Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY) is one of New York State's premiere nutrition education services available to low income families. JSY is a nutrition education initiative designed to prevent overweight/obesity and reduce long term chronic disease risks through the promotion of increased fruit and vegetable consumption. The program receives statewide federal funding through USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Nutrition Education (SNAP-Ed) project, with local cost share funds from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). SNAP-Ed is a federal/state partnership that supports nutrition education for persons eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Using nutrition education workshops and food demonstrations, JSY works to ensure low-income families in New York eat nutritious foods, make the most of their food budgets and prepare foods in a safe manner. Each workshop provides practical nutrition information using USDA approved lesson plans, recipes and cooking demonstrations using fruits and vegetables.
There are two JSY initiatives currently working to improve the health and nutritional status of low-income families in NYS. They are:
- Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables, which is a collaboration between the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and Emergency Food Relief Organizations. Led by eight regional Food Banks, a statewide network of nutritionists deliver comprehensive nutrition education activities across NYS, focusing their efforts primarily in food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.
- The Stellar Farmers' Market Program, which is a collaboration between the NYS DOH and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYSDOHMH). This initiative promotes the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables at farmers' markets in targeted low income communities in NYC. For more information on Stellar Farmers Markets, please visit: http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/cdp/cdp_pan_health_bucks.shtml Check out this video of the NYC Health Department's Stellar Farmers Markets program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BVjczr6e6U
These two initiatives reach nearly 27,000 food stamp eligible clients and their families annually.