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SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program--Education)
By moniquegarcia on Tue, 08/20/2013 - 2:13pm
The SNAP-Ed program is a federal/state partnership supporting nutrition education for people eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—formerly known as Food Stamp Nutrition Education). In Arizona, the USDA-funded program is associated with the Arizona Nutrition Network (AzNN), which partners with the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. The program’s mission is to shape food consumption in a positive way, to promote health, and to reduce disease among all people living in Arizona. The number of people receiving food stamp benefits increased by 41.5 percent (121,219 people), from October 2008 to October 2009.
Description of Action:
Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, in partnership with local social service agencies, county health departments and other community organizations in the Arizona Nutrition Network taught a variety of programs to food stamp-eligible families throughout the state. The SNAP-ed program was implemented in eight Arizona counties using matching funds from county faculty and staff, in schools with more than 50 percent free and reduced lunches; with parks and recreation and YMCA partner staff operating in low income areas; and with senior centers and food banks. During 2009 all low income people eligible for food stamps were targeted for nutrition education. The theme for this year was “Champions for Change,” focusing on balancing caloric intake from foods and beverages with calories expended, eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables, including more whole grains and using low-fat milk products during meals, and increasing daily physical activity. Nutrition education delivery sites included 14 community centers, 5 emergency food assistance sites, 2 shelters, 1 elderly site, and 129 public schools. Local staff and volunteers distributed educational materials through classes, workshops, health fairs, after school programs, parents’ groups, community and wellness centers, food banks and other venues.
In 2009, Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and volunteers made the following numbers of direct education contacts with SNAP-Ed participants, by age: 5 years and under—48,318; 5-17 years (grades K-12)—265,682,513; 18-59 years—2,050,518; and ages 60 and older—268,431. Some participants were contacted once, while others, particularly school children, were contacted multiple times. The total number of individual contacts for all ages combined was 268,050,077, a considerable amount of reach for a state with a population of just over 6 million.