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EAC Network Teams Up with Town of North Hempstead, Bank of America, and the Long Island Community Foundation for “Fresh from the Garden” Senior Initiative

From left to right: Laura Dufresne, RD, EAC Network; David Okorn, Executive Director, Long Island Community Foundation; Lorraine Aycock, SVP & Market Manager, Bank of America; Supervisor Judi Bosworth, Town of North Hempstead; Bob Isaksen, President, Long Island, Bank of America; Lance W. Elder, President & CEO, EAC Network; Councilwoman Viviana Russel, Town of North Hempstead; Carol O’Neill, Senior Director of Senior & Nutrition Services, EAC Network

EAC Network, in conjunction with the Town of North Hempstead and with funding from Bank of America and the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF), announced the launch of the social service agency’s brand new Fresh from the Garden program to provide at-risk seniors in New Cassel, NY with a free, three-step initiative to healthier living: nutrition education, cooking demonstrations, and produce distribution.

“EAC Network is promoting the power of good nutrition to kick start the health of older New Cassel residents,” said Carol O’Neill, Senior Director of Senior & Nutrition Services at EAC Network. “Imagine discovering that the keys to a healthier and longer life are simply choosing a healthy diet, learning to cook healthy recipes, and eating more fruits and vegetables.”

Seniors who live in communities with few or no grocery stores around are at risk for malnutrition and are more likely to suffer from preventable chronic diseases and poor health conditions.  Based at Magnolia Gardens, a senior housing development in New Cassel operated by the North Hempstead Housing Authority, the Fresh from the Garden senior initiative focuses efforts on senior residents both within the development itself and the New Cassel community at large.

“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 Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “It’s like bringing a Farmer’s Market right to their doorstep.”

In fact, EAC Network will be directly partnering with youth-run farmer’s markets in New Cassel as well as Long Island Cares food bank to provide the fresh produce.  Other community partners for the project include Sustainable Long Island and Hofstra University’s Center for Civic Engagement and Department of Health Professions, who will be helping with outreach to the greater New Cassel area, as well as Health and Welfare Council of Long Island and Northwell Health’s Dietetic Internship program.

“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, President, Long Island, 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.”

Following the announcement of the Fresh from the Garden program, Laura Dufresne, RD at EAC Network, officially kicked off the project with a cooking demonstration of an easy, healthy vegetable frittata to senior residents of Magnolia Gardens who are already enrolled in the program.

“Good nutrition is critical to good health, especially for seniors,” said Dave Okorn, Executive Director at the Long Island Community Foundation.  “EAC Network’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.”

Fresh from the Garden will begin produce distribution in April, but enrollment in the free program has already surpassed 50 seniors and educational nutrition chats will begin on March 22 at Magnolia Gardens.

For more information on the Fresh from the Garden program, click here or contact Carol O’Neill at (516) 539-0150 x220 or Carol.Oneill@eac-network.org.

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About EAC Network

EAC Network (www.eac-network.org) is a not-for-profit social service agency that empowers, assists, and cares for over 71,000 individuals across Long Island and NYC. EAC Network’s mission is to respond to human needs with programs and services that protect children, promote healthy families and communities, help seniors, and empower individuals to take control of their lives. The organization has grown tremendously since its inception in 1969 and now offers over 70 diverse programs that address many of society’s core problems. People’s lives are being destroyed by addiction, families continue to struggle to overcome poverty, abuse, and neglect, and seniors face isolation and abandonment. EAC Network aims to build a better community one individual at a time.

Media Contact:

Alena Jones │ Director of Development & Marketing │ (516) 539-0150 x117 │ alena.jones@eac-network.org

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