For over 20 years Sue Segelman has helped to reduce hunger and bring needed federal SNAP dollars to Monroe County, through her work with the Nutrition Outreach and Education Program. Sue began her work in food security in 1991 as a Nutrition Outreach and Education Coordinator while employed by Foodlink. In 2008, Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY), formerly known as Monroe County Legal Assistance Center, became the subcontracted site of NOEP where Sue remained with NOEP to continue her work.
As a Nutrition Outreach and Education Coordinator, Sue organizes outreach campaigns to educate residents about the benefits of SNAP, Summer Food Service Program, and School Breakfast Programs. She pre-screens households to determine potential SNAP eligibility; assists clients in the SNAP application process; aids households already receiving SNAP to continue receiving the proper amount of SNAP benefits; identifies and eliminates potential barriers to participation in SNAP; and networks and collaborates with other human service professionals. Sue has a thorough understanding and expertise on eligibility and the application process for SNAP benefits and vast knowledge regarding other government benefits programs.
SNAP households are a diverse group. Recipients represent a broad cross-section of the community. Sue has assisted several thousand clients to obtain or maintain essential benefits. Many of her clients also have additional challenges such as limited English proficiency, mental health concerns or other disabilities. Nevertheless, Sue excels at doing so and is a well-known resource for the community and her colleagues. She is the model of efficiency in helping people and in maintaining a positive outlook throughout. Her advanced knowledge of SNAP makes her a most effective advocate for her clients. She is well-respected and trusted by both clients and community-based organizations. In addition, she has developed excellent working relationships with local social services staff and community-based organizations in Monroe County. In 2009, Sue received the “Excellence in Dedicated Service” award from Hunger Solutions New York “then as the Nutrition Consortium.” In 2004 she won the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County Community Partner Award, and in 2002 she was recognized as the YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County Employee of the Year where she served as the Nutrition Outreach Project Coordinator from 1998 to 2008.
Pat Viodini, Contract Manager at Hunger Solutions New York, has worked with Sue throughout her NOEP career. “It has been a pleasure to work with Sue over the years. I always appreciated her thoughtfulness, steady approach, diligence, compassion and determination to serve her community”. Sue’s clients indicate that she is extremely helpful, respectful, thorough, kind, supportive, non-judgmental, reliable, and knowledgeable. They referenced her positive demeanor and repeatedly commented on her ability to resolve an issue that they found to be a barrier.
“Sue was so very prompt and worked hard during my difficult situation. It was great having her assistance, she is a wonderful resource and had a very can-do attitude!” Said one family Sue assisted in getting SNAP benefits, “It is very comforting to feel respected when in need. She also informed me of other services I was not aware of. She gave me precise and clear information during a difficult time of change.”
We at Hunger Solutions New York, thank Sue for her tireless work to help New Yorkers in need get access to the federal nutrition programs that can help them. She is a hunger hero who will be missed. We wish her the best of luck on her retirement!