Today’s news:

Weprin earmarks $600K

City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) earmarked more than $600,000 in discretionary funds from the city’s 2012 budget for nonprofits, mostly in eastern Queens.

The list of organizations receiving their share of the $610,321 ranges from youth athletics, such as the Auburndale Soccer Club and the Glen Oaks Little League, to volunteer ambulance corps in Glen Oaks, Jamaica Estates, Holliswood and South Bayside.

“I try to emphasize senior and youth programs and the local ambulance corps that help make the community a better place,” the councilman said. “In many cases, if not for the city money these organizations would have a hard time surviving.”

The largest beneficiary was Services Now for Adult Persons, or SNAP, which received two grants totaling $57,750.

“SNAP is a senior center that serves hundreds of seniors in the area. It has become an invaluable resource to seniors as so many centers have lost a lot of state funding,” Weprin said. “They literally live and die with this grant money.”

SNAP offers services to seniors in their homes and at its two full-service sites, at 80-45 Winchester Blvd. in Queens Village and One Cross Island Plaza in Rosedale, as well as at a satellite location at 227-02A Hillside Ave. in Bell Park.

“We offer transportation, which is critical in this part of Queens because there is hardly any public transportation,” said SNAP Associate Executive Director Marian Lewek. “A good part of the money is going to be used for vans to take people into the centers, or food shopping or to medical appointments at hospitals for dialysis and chemo radiation.”

Lewek said SNAP also provides more than 300 hot meals through five different routes throughout Community Board 13 for home-bound seniors who are deemed unable shop for food or prepare their own meals.

The organization also provides services to the caregivers of seniors, such as individual counseling and group support. Lewek said some funds can be used to provide financial assistance for items such as ramps for wheelchair access or adult diapers.

“We provide really as much as we can to help them be safe at home,” Lewek said.

Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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