WELLSVILLE — Cornell Cooperative Extension in Allegany County has been awarded $300,000 in federal funding to promote healthy diets and active lifestyles.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday announced a total of $12.9 million for 16 non-profit organizations to benefit households eligible to receive or that are receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Administered by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the five-year SNAP-Ed grants are aimed at helping low-income and working-class New Yorkers avoid obesity and chronic nutrition-related diseases, while improving their overall health outcomes.

“Eating healthy and exercising regularly are simple methods for decreasing the likelihood of serious and often life-altering health conditions,” Cuomo said. “This funding will help educate New Yorkers on the basic steps they can take toward healthier lifestyles, leading to thriving, vibrant communities in every corner of the Empire State.”

The programs funded through the grants are aimed at helping low income families and individuals increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low-fat dairy products in their diet, while avoiding unhealthy foods containing large amounts of added sugars, salt and saturated fat. Participants will also be encouraged to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviors.

Each program will provide either a nutrition education using evidence-based curriculum, outreach through mass communications or at public events, or a nutritionist with training experience to communicate healthy eating and obesity prevention. The goal is to improve food resource management and preparation skills among participants, while also increasing access to affordable and nutritious foods.

Jim Eckstrom is executive editor of the Olean Times Herald and Bradford Publishing Co. His email is jeckstrom@oleantimesherald.com.)