2016 Program Development Team Members. Not all team members were present for the photo.
The Land-Grant University SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) includes Family and Consumer Science Program Leaders and other university administrators, SNAP-Ed Program Coordinators, an office manager, and a NIFA representative who are committed to improving the consistency and effectiveness of SNAP-Ed programming through the LGU System in addressing national health and nutrition-related problems facing low-income populations. This 16-person team, which represents all Extension regions, meets bimonthly by conference calls, subcommittee, and in an annual face-to-face working meeting. The team met recently in Alexandria, Virginia to review progress and plan for the upcoming year.
Highlights of the meeting and the last year include:
- We offered Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change development and technical assistance by facilitating LGU involvement in webinars on PSE implementation and coordinating with the SNAP and EFNEP Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (RNECE) Centers of Excellence to increase dissemination and utilization of PSE training and other resources that are currently under development. We will continue to facilitate training and learning opportunities and information dissemination that comes through these Centers.
- We hosted a joint webinar with Community Development colleagues and have developed a plan to further strengthen SNAP-Ed and Community Development collaborations.
- We have maintained the Community Nutrition Education Community of Practice in eXtension, through which we have offered information on activities of SNAP-Ed programs, posted stakeholders’ reports, posted webinar recordings, and posted updates from RNECE grantees.
- We developed the template and contracted with TEConomy to produce the fourth LGU SNAP-ED Report. We had a 79% response rate. Past national reports have positioned us well. This report which is nearing completion, will illustrate how the LGUs have adapted to changes resulting from the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, at which time SNAP-Ed transitioned to a competitive grant and the program focus shifted to nutrition education and obesity prevention using comprehensive and multi-level interventions for change. This report is expected to propel Extension, once again, to be seen as effective leaders of SNAP-Ed. We have a plan for dissemination of the report to key stakeholders, and discussing with program colleagues to guide future programming.
- We have identified the need to highlight partnerships, programs, and initiatives where CES and public health have high impact programs (for example, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation winners for Culture of Health). We will share these highlights within the LGU system so that others can learn from them.
- We met with Michele Rodgers, ECOP Chair, and with a representative from Cornerstone, who identified data points that they need to speak accurately and effectively about SNAP-Ed through the LGU System in preparation for legislative discussions. We have developed a survey that will be released shortly to collect the desired information. Concurrently, in this short survey we will ask universities to self-identify strengths around emerging issues, in order to create an expertise mapping resource for universities to draw upon for mentoring and coaching when faced with similar challenges.
- We have committed to providing ECOP examples and to working with the land-grant universities to better reflect SNAP-Ed’s role in Extension’s Health and Wellness Framework.
- Revisions have been made to the manuscript we submitted to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior that defines terminology used in SNAP-Ed to help develop common language that is understood across all implementing agencies. We are waiting for further word from the Editor.
- We presented at the annual national SNAP Directors’ meeting and shared information about SNAP-Ed through LGUs – through a booth and two presentations on the program. We have plans to continue presenting at the SNAP Directors’ meeting again next year.
- We submitted comments to FNS on SNAP-Ed Guidance and the Education and Administrative Reporting System (EARS) as invited, and have worked actively with other entities on the further development of evaluation measures for SNAP-Ed.
- We renewed our commitment to keeping Extension Directors/Administrators informed through monthly contributions to the “Monday Minute”, a presentation at ECOP in July, and ongoing dialogue with FCS Leaders and Program Coordinators through regional meetings.
- We will also continue to encourage and facilitate regional dialogue on SNAP-Ed, for more consistency in programming and resolution of concerns within and across regions.
- We set a new priority for 2017 to facilitate stronger university and state agency SNAP-Ed relationships, which may result in a white paper, mentoring, coaching, or other actions.
In addition to these specific actions that have been accomplished, are underway, or are planned, the PDT continues to play a critical role in advocating for nutrition education for low income families. Members have directly and indirectly communicated importance of federal funding to decision makers, have provided formal or informal mentoring to colleagues in the LGU system and have addressed critical programmatic needs the LGU system faced during changes created by new legislation, regulations, and guidance.
To download a copy of the highlights of the meetings, visit 2016 PDT Committee Meeting Highlights.