Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY)

The Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Program (JSY) encourages persons who receive or are eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to eat more fruits and vegetables and become more physically active by offering nutrition workshops, cooking demonstrations and other educational activities at food pantries, shelters, farmers' markets, and other community settings.

As an obesity prevention initiative, JSY provides low income families with practical, cost effective tips for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables among New York State residents is a key strategy for reducing the risk of several chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

There are two JSY initiatives currently working to improve the health and nutritional status of low-income families in NYS. They are:

  1. Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables, is a collaboration between New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) and the Regional Food Banks. A network of JSY food bank nutritionists deliver nutrition education activities across NYS, focusing their efforts in the following environments: food pantries, shelters, community agencies,
  2. The JSY Stellar Farmers' Market Program (JSY SFM) is a collaboration between NYS DOH and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene . It operates at 20 farmers' markets in low-income neighborhoods and their surrounding community to provide free nutrition and cooking workshops to SNAP-eligible New York City adults. JSY SFM aims to improve dietary habits by providing education and resources for planning, purchasing and preparing healthy meals that feature locally grown produce. Although JSY SFM workshops run from July through mid-November, JSY SFM activities are year round and are not limited to workshops at farmers' markets.

These two initiatives reach nearly 40,000 eligible persons and their families annually.

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