UGA SNAP-ED team creates two interventions for national SNAP-ED Toolkit

By for CAES News

Two interventions created by the University of Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) team have been added to the national SNAP-Ed Toolkit.

Both Food eTalk and Food Talk: Better U are included in the United States Department of Agriculture SNAP-Ed Toolkit, a collection of evidence-based interventions designed to improve the lives of SNAP-eligible participants by encouraging healthy food and lifestyle choices.

Both curricula were classified as research-tested, evidence-based interventions. 

While many people know that SNAP provides resources for millions of Americans in need of food assistance, most are less familiar with SNAP Education SNAP-Ed, the program that teaches Americans using SNAP how to lead healthier lives at home, in school and at work. The program aims to increase the likelihood that participants will choose physically active lifestyles and make healthy food choices.

UGA SNAP-Ed is delivered through the UGA Cooperative Extension network in partnership with diverse stakeholders and communities across the state.

“This is a significant milestone for UGA SNAP-Ed, attesting to the quality and strength of our unique strategies combining rigorous systematic evaluation and collective capacity of UGA and UGA Cooperative Extension to develop and implement innovative, evidence-based, culturally-tailored nutrition education and obesity prevention for low-income Georgians,” said Jung Sun Lee, UGA Athletic Association professor in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the wonderful support from our funders and the hard work of all involved faculty, staff and graduate students. We look forward to our continued achievements to promote healthy eating and active lifestyles of Georgians in coming years.”

Food eTalk is an innovative, user-centered, smartphone-based eLearning nutrition education program tailored to the specific access and content needs of SNAP-eligible adult Georgians.

The program features six 10-minute interactive lessons, cooking videos and just-in-time learning videos. It includes a mobile-first interface, user-friendly navigation and even a Southern-accented voiceover, in addition to lessons focused on sodium reduction, increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, food resource management principles and food safety.

Food Talk: Better U is a series of four 90-minute classes taught by paraprofessionals focusing on improving healthy weight management practices tailored for SNAP-eligible adult Georgians.

The curriculum includes both nutrition and physical activity components as weight management and obesity prevention strategies and helps participants improve portion control, decrease intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and make better food choices.

Each class includes a sharing session, an instructional lesson, physical activity, goal-setting, a cooking demonstration and taste-testing featuring healthy versions of traditional Southern dishes.

All interventions in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit were reviewed in a collaboration between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS); the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA); and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the USDA.

The UGA SNAP-Ed program reaches around 2 million Georgians a year through direct, online and social marketing interventions and has received more than $20 million in funding since its founding in 2013.

For more about the national impact of UGA Extension’s partnership with SNAP-Ed, visit www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/uga-snap-ed.

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