NYSAND News Updates

Governor Cuomo Updates New Yorkers on Vaccination Efforts Across New York

AM I ELIGIBLE? - find out: https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the latest prioritization for New Yorkers eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Beginning January 4, eligibility is being expanded to include all outpatient/ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers who provide direct in-person patient care, as well as all public health care workers who provide direct in-person care, including those who conduct COVID-19 tests and handle lab specimens. Beginning this week, eligibility will also be expanded to include home care workers, hospice workers, and nursing home and other congregate setting workers who have yet to receive a vaccine through the federal nursing home vaccination program.

"While we're trying to control COVID with one hand, we're trying to defeat it with the other and the vaccine is the weapon that will win this war," Governor Cuomo said. "Getting this vaccine out is going to be the single greatest operation government has ever had to accomplish and we're taking bold actions to ensure it is delivered swiftly and equitably for all New Yorkers. Not only are all health care workers - the heroes who have taken care of us throughout this entire pandemic - now eligible to receive their first dose, but we are taking steps to ensure providers expedite vaccinations, resources are in place to vaccinate the general public, and bad actors looking to game the system are held accountable."

Continued Expansion of Eligibility

Under the Department of Health's most recent eligibility guidance, beginning January 4, all Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Individuals who work in private medical practices
  • Hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics
  • Specialty medical practices of all types
  • Dental practices of all types
  • Dialysis workers
  • Diagnostic and treatment centers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Phlebotomists
  • Behavioral health workers
  • Student health workers

Additionally, all front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including individuals who administer COVID-19 tests, handle COVID-19 lab specimens, and those directly engaged in COVID-19 vaccinations are also eligible to receive the vaccine.

Eligibility also expands this week to include home care workers, those in the consumer directed programs, hospice workers, and staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities and other congregate settings who did not receive the COVID-19 vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program.

New Efforts to Expedite Vaccine Delivery and Administration

As part of New York's effort to further expedite the delivery and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine, a number of efforts are now underway.

New 'Am I Eligible?' App

New York State has launched a new 'Am I Eligible " app to help New Yorkers determine their eligibility, connect them with administration centers, and schedule appointments. To access the app, as well as find the latest information concerning the vaccine and its administration, visit: https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/.

Supplemental Support for Federal Nursing Home Vaccination Program

Currently, 611 facilities in New York have enrolled in the federal government's Nursing Home Vaccination Program, in which staff and residents receive vaccinations through a partnership with pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. According to the latest data, 288 facilities - or 47 percent - have completed the first dose for residents. Through state facilitation, 234 more facilities will administer the first dose this week. This will ensure that 85 percent of facilities have administered the first dose to residents by week's end, with the remaining 15 percent to be completed over the next two weeks.

Planning for Vaccination of General Public

As the state moves closer to the vaccination of the general public, a number of special efforts are now underway to ensure resources are in place to facilitate widespread vaccination, especially in underserved communities. First, the state will establish a number of pop-up vaccination centers to facilitate public vaccinations, similar to the state-run mobile testing centers which were established in the spring. The state is also identifying public facilities and convention centers to also be used as vaccination centers, and is recruiting retired nurses, doctors and pharmacists to support vaccine administrations.

A main focus of these efforts will also be focused on ensuring vaccine access in underserved communities and health care deserts. The state is already in the process of building Community Vaccination Kits to support these efforts and will work with public housing officials, churches and community centers to identify the most appropriate locations for kit deployments.

Each kit includes step-by-step instructions for how to set up a site, and critical supplies and equipment such as:

  • Office Supplies
  • Workstation Equipment
  • Communications Equipment
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Lighting Equipment
  • PPE
  • Crowd/Traffic Control Equipment
  • Vials
  • Syringes
  • Room Dividers
  • Privacy Curtains

Ensuring Accountability Within Vaccine Administration Process

The vaccine will only be effective if it is administered quickly and fairly across every corner of the state. To facilitate this, New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker issued a letter to vaccine providers in recent days outlining the expectations which have been placed on providers to ensure an expedited administration of the vaccine. This included:

  • Any provider must use the vaccine inventory currently in hand by the end of week or face a fine up to $100,000;
  • Moving forward, facilities must use all of its vaccine allotment within seven days of receipt;
  • Providers who do not comply or are found to be seriously deficient can be subject to more serious sanctions and fines, including being disqualified from future distribution

Additionally, with fraud being a real concern of any operation this size, the Governor is signing an Executive Order stating that if any entity falsifies who or what they are, or if any entity does not follow state guidelines on vaccine eligibility, that provider will be subject to license revocation. The Governor will also be proposing legislation to make these acts criminal moving forward.

Exciting Update from NYGFFNYK Coalition on Farm to School Action

NYSED and NYSDAM have finalized their guidance on the 30% program for the year ahead (click here to read full document), and they have determined that schools operating under SFSP can count their purchases towards the initiative next year! This is really positive, and provides a pathway forward to keep this program going.

For Immediate Release: 10/16/2020                               GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Eligibility Boosted for Up to Nearly 75,000 Community College Students
Elderly and Disabled New Yorkers Can Now Use New Simplified Application for Food Benefits

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced actions aimed at reducing food insecurity among community college students, older adults and disabled New Yorkers. These actions include expanding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility to up to nearly 75,000 low-income college students enrolled in career or technical education course work and shortening the SNAP application for those on fixed incomes in an effort to encourage greater enrollment among eligible older adults and disabled individuals.

"From the community college student seeking to advance their career to the senior living on a fixed income, food insecurity and hunger are a reality for a wide breadth of low-income New Yorkers and we have an obligation to help them during their time in need," Governor Cuomo said. "These measures will help a greater number of individuals and families access benefits that will prevent them from facing the dire reality of food insecurity."

Under Governor Cuomo's direction, the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance worked with the State University of New York and City University of New York to implement a new policy expanding SNAP eligibility to low-income college students engaged at least half-time in career and technical education courses. The expanded eligibility will help students avoid food insecurity while advancing their education.

Income-eligible students enrolled at least half-time in a career or technical education program offered at a SUNY, CUNY, comprehensive, technical, or community college will now be eligible for SNAP. Additionally, income-eligible individuals attending any of the 10 Educational Opportunity Centers in New York State and enrolled at least half-time in a career and technical education program, remedial courses, basic adult education, literacy, or English as a second language will be also be included in this new policy. Previously, these students did not qualify for SNAP assistance, unless they met certain criteria such as working at least 20 hours per week, or caring for a child, or were unable to work, among others.

This policy change adds another criteria that would allow certain college students and EOC participants to meet the student eligibility requirement for SNAP. Through SUNY and CUNY community colleges, technology campuses, EOCs, and Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking centers, nearly 75,000 students attend part time to take career and vocational courses. At SUNY, about 31,000 students are in those programs and may be eligible. At CUNY, about 42,000 students may be eligible.

Governor Cuomo also directed OTDA to seek permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer a simplified application for SNAP benefits in an effort to encourage greater enrollment among eligible elderly or disabled individuals. SNAP applicants on a fixed income or with limited financial resources can complete a single sheet application, front and back, which will greatly reduce the amount of time and effort required to apply or recertify for benefits.

Although New York is the national leader for the rate of SNAP participation among adults age 60, older, or disabled, this rate is still lower than the state's overall average. About 70 percent of eligible seniors and disabled individuals are enrolled to receive benefits, which is significantly lower than the statewide participation rate estimate of roughly 93 percent.

One leading reason proposed for this lower participation is the length and complexity of the application forms to apply for SNAP. The regular application includes nine pages of questions and information geared at determining a household's eligibility. Because many elderly and disabled individuals live on fixed incomes and generally experience far fewer household changes, much less information is required to verify their eligibility and calculate benefits.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State has made a strong commitment to fighting hunger and SNAP has been a key part of those efforts. The Governor has launched several groundbreaking initiatives to bring healthier foods to underserved communities, including expanding SNAP, eliminating unnecessary requirements and simplifying the application process, removing key barriers to reducing hunger for children and adults, while continuing efforts to maximize benefits for all those who are eligible.

In his 2018 State of the State address, the Governor announced a five-point plan to combat hunger for students in kindergarten through college. As part of that plan, the Governor tasked SUNY and CUNY with the establishment of physical food pantries on campus or stigma-free access to free food, which was completed that year.

At SUNY, in addition to the expansion of and access to food pantries, a task force helped establish and grow innovative intervention programs on campuses, including mobile food trucks, local farm crop sharing, a subsidized on campus grocery store, and programming that allows students to "pay" a campus parking ticket in food donations to an on-campus pantry.

The Healthy CUNY program employs a multifaceted approach to address food insecurity on CUNY campuses. To date, food pantries or food vouchers are available at 18 CUNY 2- and 4-year campuses.

Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Mike Hein said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we continue to help an increasing number of low-income individuals and families avoid the crushing feeling of food insecurity. These changes will help numerous college students and older New Yorkers qualify for SNAP, ensuring they can more easily afford healthy, nutritious food."

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said, "Food insecurity continues to be a significant struggle for far too many Americans, and New York State has been a leader in our approach to getting resources to those most in need—through food banks on every college campus or nearby, and through innovative programs like mobile food trucks, local farm crop sharing, and even gardens on campus. And today by expanding eligibility for SNAP benefits, we are telling students your course work is vitally important and we want you to stay on track to get the credentials you need. My thanks to Governor Cuomo for leading our state's efforts to provide food security, and to Commissioner Hein and CUNY Chancellor Rodríguez in this collaboration to get additional benefits to our students most in need."

CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for prioritizing the growing problem of food insecurity. We have long known the grave impact of this scarcity on student retention and success, and it is magnified in this time of pandemic. Thanks to this innovative and needed initiative, CUNY has been able to work with the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance to make students who are enrolled in career or technical education programs eligible to receive SNAP assistance, which we know to be an invaluable weapon in the battle against food insecurity. CUNY has always approached student hunger with a sense of urgency, and we are grateful to have partners who share our interest in connecting more students in need to life-altering resources."

Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "These important actions announced today by Governor Cuomo build upon previous success that will make it easier for older New Yorkers to receive much needed benefits to combat hunger and food insecurity. Food is medicine, and the one-page simplified SNAP application will help thousands of older adults access hundreds of dollars a month in benefits that will help them make ends meet and improve their health."


Please click here to read the final thank you letter submitted to the Governor from New York Grown Food for New York Kids - an initiative NYSAND continues to support

NYSAND Supports the New York State Farm Bureau

Please find the letter of support sent to the NYFB from NYSAND available here: NYS Assembly Hearing - The Impact of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity in New York State

New York State Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Receives Proclamations from NYS Governor!

Proclamation for National Nutrition Month

Proclamation for Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day

Academy Holds World's Largest Conference of Food and Nutrition Professionals October 26-29 in Philadelphia, PA

(August 21, 2019) CHICAGO - The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will bring its 2019 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa., October 26 to October 29. The world's largest conference of food and nutrition professionals will address the latest scientific information about nutrition and health for people of all ages.

Read the full release here...

Americans Still Eat Too Much Processed Meat and Too Little Fish

(June 21, 2019) PHILADELPHIA - A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published by Elsevier, found that the amount of processed meat consumed by Americans has remained unchanged in the past 18 years, nor has their intake of fish/shellfish increased. In addition, one quarter of US adults are still eating more unprocessed red meat than the recommended level, and less than 15 percent meet the guidelines for fish/shellfish consumption. On a positive note, Americans are eating less beef and more chicken than they did 18 years ago, and in fact, for the first time, consumption of poultry exceeds that of unprocessed red meat.

Read the full release here...

Raymond Becomes 2019-2020 Academy President

(May 29, 2019) CHICAGO - Registered dietitian nutritionist Terri J. Raymond will begin her one-year term on June 1 as the 2019-2020 President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Raymond, of Auburn, Wash., served as the Academy's president-elect during 2018-2019.

Read the full release here...

Academy Names 2019-2020 Board of Directors

(May 29, 2019) CHICAGO - Nineteen national leaders in nutrition, health and business will serve as the 2019-2020 Board of Directors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Representing more than 100,000 credentialed practitioners, the Academy is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Board is responsible for strategic planning, policy development and fiscal management for the Academy.

Members of the Academy's Board of Directors will serve from June 1 until May 31, 2020. They are...Click here to read more.

During National Nutrition Month®, Academy Encourages Everyone: Avoid Wasting Food

CHICAGO - The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers tips to help reduce food waste by planning your meals with the food you already have and storing leftovers safely. March is National Nutrition Month®, when the Academy reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthful eating.

Read the full release here...

New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Joins the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics During National Nutrition Month®

New York (March 1, 2019). The New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (NYSAND) is proud to join the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) during March in celebrating National Nutrition Month®.

Read the full release here.

During Kids Eat Right MonthTM, Academy Recommends Parents, Kids Team Up for Healthful Lunches

CHICAGO - Back to school means coming up with creative, nutritious ideas for your child's lunch that they will actually want to eat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends parents and children team up to pack a lunch they'll love.

Read the full release here

New Review: Medical Nutrition Therapy Provided by RDNs Can Help Slow the Progression of Chronic Kidney Disease

CHICAGO - According to a new review, approximately 30 million Americans - about 15 person of adults - have chronic kidney disease, a number that is expected to increase in the next 20 years due to rising obesity rates and longer lifespans, but the majority of chronic kidney disease patients aren't receiving potentially lifesaving treatment.

Read the full release here

Kids Eat Right MonthTM

August is Kids Eat Right MonthTM when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and its Foundation focus on the importance of healthful eating and active lifestyles for children and their families. Kids aren't both with healthy eating habits - they learn from their parents. With repetition and practice, healthy eating habits can become a way of life for the entire family!

Read the full release here 

American Farmland Trust

Statewide Coalition Applauds Historic Commitment in New York State Budget to Increasing Healthy Food Grown on New York Farms and Served in K-12 Schools.

New York Grown Food for New York Kids, a statewide coalition of school, farm, food, public health, anti-hunger and environmental organizations, applauds Governor Cuomo and the New York State Senate and Assembly for a historic commitment in the 2018-19 State Budget to bringing more healthy food grown in New York into K-12 schools.

Read the full release here

New York Grown Food for New York Kids

NYSAND signs on to letter to the Members of the Education Conference Committee as members of the New York Grown Food for New York Kids Coalition, a statewide coalition of school, food, farm, anti-hunger and environmental organizations, strongly supporting the "Locally Sourced School Meal Reimbursement," a $10 million appropriation included in the Executive proposal and the Senate and Assembly One House Budget Bills. This funding will offer critical resources to help K-12 schools purchase healthy foods grown in New York.

Click here to read the letter

NYSAND's Testimony on 2018 NYS Executive Budget Plan

In January, Governor Cuomo released his proposal for the 2018-2019 NYS Executive Budget. It contains several nutrition-related initiatives aimed at improving the health of New Yorkers. Recently, NYSAND submitted testimony to the Joint Fiscal Committee of the NYS Legislature to express our support for these initiatives. You can find this testimony here

NYSAND Memorandum of Support

NYSAND recognizes the important link between nutrition and agriculture. We actively support legislation that supports our mission.  Click the link below to read more:

Memorandum of Support to study and develop a long-term strategy for sustaining farming and food production in New York State.

STAND Member in Reader’s Digest

Southern Tier Academy’s Julie Lee is featured in Reader’s Digest for her delicious Egg Salad Avocado Toast recipe. Julie is a campus dietitian for Binghamton University Dining Services where she works with meal plan accommodations and menu development, provides nutrition education and outreach, and counsels individuals to address nutritional concerns and to foster a healthy relationship with food. Julie has been on the board for the Southern Tier Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2012 and currently serves as the treasurer. She is a 2015 recipient of the NYSAND Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award. You can follow Julie on Instagram @JulieLeeRD.

WNYDA Member Talks High Blood Pressure

Western New York Dietetic Association’s Dana Ingebretson provides helpful tips on managing blood pressure. Ingebretson is the Director of Nutrition Services for the Greater Buffalo United Accountable Healthcare Network.