizens at four priority site locations within Jefferson County. By focusing on low-income senior housing sites, this initiative will not only ensure fresh, healthy food for some of our county’s most vulnerable citizens, but also a consistent, reliable customer base for local farmers and the nutrition eduation necessary to ensure that this produce is put to best use, helping these seniors make healthy changes to their diets.
Each week, a SNAP-Ed nutritionist will travel to the senior housing sites to provide a cooking demonstration, healthy recipes, and other nutrition education. Participants will then have the opportunity to purchase a weekly share of locally grown produce from Miracles by the Acre valued at $20 for only $10 using their SNAP benefits or Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons. This produce will be delivered right to the seniors each week during the growing season between July and October. This program was made possible through a FreshConnect Foodbox grant from New York State Agriculture and Markets to make local produce available and accessible to SNAP-eligible/food insecure communities while providing nutrition education.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County
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