Food for Thought

Independent Perspective # 1665

Guest: Katie Cotter

Topic:  "Food for Thought" Book Giveaway Cart

Duration:  5:29

Published  September 28, 2021

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Katie Cotter, NY Connects Independent Living Specialist at Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR). And your host is yours truly Ernie Churchwell, welcome to the program, Katie.

Guest:  Oh, thank you so much for having me.

Host:  As one of our newest employees, we're delighted that you could be with us to share some thoughts, and you've been selected as the person to talk about an interesting new community outreach. But first, for people that might wonder, just what does an independent, excuse me, a NY Connects Independent Living Specialists do and who do you serve?

Guest:  So I serve anyone that's in the county of Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming, I find the resources for anything that they might need, if they are seeking SSI or SSD, any help with applications, they will call me, I can help them fill out applications, I can help them find Meals on Wheels programs, anything really that they're looking for, that they do need help finding in their communities. I am the go-to person.

Host:  Just wondering, am I thinking of something else or does NY Connects tend to have a particular emphasis on seniors as well as people with disabilities?

Guest:  Yes, we serve the senior community and the community of the disabled. Yes.

Host:  But your agency is expanding who it is serving because you now have Food for Thought. If you could tell the folks just what that is and what its purpose is it to do?

Guest:  So, our Food for Thought cart is our mobile library cart. So right now, we have it outside of our building. Um, let me see the address of our building. It's 319 West Main Street in Batavia. You can come and get books that we put out there, we have gently used and new books. And it's really for anyone to come take, it’s like a little library. And you can take any book that you want and can also leave books for other people. So usually it is it's outside unless the weather, you know, is bad, and then we're in our atrium.

Host:  And for people for whom 319 West Main Street doesn't ring a bell, I think is it isn't it also called the Crickler Executive business center or something like that?

Guest:  Yes, yes. It's also where the old Pepsi Center used to be.

Host:  It used to be something very recognizable in the Batavia community. And I believe that it was inspired by other community efforts of a similar nature?

Guest:  Yes, we have been seeing around the community, a lot of people putting up these, like pop up libraries. I mean, we, as a community, and a society has been so focused, especially during COVID with screens, you know, everything's on the TV, everything's on the phone, your iPads. And really, I mean, books are where we start and books can just bring out an imagination, help you with your mental health and bring you to places that you couldn't go. And it's all right there in your own mind. We also do have a service. And let me know if I'm wrong about this. I believe it's in Niagara, it's a radio station that reads the newspaper and books for anyone that is not able to read books.

Host:  Yes. Since I'm a little more familiar with that I’ll just mentioned, it's the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service for the blind, dyslexic, and print disabled. And it's both on special radios and available streaming online. But what we're coming to the end of the program, if people have questions, how can they reach you?

Guest:  Um, well, you can always give me a call. My phone number is 585-815-8501. And my extension is 418.

Host:  Terrific. Well, thank you so much for being with us. Katie.

Guest:  Thank you so much for having me. I enjoyed it.

Host:  You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today was Katie Cotter, NY Connects Independent Living Specialist at ILGR. Your host was yours truly Ernie Churchwell.