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SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education)
By moniquegarcia on Tue, 09/03/2013 - 12:00pm
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.
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 teach a variety of programs to food stamp-eligible families throughout the state. During 2011 all very low-income people eligible for food stamps were targeted for nutrition education. The number of people in Arizona receiving food stamp benefits in July 2011 was 470,060 households (558,985 adults and 524,466 children. The total coupon issuance was $136,793,311). The theme “Champions for Change” encouraged healthy eating by consuming at least half of daily starch foods as whole grains, eating more fruits and vegetables, using 1% or less fat milk, and increasing daily physical activity.
The SNAP-Ed program was implemented in 8 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 was delivered in 419 sites which included community centers, emergency food assistance sites, shelters, SNAP offices, public housing, Head Start, Parks and Recreation and 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 2011, Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, staff and volunteers made the following numbers of direct education contacts with SNAP-Ed participants by gender: 90,832 females and 95,148 males for a grand total of 185,980 for all ages combined. Thousands of educational brochures on various topics were distributed. For instance, food safety publications were distributed to 133,640 people in the SNAP-Ed program and at various health fairs.