Some of the nearly $75 million in state and federal funding to improve access to nutritional and disease prevention services for older New York State residents will be distributed in four Western New York counties, State Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, R-Elma, announced last week.
The programs and services funded will help more than 238,000 residents by improving access to nutritional information, education, counseling and healthy foods in efforts to reduce the impact of chronic disease associated with eating choices.
“Maintaining a healthy diet and staying physically active is important for everyone, but it can become a challenge as we age,” Gallivan said. “These programs help ensure that older New Yorkers who are in need have access to healthy food and have the tools and information they need to stay active, prevent disease and enhance their quality of life.”
The funding includes $3.4 million for Erie County, $242,622 for Wyoming County, $281,137 for Livingston County and $2.1 million for Monroe County, Gallivan said in a news release. Services supported help provide healthy dining options at more than 700 community sites across the state; home-delivered meals for 62,000 older individuals; nutrition counseling and education for more than 300,000 people; and assistance with applying for benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to combat hunger.
Poor diet and physical inactivity are among the leading causes of disability among Americans and cause one-third of premature deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Malnutrition affects one out of four older Americans and is a factor in half of all hospital admissions and readmissions of older people.