Youth participating in TILP engage in a food safety lesson available through EFNEP.

Youth participating in TILP engage in a food safety lesson available through EFNEP.

Nutrition Program Assists in Developing Life Skills for Teens, Young Adults

Sessions taught to Chautauqua Opportunities group create 

opportunity for on-campus experience at JCC.

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (September 20, 2021) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s EFNEP Program has teamed with Chautauqua Opportunities TILP program to help prepare at-risk teens and young adults to make healthy food choices and manage their food resources more effectively.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) has been in existence for more than 50 years. Its goal is to help families eat more healthfully while strategically managing their food dollars. This is done through a series of weekly sessions that are about an hour in length. Each meeting offers an opportunity to taste and learn to prepare a healthy recipe and try a new game or physical activity to increase movement and physical fitness.

The Transitional Independent Living Program (TILP) helps displaced youth between the ages of 16-21. Housed within the umbrella of services available through Chautauqua Opportunities, participants receive access to life skills groups and independent living skills services, safe living conditions, and a structured environment that promotes success. Self-sufficiency facilitation services are provided to all residents to assist with personal goal setting and achievement. Residents also participate in asset-based activities including community service and financial literacy. Aftercare support services are offered to all youth as they transition from the program.

“TILP provides a tremendous growth opportunity for youth to move into adulthood with more knowledge, skills, and thus confidence,” says Heather Gregory, Nutrition Educator with EFNEP. “Our Family Nutrition Education Series enhances the offerings already provided by Chautauqua Opportunities and has been received well by residents. I’ve graduated several participants from my program and have also been able to give them a taste of a college experience by holding a session on the JCC campus.”

“EFNEP has a very positive impact on the youth we serve,” adds Vito Randazzo, Youth Specialist for TILP. “The skills the youth are learning will benefit them as they transition to independent living.”

For more information on EFNEP, please call Heather Gregory at 716-664-9502 ext. 221 or e-mail For more information on TILP, please call 716-661-9446.

The EFNEP Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Last updated September 20, 2021