NORWICH – Earlier in March, the Chenango County chapter of the United Way announced its 2016 allocations in which the organization disbursed nearly $300,000 in funding to area nonprofits and community impact initiatives that have a substantial impact on thousands in greater Chenango.
The United Way administrators, along with its board review panel, were able to fund 16 individual direct impact programs that focus primarily on education, heath and income.
While several programs were funded for this year, in 2016 an increased emphasis was placed on the overall health of Chenango County residents.
Last year a report released from the New York State Department of Health indicated that Chenango County ranks No. 1 in New York in the percentage of residents considered obese — 38.9 percent — of New York's 62 counties.
“One of the most important initiatives that the United Way takes on is equal access to health living for all in the community, and that's a challenge when dealing with a largely impoverished demographic,” said Elizabeth Monaco, Director of the Chenango United Way (CUW). “There's certainly a direct correlation between people living in poverty and people suffering from heath crises, and the obesity index in our county is clearly indicative of that.”