Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than $1.8 million to provide low-income senior New Yorkers with access to farmers’ markets across New York.
The funding will provide over 100,000 seniors with access to healthy food at 470 farmers’ markets through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. New York State operates one of the largest such programs in the nation.
“The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is an important resource that provides New Yorkers with access to fresh, locally grown produce while also supporting the local economies and agricultural sector,” Cuomo said. “Through this program, we are connecting more than 100,000 low-income seniors across the state with affordable, healthy food options in their communities and providing a boost to local farmers bringing their products to market in every region of the state. I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to take advantage of this program and see what New York’s farmers have to offer.”
More than 100,000 booklets consisting of five $4.00 checks are being distributed, and can be used to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables from 950 farmers vending at 470 community farmers’ markets across the state.
Locally, the Fulton Farmers’ Market is held Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Canalview Park & Shop lot, South Second Street.
The New Haven Farmers’ Market is held Mondays at the town hall from 4 to 7 p.m.
The Oswego Farmers’ Market is held Thursdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. between Bridge and West Oneida streets.
The Phoenix Farmers’ Market is held Mondays from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Shopping Plaza, Route 57.
The Volney Farmers’ Market is held Tuesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at the town hall, 1445 Co. Rt. 6, Fulton.
The program is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in cooperation with the New York State Office for the Aging, New York State Department of Health Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Checks can be used at participating farmers markets through Nov. 30, 2013.
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, a division of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, will hold four volunteer orientations at 9 a.m. Wednesdays this summer for people 55 and older.
The July 17 and 24 and Aug. 14 and 21 orientations each will take place under the Kingsford Bell in Breitbeck Park.
The orientations will coincide with the weekly meeting of the Oswego Walking Club, one of RSVP’s newest health and wellness initiatives.
Anyone who is wondering, “What is there to do?” or wants to give back and doesn’t know where to turn can consider attending a session.
Participants will have the chance to meet informally with RSVP’s director and discuss volunteer opportunities and the benefits of joining RSVP.
RSVP collaborates with more than 100 programs in Oswego County to encourage and foster the development and maintenance of volunteer opportunities that engage, support and enhance the lives of Americans 55-plus, while responding to priority needs of the community.
Nationally, RSVP reached a milestone — its 40th anniversary — this year. RSVP is part of a nationwide network of Senior Corps programs, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
Each of the 700 RSVP programs across the country is sponsored by a nonprofit agency; SUNY Oswego and the United Way sponsor RSVP in Oswego County.
RSVP offers Mature Living, a bimonthly newsletter with news and information that’s both national and local in scope and of interest to older Americans.
To sign up for an orientation session or to receive Mature Living, call RSVP at 312-2317 or email email@example.com.
The Oswego County Office for the Aging will distribute Farmers’ Market coupon booklets again this year.The booklets are valued at $20.
All persons aged 60 and over whose gross income is at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines are eligible to participate in the program.
These guidelines are: $1,722 monthly for a single person or $2,333 monthly for a two-person household. Coupon booklets may be picked up July 17 and 18 in the front lobby of the Oswego County Office Complex, 70 Bunner St., Oswego between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and weekdays thereafter at the Office for the Aging, also located in the Office Complex.
Depending on availability, the Office for the Aging staff is scheduled to distribute booklets at the following senior nutrition sites:
• Friday, July 19: Fulton Municipal Building, 10:30 a.m. to noon;
• Monday, July 22: Presbyterian Church, Parish, 11 a.m. to noon and Hannibal Community Library, 10:30 a.m. to noon;
• Tuesday, July 23: St. Bernadette’s Church, Constantia, 11 a.m. to noon;
• Wednesday, July 24: Presbyterian Church, Mexico, 11 a.m. to noon and Congregational Church, Phoenix, 11 a.m. to noon;
• Thursday, July 25: United Methodist Church, Sandy Creek, 11 a.m. to noon.
A limited number of coupon booklets are available. Distribution will be on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a limit of one booklet per household. Those with questions may call the Office for the Aging at 349-3484.
Residents of Fulton Mill Apartments in Fulton recently gathered with representatives from the American Red Cross of Central New York and Catholic Charities of Oswego County to celebrate the second anniversary of the I’m OK program.
An initiative of the American Red Cross, the I’m OK program is a neighbor-to-neighbor program that benefits residents by ensuring that in the event of something happening to them they will receive attention in a timely manner.
Fulton Mill Apartments was the first senior housing facility in Oswego County to implement the I’m OK Program when it was launched on February 1, 2011.
“We are proud to be able to celebrate the second anniversary of the I’m OK Program,” said Ann Casey, resident services coordinator. “It is a wonderful program that both our residents and our staff are pleased with. It’s nice to know that our residents understand the value of the I’m OK Program and it’s comforting to know that our resident monitors are checking on residents seven days a week.”
Casey added that the I’m OK Program has been a great success and served the residents well.
“Over the past two years the program has ensured that our residents are checked on routinely by our resident monitors, and by doing so, it has played a role in avoiding potential mishaps,” said Casey.
Susan Pope, emergency services manager with American Red Cross of Central New York, said she is impressed with the success of the I’m OK Program and the way in which the staff and residents of Fulton Mill Apartments embraced the program.
“As this was a new program for us, we didn’t really know what to expect when we launched it,” she said. “We hoped that we would be able to engage a few residents at one site and then build on that, however what we have experienced at Fulton Mill over the past two years has been phenomenal. Approximately sixty-percent of the residents are participating and almost twenty residents are serving as volunteer monitors.”
“The monitors are the life blood of the I’m Ok Program,” said Casey. “Each volunteer receives extensive training, courtesy of the Red Cross, regarding their responsibilities. Each morning at 10 a.m. our volunteer monitors check their respective floors to make sure that residents participating in the program have put out their I’m OK door hanger. If it is out, they remove the door hanger and slide it back under the apartment door. If it is not out, they can refer to the card we have provided for them that outlines the proper actions to take.”
Pope added that a large part of the success of the I’m OK Program at Fulton Mill Apartments is the willingness of the Fulton Mill administration to fully support the program and the enthusiasm of the monitors.
As the I’m OK Program celebrates its second anniversary, Danielle Hayden, director of the Oswego Branch of American Cross of Central New York, envisions a strong future for the program in Oswego County.
“In addition to Fulton Mill Apartments the I’m OK Program is also in place at St. Luke Apartments in Oswego and we are reaching out to other senior housing residences in Oswego County,” she said. “The success of the I’m OK Program at Fulton Mill Apartments is a great example of how staff and residents are able to work together to add a simple yet effective program that provides a non-intrusive level of reassurance that helps our seniors live independently.”
An ivory grand piano, on which hundreds of local students learned to play, is now being enjoyed by the residents of Springside at Seneca Hill.
Donna and Dante Ascenzi recently donated the G175 Young Chang piano to the retirement community, where her parents, Jack and Joan Taber reside.
“My parents made sacrifices so I could take piano lessons, and I thought this piano donation would be a wonderful tribute to them. I am very happy to see the residents receive some enjoyment from the piano,” said Donna Ascenzi.
She purchased this particular piano not only because it then match the décor of her home, but also because of its firm “touch” and the resonating sound it produced.
Teresa Ferlito, Springside’s chief operating officer, said the residents have indeed been enjoying the piano.
“Everyone at Springside is delighted to have the grand piano,” she said. “It’s the touch of elegance we have always wanted in our beautiful dining room, and I thank Donna and her family for such a generous donation. Having this quality instrument now makes it possible for Springside to host a wider variety of musical programs from the college, the local schools, and local professional musicians.”
Ferlito added, “Several residents do know how to play the piano so one or another will often sit for a few minutes to “twinkle” the ivories because it has such a beautiful sound. We have invited different pianists in to play dinner music, which creates such a wonderful atmosphere while the residents dine in our attractive dining room. We have already had an afternoon concert featuring, Anthony Crain Ph. D., a retired music professor at SUNY Oswego, who played for the residents and their friends.”
Mrs. Ascenzi gave private piano lessons in her Oswego home to both children and adults for more than 25 years. She estimates that she perhaps taught some 600 students using the piano. She earned her first master’s degree in music education and in addition to providing private piano lessons, developed Kinder Keys, a piano curriculum for four and five-year olds that received national acclaim.
Ascenzi has since returned to school to earn a second master’s in accountancy. She is a licensed certified public accountant and operates a private accounting practice in Baldwinsville.