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SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education)
By moniquegarcia on Tue, 08/27/2013 - 11:35am
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, 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. Nutrition messages have been integrated into food safety, obesity and disease prevention, physical activity, and gardening activities. 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. During 2010 all low income people eligible for food stamps were targeted for nutrition education. The theme for the year was “Champions for Change”-healthy eating, eating more fruits and vegetables, using 1% or less fat milk, and increasing daily physical activity. 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. Nutrition education delivery sites included 3 community centers, 2 emergency food assistance sites, 3 shelters, 1 SNAP office, 2 public housing, 1 Head Start, 4 Parks and Recreation and 185 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 2010, 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—13; 5-17 years (grades K-12)—97,948; 18-59 years—675; and ages 60 and older—288, for a grand total of 98,924 for all ages combined. Thousands of educational brochures on various topics were distributed. For instance, food safety publications were distributed to 171,101 people in the SNAP-Ed program and at various health fairs.