Wednesday, July 27, 2016

SNAP Education at the Farm

The Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health (CNDH) invited the DC Department of Health's (DOH) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) to Beltsville for a day at the farm. SNAP-Ed, which seeks seek to increase healthy food and active lifestyle choices among District residents, provides education programs, behavior-change initiatives, and social marketing campaigns designed for individuals receiving or eligible for SNAP. 

"DOH meets quarterly with it's SNAP-Ed implementing agencies," explained Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, director of the UDC CNDH program. We decided to host this quarter's at the farm because of the relationship between agriculture and nutrition and the impact on families." 

The activity allows SNAP-Ed participants to see how much fat is in a typical
fast food meal using vegetable shortening.

SNAP-Ed DOH project manager, Sara Beckwith, convened the meeting and provided updates on the DC 2017-19 plan. CNDH nutrition educator, Paige Zaitlin, provided best practice information in youth curricula and conducted an activity that could be replicated by SNAP educators. Teresa Turner and Yao Afantchao presented on ethnic crops and nutrition quality. 

Following the presentation portion meeting, Urban Ag Director Che Axum led the team on a tour of the farm, with Ethnic Crop Specialist Yao Afantchao showing off the ethnic crop field and Herb Holden leading a tour of the new smokehouse and container kitchen facilities. Chef Herb prepared a healthy lunch using recipes that can be used in the SNAP-Ed program.

The nutrition education program in the DC Department of Health is funded by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The goal of the SNAP-Ed program, which started in 2003, is to provide nutrition education to residents of the District of Columbia that help them to make healthy food choices consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and My Plate.

For questions about the CNDH SNAP-Ed program, contact Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, director, Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health, at (202) 274-7115.

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