State Spotlights

Read about SNAP-Ed programs making a difference

State Spotlights On This Page

If you would like to have your program featured on this page and in our e-Bulletin, please email us.

get the latest state spotlights delivered to your inbox button

Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Logo The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement

This article was submitted by Heidi Kessler, Executive Director, Smarter Lunchrooms National Office

The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement conducts research in thousands of schools across the country in order to identify the best ways to nudge students to select and consume the healthiest food in the lunchroom. The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement brings this evidence into school lunchrooms with trainings, materials, and expert advice. The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement is an approved and effective way to meet several policy, systems, and environmental change (PSE) intervention goals for SNAP-ED. The Smarter Lunchrooms National Office offers a certified Smarter Lunchrooms Technical Assistance Provider program that can prepare and empower SNAP-ED staff to provide training and technical assistance to target schools. The Smarter Lunchrooms National Office is releasing a new look and feel, website, trainings, materials, and scorecard in January 2017. Here is a sneak peek at the new logo:
Smarter Lunchrooms Movement Logo


The Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs

What year(s) was this program in place?

How many people participate in this program?
30,000 schools

Who is the target audience?
K-12 school nutrition environments

Program Evaluation:
The Smarter Lunchrooms Movement uses the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard as the premier tool to measure implementation of research based strategies in the lunchroom. Success in a school is easily demonstrated by before and after scorecard results and before and after photos. Additional successes can be identified using production records, sales records, and by collecting plate waste. A new and improved 60 point Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard will be released nationally this month!

Relevant Outcomes:
Smarter Lunchrooms strategies are grounded in research conducted at the consumer level. Strategies are backed by research in behavioral economics, psychology, and marketing. Implementing Smarter Lunchrooms strategies can result in an 18% increase in fruit consumption and a 25% increase in vegetable consumption.

For further information contact Heidi Kessler, Executive Director, Smarter Lunchrooms National Office. All logos are used with permission.

Pick It! Try It! Like It! Logo Pick It! Try It! Like It!

This article was submitted by the South Dakota State University Extension

Download materials from Pick It! Try It! Like It! (PTL) on 45 locally grown fruits/veggies including fact sheets, recipe cards, sampling demonstration instructions, videos on recipe preparation, and supplemental interactive whiteboard files for classrooms.

Type of Program
Educational resources on local fruits/vegetables

Years of Implementation

Number of Participants
Partnerships in 2015 were 12 grocery stores associated with school projects, all county WIC and SNAP offices, 4 community food policy councils. Total reach is indirect and unknown.

Target Audience
Food shoppers, cooks, gardeners

Program Evaluation
Interviews of shoppers and grocery/farmers market vendors, narrative feedback from community partners, number of web-page downloads and requests for print materials.

Statistics and Program Impact
65% of shoppers tasting food samples in store replied “Yes, I eat this (name of fruit or vegetable) often”. Over 70% of those who tasted the PTL recipe replied “Yes, I would use this recipe”. Shoppers thank demonstrators for the chance to sample a new recipe before going to the expense of buying ingredients.

Interviews of grocers/farmers market managers reported they would continue to use PTL materials. 10 of 24 managers felt the cards increased sales and that recipes and information were valuable in catching customer’s attention leading them to the produce.

For further information please contact Karlys Wells or 605-688-4039. All logos are used with permission.

PE-Nut Logo Physical Education and Nutrition Education Working Together (PE-Nut)

This article was submitted by the Michigan Fitness Foundation

PE-Nut is a multi-level intervention that teaches nutrition concepts and promotes physical activity. It offers students opportunities to apply what they learn by engaging in taste testings and various physical activities; creating a school environment that supports healthy behaviors; initiating classroom and school policy changes; and sending messages into the home.

Type of Program
Practice-tested school based nutrition education and physical activity promotion program

Years of Implementation

Number of Participants
Approximately 55,000 students in Michigan and their families

Target Audience
Elementary school students and their families

Program Evaluation
The PE-Nut Compendium of Tools™ is the evaluation toolkit used for PE-Nut™. In addition to this Compendium, BMI data has been collected.

Statistics and Program Impact
Overweight/obese students at PE-Nut schools improved their overall BMI by 2.9 percentiles from 2008-2012.

Normal weight students were able to maintain their BMI-z score, and for the overweight/obese weight group students experienced a small decrease in their BMI-z score compared to students who did not participate in PE-Nut.
Data collected from 1,836 students, using That’s Me: My Choices, in 2011-12 indicated student behaviors improved for:

- hand washing (pre=62%, post=76%)
- eating a variety of foods (37% to 61%)
- trying new foods (30% to 51%)
- eating healthy foods (35% to 66%)
-asking parents to buy healthy foods (25% to 50%).

In addition, Parents (n=1,207) reported their children were eating more fruit (27%) and vegetables (39%) compared to before receiving PE-Nut.

For further information please contact Mary Grill. All logos are used with permission.

Pennsylvania Nutrition TRACKS program logo 4th Grade Vegetable Core

This article was submitted by the Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Tracks

Developed to address low vegetable intake levels seen in statewide needs assessment data, the Fourth Grade Vegetable Core intervention includes four lessons with food-tastings, activities, and messaging focused on improving mediators of behavior change (attitude, self-efficacy, preference, and knowledge). Lessons from existing materials were compiled and repurposed to create a standardized, classroom-based series to be delivered over a three to five week time period by local partner agencies. Lessons aligned with State academic standards.

Type of Program
Classroom based intervention for school students

Years of Implementation
Impact evaluation conducted Fall 2008 and Fall 2009. The curriculum has been on our approved education materials list FY09-current (FY16).

Number of Participants
Approximately 11,125 students participated in this intervention from School Year 2008/2009 through School Year 2014/2015.

Target Audience
The intervention was designed for fourth grade students in SNAP-Ed eligible schools.

Program Evaluation
An impact study (1) was conducted with a sample of more than 1,900 fourth grade students participating in PA SNAP-Ed in Fall 2008 and Fall 2009 with classrooms randomized into control (68 classrooms) or intervention (72 classrooms) groups. Local partners selected one classroom of fourth grade students from each school.

An evaluation tool, tested for reliability and validity and comprised of two attitude items, two self-efficacy items, a 10-item food preference scale, and five knowledge questions, was administered as a pre-test and post- test.

Food preference, attitude, and self-efficacy items developed for SNAP-Ed intervention (Cooking with Kids) in New Mexico were used with permission and modified to align with lesson content. Knowledge items were created to assess key messages from the lessons.

The evaluation tool was administered at start of the first lesson for intervention classrooms; an identical post-test was administered at end of the fourth lesson. Control classrooms completed the survey at two time points with no intervening vegetable-related SNAP-Ed intervention.

1) Wall DE, Least C, Gromis J, Lohse B: Nutrition education intervention improves vegetable-related attitude, self-efficacy, preference, and knowledge of fourth-grade students. J Sch Health; 2012 Jan;82(1):37-43.

Statistics and Program Impact
Each survey (attitude, self-efficacy, preference, knowledge) was examined separately. Pre-post score change was significantly different (p<0.001) between control and intervention groups for all surveys. The intervention resulted in a significant improvement in attitude, self-efficacy, preference and knowledge scores (p<0.001).

For further information please contact Denise E. Wall, MPH, RD TRACKS Assistant Project Director. All logos are used with permission.

Durham's Innovative Nutrition Education DINE Logo DINE (Durham’s Innovative Nutrition Education)

This article is a modified version submitted by the Durham County Department of Public Health

In schools, DINE is a curriculum series that includes lessons, activities, healthy food tastings, and cooking demonstrations/classes. Nutritionists encourage Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE)s and collaborate with school gardens. DINE in the Community includes workshops, cooking demonstrations, and grocery store tours for adults and annual media campaigns. Technical assistance is provided to food vendors to increase inventory, affordability, and sales of nutritious food. A quarterly newsletter is sent to all SNAP households, and DINE in Childcare offers technical assistance to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments in targeted childcare facilities. Direct education is also provided. Visit for more information.

Type of Program
Nutrition education and PSE change

Years of Implementation

Number of Participants
5705 unduplicated workshop participants; 103,384 duplicated contacts through media and events

Target Audience
Durham County SNAP participants

Program Evaluation

  • Workshops/classes are evaluated with surveys of participants, parents and/or staff.
  • Newsletters are evaluated with survey cards and telephone follow-up.
  • Store components are evaluated through shopper feedback and/or sales data.

Statistics and Program Impact

  • Student pre/post-screens showed knowledge increases in every area screened. Students were screened on topics such as milk consumption (type of milk consumed), healthy breakfasts, identifying a healthy rainbow of fruits and veggies, healthy snacks, whole grains (grades 2 and above), food safety, food groups and MyPlate, and food labels (grades 4 & 5).
  • Parents reported multiple improvements; example: 75% of parents noticed children more willing to eat nutritious foods after DINE
  • Over 300 customers began shopping with SNAP at Durham Farmers’ Market.
  • From the parent of a DINE cooking class student: "The cooking skills my kids have learned are obvious. The math skills are, to me, more impressive. My kids know measurement and conversions because they have done it, rather than just rote learning it."
  • From the parent of a DINE traditional class student: "It is hands on so [it] reinforces the information being given. For many children, this would be their only instruction on healthy eating. Providing this consistently through schooling will hopefully have an impact later in their lives."

For further information please contact Barbara Rumer or phone: 919-560-7789. All logos are used with permission.

Drawing of two kids in chef's attire Kid CHEF

This article is a modified version of text submitted by the Food Bank of Delaware.

Kid CHEF (Cooking Healthy, Easy Food) is a skills- and knowledge-building program that focuses on teaching children about healthy eating and how to prepare nutritious, easy foods on their own. The Kid CHEF module includes a series of five interactive sessions highlighting the key food groups in the USDA's MyPlate for Kids: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and protein. Each session is 60 minutes and will include child-centered discussions about each individual food group. In addition to nutrition education, during each session children prepare a simple recipe using food(s) from the targeted food group that day. Children also receive a chef hat, apron, oven mitt, and five kitchen utensils to keep and use to reinforce lessons learned. Kid CHEF is taught by the Community Nutrition Educators and Registered Dietitian staff at the Food Bank of Delaware. Parents receive a packet of the nutrition information their children learned as well as tips on cooking safely with children and how to be a healthy eating role model from the Choose MyPlate 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series. The Kid CHEF program appeared on Mrs. Obama’s Let’s Move! Web site.

Type of Program
Nutrition Education/Culinary

Years of Implementation

Number of Participants

Target Audience
8 – 12 year old SNAP-Eligible children

Program Evaluation
Pre- and post-surveys targeting behavior changes are administered at the beginning and end of the five session program. Surveys utilize a Likert scale.

Statistics and Program Impact
Fiscal year 2014-2015: 37 programs reaching 316 children were completed. Average response for positive behavior changed from “rarely” to “sometimes” between pre- and post-survey responses.

“Angela comes home every day and shares what she learned in the class. She is looking forward to the end of the week so she can bring home her chef tools and prepare a recipe for us”, said her grandfather. After taking these classes, Angela one day hopes she can be a chef so she can “feed a lot of people”.

Seantana made the healthy [vegetable stir fry] fried rice for her family. “It turned out great…they liked it because I made it myself!”.

For further information please contact Leah Brown MS, RDN, LDN, Community Nutritionist or Anna McDermott. All logos are used with permission.

eat fresh logo

This article was written and submitted by Leah's Pantry & San Francisco County Human Services Agency. is a USDA-approved recipe and healthy living website available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. It features 400+ culturally-competent, low cost recipes; food discovery pages; healthy messaging pages; Ask a Dietitian; and county resources.

Type of Program
Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) intervention

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
There have been 65,464 unique visitors since launch on 9/30/2013. Eighty percent (53,894) of those visitors are from California.

Target Audience
CalFresh eligible and enrolled individuals and families

Program Evaluation
An impact evaluation on knowledge, attitude, and behavior (KAB) change was conducted from 11/2013-10/2014. No dose-response relationship was found but it did show significant differences in KAB between users and nonusers.

Statistics and Program Impact
71% of users who are enrolled in CalFresh or another means-tested program have not attended in-person nutrition education classes. This suggests that is reaching people who would not have access to SNAP-Ed programming otherwise. has been integrated into county offices, community-based organizations, food banks, and other agencies across California as a way to support clients in making healthy choices outside of in-person programming.

For further information please contact Jessica Silldorff, Sr. Program Coordinator -, Leah's Pantry. All logos are used with permission.

Virginia Family Nutrition Program Virginia Family Nutrition Program

Virginia Family Nutrition Program

This article was written and submitted by the Virginia Family Nutrition Program.

The Virginia Family Nutrition Program is a comprehensive nutrition education program offered in a variety of settings to both youth and adult audiences. It has resulted in significant dietary behavior change as well as positive nutrition messages. Materials are distributed in short-term educational activities with a reinforcement of messages using social media.

Type of Program
Nutrition Education

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
113,789 direct contacts in FY2014

Target Audience
Youth and Adult SNAP recipients and other low income individuals

Program Evaluation
In FY2014, 3087 adults completed the assessment tool at pre and post educational intervention. Several key findings were as follows:

  • 89% of participants showed improvement in one or more food resource management practices (i.e. plans meals, compares prices, does not run out of food or uses grocery lists).
  • 92% of participants showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices (i.e. makes healthy food choices, prepares foods without adding salt, reads nutrition labels, and has children eat breakfast).
  • 73% of participants showed improvement in one or more food safety practices (i.e. thawing and storing foods properly).

For further information please contact Elena Serrano, Interim Director or Judy Midkiff, Project Associate, Operations and Evaluation. All logos are used with permission.

The Food Security Project of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program (renamed the Food Access and Availability Project of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program)

This article was written and submitted by Sarah Misyak.

The Food Security Project takes a multifaceted approach to improving local food access for low-income individuals and families in Virginia. While the program includes a direct education approach, environmental initiatives are an important aspect of the program. Key initiatives include the development of a short farmers market orientation lesson for SNAP-Ed clients, the creation of a tool-kit to assist farmers market managers in launching, managing, marketing and evaluating Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) programs for the acceptance of SNAP benefits at their market, and training volunteers to increase community capacity.

Type of Program
A systems-level approach to improving food security in Virginia

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
2300 contacts over the past program year

Target Audience
Mothers of young children and change agents, or individuals and groups that drive change in a community. Farmers market managers are the main change agents considered in this initiative due to their ability to increase access to fresh, local foods for low-income individuals and families.

Program Evaluation

  • Formative: Surveys of our program assistants, focus groups with target population, guided shopping trips with target population, statewide survey of farmers market managers and local food organizations
  • Process: monitoring where and how often the lesson is being taught, number of partnerships with farmers market managers and other local food organization across the state, volunteer recruitment
  • Outcome: In the future: pre and post monitoring food security status and fruit and vegetable intake in target population receiving orientation compared to those who are not, volunteer contacts and activities, monitoring in-state and interstate partnerships on food security initiatives

Statistics and Program Impact
The program made 2300 contacts over the past program year (2013-2014) in 23 farmers markets across Virginia. In 2014, 48% of adult comprehensive participants improved their food security status.

For further information please contact Meredith Ledlie Johnson or Sarah Misyak. All logos are used with permission.

Youth Understanding MyPlate Youth Understanding MyPlate

This article was written and submitted by Youth Understanding MyPlate.

Youth Understanding MyPlate (YUM) is a six lesson curriculum designed to teach children the messages of MyPlate through experiential activities that encourage healthy eating choices. Each lesson contains learning and physical activities, worksheets, a recommended children’s book, and a healthy snack that reflects the content of the lessons. These lessons are designed to be taught in a classroom and incorporate applicable Florida Standards.

Type of Program
School-based Nutrition Education

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
Over 3,500 youth in grades 1-2 have completed all six YUM lessons and the pre/post evaluation in the past two academic years.

Target Audience
First and second graders

Program Evaluation
Knowledge of first and second graders was evaluated as an outcome upon completion of the YUM curriculum. The curriculum was implemented as six 30-minute lessons over a minimum of six weeks (one lesson per week). The same multiple-choice, 12-item survey was used at pre-test and post-test to assess nutrition knowledge related to MyPlate, foods with key nutrients, and the benefit of nutrient-rich foods/nutrients. Example items were “How many sections should be on your plate?” and “Which food has lots of calcium?”

Each adult participant completes a retrospective survey after each lesson. The data collected in this survey measures participants' intention to change their nutrition-related behaviors based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 5,000 adults completed this survey in 2014.

Evaluation data indicate the following:

For FY14, there was an 11% improvement in scores from pre-test to post-test for both first and second graders. For youth in first grade, post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores (7.0±1.4 versus 5.6±1.9, p=.041). Similarly, youth in second grade had higher post-test versus pre-test scores (8.5±2.4 versus 6.7±1.9, p<.001). A total of 68% of students increased knowledge.

For FY13, there was a 17% and 21% improvement in scores from pre-test to post-test for first and second graders, respectively. For youth in first grade, post-test scores were significantly higher than pre-test scores (8.0±2.3 versus 6.1±1.8, p<.001). Similarly, youth in second grade had higher post-test versus pre-test scores (8.1±2.1 versus 5.6±1.6, p=.001).

For further information please contact Karla P. Shelnutt, PhD, RD. All logos are used with permission.

Food $ense of Utah Food $ense

This article was written and submitted by Food $ense of Utah.

Food $ense provides nutrition education to low income adults and youth across the state of Utah. Food $ense reaches participants in all 29 counties across the state. Education classes include nutrition information, cooking demonstrations, and recipe testing. Online classes include nutrition information and cooking demonstration videos.

Adult education is based on the Creates Curriculum, which was developed by a registered dietitian at Utah State University. Nutrition educators use numerous youth curricula including Create MyPlate, Food $ense Kids, and Veggie Vibes, all developed by Utah State University faculty. The youth program also uses Serving Up MyPlate developed by the USDA.

Type of Program
Group nutrition education and cooking demonstration classes for adults and youth

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
Approximately 5,000 adults (unduplicated) and 20,000 youth (duplicated) were educated through Food $ense in 2014

Target Audience
Food $ense targets adults and youth who are SNAP participants or eligible for SNAP

Program Evaluation
The Food $ense program is evaluated in numerous ways to ensure program goals and objectives are being met and to ensure the Creates Curriculum is effective for the Food $ense target population.

Each adult participant completes a retrospective survey after each lesson. The data collected in this survey measures participants' intention to change their nutrition-related behaviors based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 5,000 adults completed this survey in 2014.

Food $ense collects follow-up data on adult participants 6 months after they participate in a Food $ense lesson. Participants are asked questions about the changes in nutrition-related behaviors that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate. Nearly 250 participants completed the follow-up survey, either online or over the phone with a Food $ense intern.

Food $ense started using a parent Create MyPlate Survey tool to determine nutrition-related behavior change in children after participating in a series of youth Food $ense classes. The parent surveys are sent home with children for the parents to complete at the end of the Food $ense series.

Recently, the Food $ense program conducted qualitative interviews with 14 Food $ense participants who had completed a series of 8 classes with the program. Participants were asked questions about the Creates Curriculum, what they learned in the classes, nutrition-related behavior change as a result of the education, and changes in diet. The results of these interviews provided insight into the experiences of Food $ense participants.

For further information please contact Heidi Leblanc, 8749 Old Main Hill, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3923. All logos are used with permission.

Nutrition Education for Wellness Program Nutrition Education for Wellness Program

This article was written and submitted by the Nutrition Education for Wellness (NEW) Program.

The NEW Program is a statewide "umbrella program" that joins together five Extension faculty from the four island counties of Hawaii. As a team, they coordinate 31 projects that promote healthy eating and physical activity, encourage safe food handling practices and support the access of limited-income households to healthy eating. All of the projects benefit from this umbrella team approach and being able to coordinate projects collaboratively.

A significant part of the NEW Program is the alignment of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance - Education Program (SNAP-Ed).

NEW Program projects include: Hawaii Child Care Nutrition Program, Engaged Instruction, Lifeskills in Food Education (EFNEP and SNAP-Ed), Cultural Competence, Food and Nutrition Education for Older Adults, Food Bank and Pantries, Grocery Store Tour, Hawaii Foods for Wellness, Germ City, Healthy Meetings for Wellness, Grow Your Own, MyPlate and NEW Web-Based Gallery. Web project resources include: Diabetes Detection and Prevention, Food and Money Basics: Choices and Decisions, Fruits & Veggies More Matters, Food: It All Starts with Agriculture!, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Food: Just Grow It!, Food Safety, Produce An Athlete, Produce A Plate and Food Skills Cookbook.

For more information, visit Nutrition Education for Wellness Program.

Type of Program
Nutrition education

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
For FY 2013, NEW Program had direct contact with 6,473 adults and 5,564 youth. It offered 78 workshops with 11,805 total participants.

Target Audience
Target audiences vary from project to project. EFNEP and SNAP-Ed target limited-income audiences.

Program Evaluation
Program evaluation varies from project to project according to project guidelines. EFNEP and SNAP-Ed are evaluated in compliance with national programs' guidance and both participate in the online WebNEERS data system.

Statistics and Program Impact
For FY 2013, the limited income programs' reported outcomes include: 81% reported improvement in one or more food resource management practices, 82% reported improvement in one or more nutrition practices, 67% reported improvement in one or more food safety practices and 27% reported positive change in physical activity.

For further information please contact Naomi Kanehiro, Extension Educator Coordinator of the collective NEW Program Plan of Work; Director of Lifeskills in Food Education, an alignment of EFNEP and SNAP-Ed. All logos are used with permission.

The Learning Kitchen The Learning Kitchen

This article was written and submitted by Hunger Free Vermont.

In a series of six lessons, participants learn about balancing and planning healthy meals, stretching food dollars to maximize nutrition, shopping strategies, and cooking techniques. An example lesson includes “Produce and Protein,” with a goal to encourage participants to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and healthy protein options into their diet. Classes are taught by community chefs and nutrition experts who volunteer to be trained to lead a series. There are three curricula: youth, young adult, and adult. Though similar in nutrition education content, the young adult and adult curricula include a grocery store trip, and the adult curriculum focuses attention on family feeding skills and child feeding issues. For newsletters, sample recipes, and eligibility information, visit The Learning Kitchen from Hunger Free Vermont.

Type of Program
Hands-on cooking and nutrition education

Years of Program Implementation

Number of Participants
Hunger Free Vermont hosts 40-50 series per fiscal year. On average, 11 participants take part in each series; therefore, 440-550 people participate in The Learning Kitchen yearly. Since 1999 over 7,400 Vermonters have benefited from the program.

Target Audience
The USDA Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program is intended to serve SNAP participants and low- income individuals eligible to receive SNAP benefits or other means-tested federal assistance programs. In Vermont, SNAP is referred to as “3SquaresVT.” Our target audience extends to anyone whose income is at or below 185% of poverty level. It is important to note that more than half of all participants in each series must be part of this target audience.

Program Evaluation
The program is evaluated in several ways to help measure the overarching goal of behavior change, based on the Social Cognitive Theory of behavior change. Evaluation is critical to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum.

There is a 16 question pre/post evaluation survey that is administered on the first and last class to measure changes in dietary behavior of the participants. This evaluation is based on the Food Behavior Checklist, a tested evaluation tool that has been found reliable and valid with low-income audiences, both child and adult.* Hunger Free Vermont analyzes the surveys after the first class and sends the series host a report. These are also used to evaluate the whole program based on aggregated results at the conclusion of each fiscal year.

A weekly check-in data sheet is provided to all Learning Kitchen series and is conducted at the beginning of lessons during group conversation. It is designed to collect information about participants’ behaviors between classes with regard to making the recipes at home and completing the take-home challenges. There is a subjective evaluation that is administered at the final class to solicit comments and feedback.

Hunger Free Vermont has also developed and utilized an evaluation tool for use during on-site visits, which are done as needed to review compliance with SNAP-Ed requirements and to measure program fidelity across different series.

Statistics and Program Impact

      Youth Series
      The number of participants who reported that they
          • prepare meals and snacks for their families either “often” or “every day,” increased from 22% to 41%, between program entry and exit;
          • eat 1.5 cups or more of vegetables each day, increased from 28% to 55%, between program entry and exit;
          • “always” eat whole grain bread when they eat bread, increased from 23% to 33% between program entry and exit.

      Adult Series
      The number of participants who reported that they

          • eat more than one kind of fruit each day either “often” or “every day,” increased from 17% to 57% between program entry and exit;
          • use the Nutrition Facts Label when choosing which foods to eat either “often” or “every day,” increased from 17% to 53% between program entry and exit.

For further information please contact Katy Davis, Hunger Free Vermont. All logos are used with permission.

*(2010). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 42, (5).

Michigan Fitness Foundation Logo Michigan Fitness Foundation "They learn from watching you..."

This article was written and submitted by the Michigan Fitness Foundation.

The Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF) has conducted the "They learn from watching you..." social marketing campaign since 2006 to expand and enhance on-the-ground SNAP-Ed. The campaign targets low-income families using USDA core nutrition messages -- featuring tools and resources that support fruit and vegetable consumption and daily physical activity.

Campaign Impact
In 2012, those who saw MFF social marketing were significantly more likely than respondents who did not see the social marketing to report readiness to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity (per the Stages of Change Model).

Multi-level Components
In 2013, MFF added new, multi-level components to the "They learn from watching you..." social marketing campaign. These include:

      • School-based nutrition education and taste tests
        Education and taste tests were conducted in 148 USDA Michigan Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program schools. This component included curriculum tie-ins for teachers, physical activity suggestions, and a parent take home newsletter, exposing 80,000 students and parents to different fruits and vegetables each month.

      • Michigan Harvest of the Month grocery store promotion
        Nine stores showcased preparation, taste, and benefits of the same fruits and vegetable promoted in schools. Twenty-seven percent of shoppers surveyed bought vegetables that they had not previously intended to purchase. Fifty percent remembered the demonstration. Store directors/managers stated that their customers responded positively to the promotions.

      • Billboards and bus wraps
        Billboards and bus wraps had the following messages: They learn from watching you: Eat more fruits and veggies and they will too and They learn from watching you: Be active and your kids will too. The messages were displayed from May-August, 2013 in 12 Michigan counties with the highest SNAP participation.

      • Private-sector partnership
        The Lansing Lugnuts, a minor-league baseball team, produced a video public service announcement (PSA) using the same core messaging. The PSA features Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor and his family, and will be played at every 2014 Lugnuts home game, achieving an additional estimated 330,000 eyes-on impressions, at no additional cost.

For further information please contact Marci Scott, PhD, RDN, Michigan Fitness Foundation. All logos are used with permission.

Iowa Nutrition Network School Grant Program

This article was written and submitted by Doris Montgomery, on behalf of the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The Iowa Nutrition Network School Grant Program is designed to improve fruit and vegetable and low-fat dairy consumption among elementary school children in schools with at least 50 percent participation in free- and reduced-price lunch. The program delivers classroom-based nutrition and physical activity education supported by social marketing strategies.

Monthly lessons encourage students to choose fruits and vegetables for snacks. Lessons feature fruits and veggies that students taste with their peers. Fruit and vegetable lessons are available for nutrition educators and classroom teachers. The milk lessons are taught at least twice each year.

There are two school-based campaigns that are part of the School Grant Program. The Pick a better snack™ campaign materials reinforce classroom lessons and trigger action by students and their families. Featured fruits and vegetables are incorporated into family Bingo cards and newsletters that go home with students monthly. Schools use the campaign to promote lunch menu items and to support USDA’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

Classroom lessons incorporate physical activity demonstrations and messages about active play. Play Your Way. One Hour a Day. is a companion campaign to Pick a better snack™.

One campaign is designed exclusively for mothers. Their bodies change, so should their milk. encourages mothers to make the switch to low-fat milk for children age two and over. This campaign does not appear in schools.

The channels of communication (beyond schools) for the social marketing campaigns include; supermarket signage and demonstrations, billboards and bus shelter signage in SNAP-Ed-qualified locations, television and radio ads, and materials at organizations such as WIC and YMCAs.

The Network’s school-based program was included in USDA’s Wave II SNAP Education and Evaluation Study. The program had a significant, positive impact on several primary outcomes compared with the comparison group. Significant changes include reported intake of fruits and vegetables and the likelihood of using 1 percent or skim milk rather than whole milk. View the final report from USDA.

For more information, contact Doris Montgomery, Iowa Department of Public Health

Logo for University of Wyoming Extension Centsible Nutrition Program Cent$ible Nutrition Program

This article was written and submitted by Dietetic Intern Katlyn Thomas, on behalf of the University of Wyoming Extension.

Many people in the general population claim that “eating healthy is too expensive.” While fresh fruits and vegetables may seem expensive, if done right, they can fit into any budget along with other nutritious foods such as whole grains and low-fat or no-fat milk. Budgets and eating healthy seem like daunting tasks, but the Cent$ible Nutrition Program of Wyoming (CNP) is there to help! CNP of Wyoming is open to individuals, families and youth who benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in each of the State’s 23 counties.

This is a program that is built to educate through a series of classes about eating healthy on a budget. Classes include practical education through cooking, food safety, nutrition, planning meals, grocery shopping and physical activity. One of the shining stars of the Wyoming CNP is the cookbook that is given to participants which includes Master Mix and Magic Mix. These two mixes are recipes that are made from scratch with a few ingredients, shelf stable, and bulk size and intended to be used in many different recipes. By teaching participants how to shop and cook once, participants learn how to stretch the food dollar and eat nutritiously!

An exciting event that the Wyoming CNP recently hosted was the “Two Buck Lunch.” Several entrees featured in the cookbook were made and guests were given “$2” to “buy” lunch with. The premise of the low dollar amount for a meal is based on the USDA thrifty meal plan. Special guest of the event was Wyoming’s First Lady Carol Mead. She has a new snack time recipe book called “Wyoming 9th Annual First Lady’s Family Night” which features a few of CNP’s recipes!

For more information contact Mindy Meuli, University of Wyoming Extension SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Director.

Text2BHealthy program logo Text2BHealthy

This article was written and submitted to SNAP-Ed Connection by Maryland's Food Supplement Nutrition Education program.

Text2BHealthy is a text message program targeting parents of elementary school students who are currently receiving classroom-based nutrition education. Face-to-face nutrition education is an effective tool in teaching children about fruits and vegetables, but programs often experience difficulty reaching parents. Text2BHealthy provides parents with “nutrition nudges” 2-3 times per week on nutrition-related school and community activities, grocery store specials, and physical activity ideas. Messages are targeted and focus on encouraging families to take action. The program includes an email alternative to text messages and Spanish messages in select schools.

Sample text messages:

        Some WGES students made fajitas during garden lessons this week. Look for the Harvest Fajitas recipe in your child's backpack - a tasty way to get more veggies!

        Zucchini & squash are on sale @ Giant. Chop into small pieces & cook in a frying pan with cooking spray. Add your favorite spice & serve!

Text2BHealthy began in January 2012 with 6 schools and 203 parents participating across Maryland. Pilot program focus group and survey data show that the vast majority of eligible parents had cell phones and unlimited texting plans. Among participants, 94% of parents read all text messages, 98% always or sometimes do something suggested in one of the texts and 84% of parents intended to enroll again the following year. During the 5-month pilot, 91% of participants were retained.

Text2BHealthy expanded in August 2012 to 11 schools. A total of 1283 parents have enrolled in the program with 239 receiving e-mail messages. The retention rate for the program is 89% through the first year.

Questions are periodically texted to participants to evaluate their behavior relevant to specific messages. Average response rate is about 20%. Data collection focuses on fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, grocery shopping and cooking, as well as cell phone use and preferences.

For more information contact Erin Braunscheidel or Lisa Lachenmayr.

Logo for social marketing campaign "Food Hero" with website address: Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign

This article was written and submitted to SNAP-Ed Connection by Lauren Tobey, MS, RD and Elaine Schrumpf, MS of Oregon State University Extension.

Food Hero is a research based Spanish and English language multi-channel social marketing campaign developed by Oregon State University Extension and designed to inconspicuously increase consumption of vegetables and fruits within the targeted audience of SNAP-eligible Oregon moms in an empowering way. All aspects of the campaign are written and designed to be learner centered and actionable. The channels are a website, community programming kits, media, and a monthly message package which includes a social media platform.

Food Hero came about through Oregon SNAP bonus funds received in 2008 through Governor Ted Kulongoski’s health initiative after he experienced how difficult it was to live off the average Food Stamp budget at the time of $3 per day. A needs assessment was conducted through focus groups, phone surveys (n=2332) with SNAP participants and an extensive literature review. The following key results, helped focus the campaign design:

  • Moms want to find information about healthy food choices online (46.7%), at grocery stores (16%) and in magazines (12%).
  • Moms currently find cooking tips/ideas on web sites (28%) and from friends and family (25%).
  • Moms felt they knew how to prepare and eat produce, yet they reported intake below recommended levels. is multilingual and features recipes, actionable tips and tools, Food Hero Monthly, and connections to Food Hero social media sites. Food Hero was built from existing materials that were repackaged and rewritten to be current with emerging research on best practices for delivering health education.

On all states can print off tasty recipes and actionable tips. Recipes have nutrition facts, professional photos, are well tested and follow strict nutritional criteria. Check out our most popular recipe (Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Skillet Meal) and tip (Menu and Meal Planning). And be sure to follow Food Hero social media sites along with 800+ others!

Funding: Funding for Food Hero came from USDA Food and Nutrition Service SNAP-Ed plus some supplementary Oregon State University funds and Oregon SNAP funds.
Contact: 541-737-1017.