The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) today is highlighting the importance of good nutrition for older adults during an event in Syracuse, in support of the national March for Meals campaign. OTDA Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts will help serve lunch 11:45 a.m. at the Dunbar Association in Syracuse, a congregate meals site located at 1453 South State Street.
“Good nutrition is fundamental to good health and these needs are more critical as we age, especially for those experiencing or recovering from chronic health problems,” said OTDA Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “But New York remains at the forefront of ensuring the availability of healthy, nutritious meals for our older adults through congregate meal sites as well as home-delivered meals.”
The Governor’s commitment to the nutritional needs of older adults is unmatched across the country — New York State serves 23 million meals annually to 243,000 older adults and provides at least $53 million more for home delivered and congregate meals than any other state. New York also ranks first in the nation for the number of people receiving nutrition services and supports.
Every March during National Nutrition Month, Meals on Wheels home delivered meal programs across the country raise awareness in their communities about the critical nutritional needs of frail older adults and the importance of healthy meals, nutrition counseling, and nutrition education. Highlighting the importance of nutrition in maintaining and improving health, the critical role volunteers play in preparing and delivering meals, and the important partnerships state agencies and community organizations play are key components of the Governor’s efforts to support aging in place and make New York the healthiest state in the nation.
Under Governor Cuomo, New York State has also been a leader in implementing policies and programs designed to help alleviate food insecurity among older New Yorkers. OTDA oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in New York State, which helps more than 2.8 million New Yorkers, 1 in 5 of which are older adults, put food on their table.
OTDA and the Office for the Aging have worked closely to address the nutrition needs of older adults. SNAP outreach and application assistance is carried out routinely at congregate meal sites and with home-delivered meals. Additionally, the two agencies have launched an effort to expand nutrition counseling and education to improve the health of older adults receiving SNAP.