Thanks to the efforts of Catholic Charities of Oswego County more and more Oswego County residents are learning the importance of healthy eating and discovering the benefits of the USDA Food Stamp Program. Angela Smith, coordinator of the Nutrition Outreach & Education Program at Catholic Charities of Oswego County has been busy working with low income households to raise awareness of the food assistance programs that are available, educate them on the eligibility requirements, and assist in enrolling those in need so that they benefit from these programs.
Established through the Nutrition Consortium of NYS, the Nutrition Outreach & Education Program, administered through Catholic Charities of Oswego County, aims to alleviate hunger for poor and near poor residents of New York State, by expanding the availability of, access to, and use of governmental feeding programs, through outreach, education and advocacy.
Smith recently attended the second annual Playing For Poverty, A Food Aid Concert For Oswego County to help promote healthier eating and use of the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Sponsored through the collaborative efforts of number of human services agencies including ARISE, Bridges out of Poverty, Catholic Charities of Oswego County, COACH (County of Oswego Advocates Challenging Homelessness), The Council of Churches, Fulton Family YMCA / ACT for Youth – Youth Coalition, Oswego County Opportunities, Inc. Rural and Migrant Ministries, and AmeriCorps, Playing For Poverty was held to raise awareness of hunger and poverty in Oswego County and help garner support for Oswego CountyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s food pantries.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a wonderful event,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Smith. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was a great opportunity to get out into the community and raise peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s awareness of USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Hundreds of families and individuals are missing out on food assistance programs. For some people there are certain stereotypes and stigmas associated with this program. I want to eliminate those stigmas and educate them on how the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program not only benefits them, but benefits the community as well,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Smith.
Smith explained that the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is funded 100% through the Federal Government and that money spent through the program helps boost the local economy as every $5.00 spent through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program generates more than $9.00 in economic impact for the community.
For more information the Nutrition Outreach & Education Program, or the availability of food assistance programs in Oswego County, you may contact Angela Smith at Catholic Charities of Oswego County, 598-3980. Catholic Charities of Oswego County serves all people in need regardless of their religious affiliation. Primary funding sources for Catholic Charities of Oswego County programs are the United Way of Greater Oswego County, the Diocesan Hope Appeal, the County of Oswego and private donations by individuals and local companies and organizations. For more information on Catholic Charities and the many human services programs that it offers you may contact them at 598-3980.