Islandia, NY - September 15, 2016 - Long Island’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education/Eat Smart New York (SNAP-Ed/ESNY), Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Suffolk and Nassau County, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), and RIDES Unlimited of Nassau and Suffolk County are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil eight (8) new wrapped buses featuring images and messages encouraging healthy lifestyle choices at RIDES UNLIMITED, 108 Hoffman Road, Islandia on Friday, September 16 at 11am. Event is Rain or Shine.
The buses will display core SNAP-Ed/ESNY program messages encouraging healthy food choices and physical activity as a part of a healthy daily routine. These core messages will also be included in the digital advertising and social media campaign. The goal of Eat Smart New York is to improve health and reduce obesity among low income families who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits or are SNAP eligible.
“Poor nutrition can lead to weight gain, obesity, and health problems. Some of these health problems can be very serious for adults and children,” says Dr. Zahrine Bajwa, Project Director for SNAP-Ed/ESNY – Long Island. “Be a role model. Practice healthy habits, and you can help prevent these problems,” recommends Dr. Bajwa.
The USDA reports that more than 2 million New Yorkers, 12% of the state population, do not have enough money to meet their basic nutritional needs. Currently, there are 127,345 food assistance recipients in Suffolk and another 67,200 in Nassau plus a significant number of families who are eligible but do not receive assistance.
The SNAP-Ed/ESNY program is funded through a $6.5 million five year grant from the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The grant is part of a $14.7 million in federal funding provided to the state for nutritional education and assistance.
About CCE of Suffolk
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is a non-profit educational agency dedicated to strengthening families and communities, enhancing and protecting the environment, promoting sustainable agriculture, and fostering countywide economic development. Affiliated with Cornell University, and funded in part by Suffolk County government, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is part of the state and national extension system that includes the land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. CCE’s sites and program areas include Agriculture, Marine, 4-H Youth Development, Family Health and Wellness, Suffolk County Farm and Education Center.
About CCE of Nassau
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County (CCE-NC) is committed to building healthy lifestyles and healthy communities by conducting educational programs that connect Cornell University resources to community needs for all people in the county. Extension staff and trained volunteers deliver education programs, conduct applied research, and encourage community collaborations. CCE-NC educators connect people with the information they need on home horticulture; food and nutrition; positive activities for youth and families; economic and community development; and sustainable natural resources. CCE-NC plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families, businesses, and communities throughout Nassau County.
About Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE)
Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), founded in 1977, benefits and proudly supports more than 4,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. It is the mission of FREE to assist individuals of all abilities realize their full potential. FREE provides a diverse array of supports and services including: housing; recovery services; transition to work; employment; day, community and family services; respite; crisis services; education and after school support; specialty health services; and advocacy.
FREE also collaborates with a variety of diverse 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners on educational, vocational, rehabilitative and a myriad of other creative initiatives to enhance the local communities and the lives of more than 25,000 people that reside within them. Each of the valued partners of the Family of FREE Network have a unique mission, vision and strategic goals that are aligned in purpose, and embody the spirit of the meaningful work we do every day.
About Rides Unlimited of Nassau and Suffolk
Rides Unlimited of Nassau & Suffolk (RIDES) is a not for profit for-hire passenger transportation company whose primary purpose is the transportation of differently-abled individuals. Rides is authorized by the New York State Department of Transportation as a contract carrier between all points in the City of New York and the Counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester. With over 100 routes operating daily, Rides transports approximately 1500 passengers throughout its vast transportation system that includes both a fixed route and a demand responsive service.