2018 -2019 Funded Projects

Binghamton University Community Schools (BUCS)

Exploding in popularity around the world, community schools bring the resources of communities to bear in supporting children, youth, families, schools and neighborhoods to maximize learning outside as well as inside the classroom. This comprehensive approach to equitable school improvement helps break the intergenerational cycle of poverty by increasing the odds that youth will succeed in school and go on to lead productive lives.

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At the beginning of 2017, in response to the growing issue of food deserts in Broome County, CHOW® began renovations to turn the original CHOW® Bus into a mobile grocery store. Existing structures such as seating and partitions were removed from the bus leaving behind nothing but the driver’s seat. Once all racking and compartments were installed, refrigerators and freezers were added to give customers access to frozen meats and dairy products. Specialized racking was installed on the passenger side of the bus for a full sized produce section as well as compartments for backup inventory. Two rooftop heating and air-conditioning units were installed to allow for comfortable, year-round markets. The addition of a second staircase on the passenger side allows for a smooth flow of customers and safe entry and exit. A new paint job was then applied to the inside and outside of the bus to give it a friendly and upbeat look. Currently, CHOW® and its partners are only able to meet 60% of the food needs in Broome County. The CHOW Bus Mobile Grocery Store hopes to have an impact on the gap by providing access to an affordable grocery store to rural areas and urban food deserts. Chronic health issues such as diabetes and obesity will be addressed by the presence of healthier, nutrient-dense foods like fresh produce and other perishable items on the CHOW® Bus that corner stores often lack.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Nutrition Education and Cooking Classes

CCE nutrition programs are designed to educate participant’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors necessary to improve their overall health and nutritional well-being. Through these programs you will learn to balance calories, increase fruit and vegetable intake, and improve your overall diet. CCE also offers classes and workshops in canning, preserving, and food safety. Classes are on-going.

Visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension Site

Family Enrichment Network Second Step-Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program

Implements research-based social-emotional development training for childcare providers utilizing the Second Step Curriculum. The program teaches effective strategies to promote the social-emotional development of children to improve their outcomes for success.

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South Central NY Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program

Adults with very low food security are 53% more likely to have a chronic illness, and have 47% more emergency room visits and hospital admissions.

Through the South Central NY Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx), we’re working to prevent these and other impacts of high rates of food insecurity and diet-related disease by utilizing our region’s agricultural resources.

The FVRx program allows health care providers in the community to write prescriptions for fresh fruits and vegetables. Patients receive vouchers to spend at local farmers’ markets, farms stands, and other retail options – giving additional purchasing power to people who need it most. Participants receive support and education throughout the program, and can attend additional nutrition, cooking, gardening, and chronic disease self-management classes.

The program was launched as a pilot in 2017 with two primary care offices, and has expanded for 2018. This summer it will be offered in 12 primary care office across three counties, to reach at least 230 individuals and their families.

The FVRx program is made possible by funding from Care Compass Network and United Way of Broome County, and powered by Wholesome Wave.

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VINES Farm Share and Green Thumb Workshop Series

What is Farm Share? VINES Farm Share is a weekly subscription to a box of local veggies. You sign up ahead of time and pick up your share each week at the same time and location. We work with 4 local farms to help you eat veggies that are being harvested within 60 miles, which makes them super fresh! We offer different size shares and flexible payment plans. We proudly accept EBT/SNAP benefits. Each week we provide member education for our members so that you know what it is in your share and how to store and cook what you’re getting! Green Thumb Workshop Series The Green Thumb Workshop Series is an educational series for community members to learn about a variety of gardening and culinary topics through hands-on workshops and related activities. Each workshop is led by experienced professionals and educators including horticulture and nutrition experts from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, Binghamton University Faculty and VINES’ experienced staff. Events are hosted at accessible locations within the City of Binghamton and focus on affordability. VINES provides the resources and ease of startup so that gardeners of nearly any skill level can take away something new. All events hosted through the Green Thumb Workshop Series are free and open to the public. A donation of $5-10 is appreciated. To sign up for workshops please go to our events page!

Visit the VINES Site

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
United Way of Broome County
P.O. Box 550
Binghamton, NY 13902

Physical Address:
Lee Barta Community Center
108 Liberty Street
Binghamton, NY 13901

Hours of Operation

M-F | 8:30pm-4:30pm
Occasional Seasonal After-Hours Programming
(please call for hours during holidays and special circumstances)