FULTON, NY – The need for food subsidy, and the lack of accessible nutrition information, is of great concern to the many human services agencies that serve Oswego County.
Area food pantries are serving more families and individuals than ever before and are noticing that the vast majority of their consumers are lacking in the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about proper nutrition for themselves and their families.
In an effort to address this issue and combat it head on a number of human services agencies and organizations have come together to breathe new life into the Nutrition Collaboration of Oswego County.
Comprised of human service agencies that have a nutrition focus, school districts, food pantries, the Rural Health Network, and concerned community members, the Nutrition Collaboration has begun its mission of working together to positively affect nutrition, wellness, and hunger in Oswego County.
Originally established several years ago, the Nutrition Collaboration was created to ensure that no one goes hungry.
While their efforts did produce some initial success, the group fell into dormancy.
Now, thanks in part to the efforts of Senior Nutrition Services Director, Amy Roland, the Nutrition Collaboration is back and stronger than ever.
“We are committed to making a difference in our community by doing everything in our power to raise the awareness of and alleviate the problem of hunger in Oswego County. To achieve this we have established a number of goals and are presently in the processes of implementing a strategy to do just that,” said Roland.
One of the key components of this strategy is to procure the necessary funding.
“We have some wonderful ideas that we will be initiating once the funding is in place,” she added.
According to Roland, one of the first goals for the Nutrition Collaboration is to compile a comprehensive resource guide for those who are in need of food subsidy.
The resource guide would be filled with pertinent information regarding the hours and locations of the food pantries that exist in Oswego County, a listing of agency programs that offer assistance with food subsidy and the easiest way to access them; and where those in need can turn to for answers to their nutritional questions.
The Nutrition Collaboration is also looking to work with the United Way of Greater Oswego County to bring the United Way’s popular Stone Soup Luncheon to other towns and villages in the county.
“The Stone Soup events have drawn a great response from the community when they were held in Oswego and Fulton and collected a significant amount of food and resources for our area food pantries. Expanding theses luncheons will provide these food pantries with even more support,” said Roland.
One goal that is currently in the early planning stages is the creation of community gardens.
Consumers of local food pantries would have the opportunity to come together to tend their garden and raise fresh vegetables for themselves and others who depend on food subsidy.
According to Roland, many consumers have shown an interest in this project and the Nutrition Collaboration is searching for the necessary funding to make a community garden a reality.
“We are excited that so many partners have joined us. We have established a collaboration that consists not only of human service agencies that provide food programs, but community representatives as well. By working together, encouraging community support and empowering consumes, we aim to focus on ensuring that our children, our seniors and our families do not go hungry,” she said.
For more information, call Roland at 315-598-4712, ext. 1811.