Refreshments at an upcoming Delaware County employee health fair will be donated by several local businesses, after a county commissioner refused to fund the snacks.

Refreshments at an upcoming Delaware County employee health fair will be donated by several local businesses, after a county commissioner refused to fund the snacks.

Thanks to donations from local Buehler's, Kroger and Tim Hortons stores, county employees who fast for the 12 hours prior to an Aug. 1 county health and safety fair will receive sustenance after submitting to blood screenings.

Fruit, punch, doughnuts and other offerings will be on hand for employees tested for health ailments such as high cholesterol and diabetes, as well as members of the public who may turn out to donate blood.

Such amenities were in question after commissioner Kris Jordan on July 14 voted against spending $175 to provide them at the county's annual employee health and safety fair. Although commissioner Glenn Evans supported the appropriation, the request from the county's human resource department failed because commissioner Jim Ward was absent from the meeting and unable to cast a decisive vote.

On Thursday, the commissioners agreed to revisit the issue.

Evans and Ward approved using drinks and snacks donated from local businesses for the fair, and authorized additional purchases with county money if supplies run out.

Jordan, a diabetic who in the past two years frequently has voted against spending county money for refreshments at county conferences and meetings, maintained his opposition.

"I'm trying to be consistent with all my votes," Jordan said. "I've voted against food expenditures for a couple years.

"I don't think it improves the quality of government by buying cookies and juice."

The county has held an employee health and safety fair for the past nine years in an attempt to alert its workers to potential health risks, and reduce county health-care costs. As part of the fair, Grady Memorial Hospital conducts blood work on participants, who are asked to fast for up to 12 hours to yield more accurate test results.

According to county human resource director Lisa Iannotta, 200 to 300 employees annually participate in the fair. More people are expected this year, she said, because the county will allow members of the public to donate blood to help address needs of the Delaware County Red Cross.

"I think it's kind of making a mountain out of a molehill," Ward said, referring to media attention to the issue. "It probably should have been passed. We've passed it every year."

The county received donations valued at about $120 after Jordan and the human resource department solicited them from local businesses. The commissioners didn't accept offers of financial donations from Delaware County Sheriff Walter Davis and Phil Kabealo, who often have clashed with the commissioners on policy decisions.

"I think they should give to charities like the Red Cross, since they've offered that," Jordan said.

Jordan added that 50 or fewer employees typically submit to blood screenings during the annual fair. He said the county shouldn't spend $175 for so few people, especially when it could find food and drink donations.

"It just seems excessive," he said. "The point I was trying to make was that we could get donations."

Local health officials didn't address the commissioners' action, but said an individual's blood sugar can become low when fasting for blood screenings.

"You want your blood sugar when you're fasting to be between 90 and 100," said Nancy Shapiro, assistant health commissioner at the Delaware General Health District. "If your blood sugar gets too low, you can get dizzy or pass out.

"If someone has health issues like undiagnosed diabetes ... you might have more of an issue. I know if I give blood or have testing done, the first thing I do afterwards is go get something to eat."