The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is committed to reducing food insecurity and hunger, fostering self-sufficiency, and improving health outcomes for low-income New Yorkers. Through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) nutrition education is coordinated by OTDA and is administered by a network of state and local providers including the following: Cornell Cooperative Extension, NYS Department of Health, Food Bank of New York City, New York Common Pantry, Children’s Aid Society, and City Harvest. Working together these organizations deliver a variety of important programs to individuals eligible for SNAP that are designed to:
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables;
- Decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and increase the consumption of water and fat-free or low-fat milk products; and,
- Increase physical activity and maintain appropriate calorie balance during each stage of life--- childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and older age.
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Cornell Cooperative Extension manages ten SNAP-Ed regional offices across New York State. Each office is a non-profit educational organization and is part of the Cooperative Extension land grant system. The mission of Cooperative Extension is to enable people to improve their lives and communities through partnerships that put experience and research knowledge to work. SNAP-Ed programming fits well with and is an integral part of the mission Cornell Cooperative Extension. The goal of the program is to provide nutrition education workshops, materials and messages, and environmental, policy, and systems change activities and support, to assist SNAP and SNAP eligible youth and adults to 1) eat more fruits and vegetables 2) drink less sugar-sweetened beverages 3) exercise more and balance calories eaten as part of a healthy lifestyle.
New York State Department of Health
Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY) is a NYS Department of Health program dedicated to improving the health and nutritional status of individuals receiving SNAP in New York State. JSY partners with food banks and emergency food relief organizations throughout the state to provide nutrition education programs and facilitate environmental changes to increase access to healthy food. JSY Educators provide cooking demonstrations and nutrition education workshops to help low-income New Yorkers select and prepare nutritious foods, make the most of their food budgets, handle foods in a safe manner, increase physical activity and drink healthier beverages; as well a work with emergency food relief organizations to increase access to healthy food. Visit the Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables website to find a JSY Educator by region.
This NYS Department of Health program is a multi-component intervention that focuses on improving the nutrition and physical activity behaviors of pre-school age children and their parents/caregivers and influencing food and activity practices in child care settings. The primary audience for this intervention consists of SNAP recipient and eligible families with pre-school age children (3- 4 years) enrolled in Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) participating child care centers. Eligible centers are those in which 50% or more of enrolled families are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
New York State Office for The Aging - SNAP-Ed New York for Older Adults
The NYS Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) administers a statewide SNAP-Ed program that promotes nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions among low-income older adults. SNAP-Ed interventions are provided by participating Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) at qualified Older Americans Act (OAA) Title IIIC Congregate Nutrition Programs and senior centers. Many older adults face challenges that can affect nutrition and physical activity. These changes can be physical, health-related, social, cultural, or psychological. NYSOFA and the AAAs, are uniquely qualified to address health and nutrition for Adults 60 years and older and employ Registered Dietitians to implement evidenced based nutrition education, obesity prevention, and policy, system, and environmental activities to help older adults improve their health and maintain their quality of life.
Food Bank for New York City (Food Bank) is the city’s primary hunger-relief organization, serving about 1.5 million people every year. For the past 31 years, Food Bank has been the leader in the fight to end hunger in NYC helping millions of struggling New Yorkers feed their families, lead healthier lives, and become more self-sufficient. Food Bank’s nutrition education program – CookShop--complements the work Food Bank is providing. The CookShop program uses age appropriate hands-on cooking activities to foster children's enjoyment and consumption of healthy food, and their appreciation for good nutrition with a goal of helping low-income students and families gain the knowledge and skills needed to make and appreciate healthy choices. Students participating in CookShop Classroom learn how fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains grow, what goes into a nutritious diet and how to transform whole foods such as carrots, wheat, apples and lettuce into simple, tasty, affordable meals and snacks.
New York Common Pantry is a non-profit dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. Through an array of programs -- which includes the distribution of nutritious, fresh food pantry packages in Choice Pantry, hearty balanced breakfast and dinner in the Hot Meals program, and case management services through Help 365 -- Common Pantry works to reduce hunger and food insecurity. A vital element to Common Pantry’s programming is nutrition education and obesity prevention. Common Pantry’s nutrition education teaches children and adults about the importance of a nutritionally sound diet and active living, as well as provides them with the skills necessary to make healthier choices for their families.
The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is a non-profit organization located in New York City dedicated to helping children in poverty to succeed and thrive through the provision of comprehensive supports including: health and nutrition education; medical, dental and mental health services; foster care, adoption and preventive services; early childhood programming; after school, holiday and summer programming; teen programs; domestic violence services; parent engagement and family support; client advocacy and emergency assistance. Since 2003, CAS has delivered nutrition education designed to prevent and slow the rates of childhood obesity. Through the ESNY program, CAS has been able to enhance and expand nutrition education and obesity prevention activities to reach a greater number of children and their parents.
City Harvest is a non-profit food rescue organization dedicated to helping feed New Yorkers facing hunger. Through the collection and delivery of excess food from restaurants, grocers, bakeries, manufacturers, and farms to community food programs across New York City and through its Healthy Neighborhoods programs, City Harvest helps to increase the availability of affordable fruits and vegetables in low-income communities. City Harvest’s nutrition education classes, supermarket tours, and cooking demonstrations take place where residents access food and are designed to help SNAP-eligible adults and families increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, decrease their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and engage in more physical activity.
BronxWorks is a non-profit organization located in the Bronx dedicated to helping individuals and families improve their economic and social well-being through a variety of programs including: benefits assistance; children and youth programs; family programs; senior services; immigration services; eviction prevention; homeless services; chronic illness services; and workforce development. BronxWorks nutrition education, farmers market food demonstrations, and guided store tours teach children and adults about the importance of a nutritionally sound diet and active living, as well as provides them with the skills necessary to make healthier choices for their families.
Common Threads is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to equipping under-resourced communities with information to make affordable, nutritious and appealing food choices through cooking and nutrition education programs. Common Threads’ nutrition education program for youth, Small Bites, teaches children about nutrition and healthy cooking through a series of lessons in in-school, after-school and summer program settings designed to increase nutrition knowledge, vegetable consumption, and variety of vegetables consumed. Through guided grocery store tours and parent workshops SNAP eligible adults are encouraged to choose healthy diets, and are provided with knowledge and skills to support healthy food choices and eating habits at home, as well as gain an understanding of the value of cooking and eating together at home.