Program provides fresh local produce and cooking demonstrations to low-income seniors in New Cassel
Town of North Hempstead (TONH) Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Council Member Viviana Russell attended the kick-off event for a new EAC Network nutritional program called “Fresh from the Garden” on March 9 at Magnolia Gardens in New Cassel. TONH is one of several partners working with EAC on the unique nutritional initiative. The “Fresh from the Garden” program provides low-income senior residents of New Cassel with seasonal fresh produce, nutritional education and cooking demonstrations. The program is funded by Bank of America and Long Island Community Foundation and also works in partnership with students from Hofstra University Center for Civic Engagement, who assist with outreach and enrollment.
“The town is so pleased to be working with EAC Network on this innovative program that will deliver fresh produce to our seniors and also give them hands-on nutritional education right where they live,” said Supervisor Bosworth. “It’s like bringing a farmer’s market right to their doorstep.”
The kick-off event at Magnolia Gardens featured a cooking demonstration by Laura Dufresne, RD, and was attended by seniors who have enrolled in the free nutritional program.
The program officially starts in April at Magnolia Gardens in New Cassel and will feature cooking demonstrations and monthly distribution of seasonal fresh produce obtained from Long Island CARES Food Bank and local farmers markets. Volunteers will also begin delivering the produce to other eligible homebound seniors in the New Cassel community. Magnolia Gardens residents in the program will also participate in a monthly interactive nutrition chat with a registered dietitian. These educational discussions begin on March 22 and will cover healthy living topics such as shopping and cooking on a limited budget and lowering nutritional risk for chronic disease through diet.
“EAC Network is promoting the power of good nutrition to kick start the health of older New Cassel residents,” Said Carol O’Neill, Regional Director Senior & Nutrition Services, EAC Network. “Imagine discovering that the keys to a healthier and longer life are simply choosing a healthy diet, learning to cook with healthy recipes and eating more fruits and vegetables.”
“One of the first steps to building a thriving community is ensuring that local residents have access to basic needs such as healthy food,” said Bob Isaksen, Long Island president of Bank of America. “We are proud to support organizations like EAC Network as they work to improve the lives of residents in New Cassel through the Fresh from the Garden Initiative.”
“Good nutrition is critical to good health, especially for seniors,” says David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation. “EAC’s nutrition program offers more than just fresh produce—it provides socialization, nutrition education, counseling, and will act as a gateway to many other much needed services.”
Community partners for the program will include: The Town of North Hempstead, the North Hempstead Housing Authority, Long Island CARES Food Bank, Hofstra University Center for Civic Engagement, Youth operated Farmers Markets, Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, Sustainable Long Island and Northwell Health’s Dietetic Internship Program.
For more information on the program, call 516-869-6311.