SNAP-Ed: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education
SNAP-Ed is the nutrition education program associated with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP-Ed is designed to help Hoosiers who are eligible for SNAP make the healthy choice the easy choice when it comes to buying and cooking food. The Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity within the Indiana Department of Health became the SNAP-Ed State Oversight Agency in 2018. This involves providing resources and oversight to Indiana’s SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency, Purdue University Extension. In addition to ongoing administrative oversight, the DNPA SNAP-Ed team connects state-level resources and partnerships with Purdue Extension staff in local Indiana communities.
As the primary State Implementing Agency, Purdue Extension employs and manages staff to conduct SNAP-Ed programming. SNAP-Ed programming involves both direct nutrition education and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change efforts.
Direct Nutrition Education
The Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program provides direct nutrition education opportunities for resource-limited Hoosiers in almost all of the 92 Indiana counties. Evidence-based curricula are taught by Nutrition Education Program Advisors (NEPAs) in a variety of settings including community centers, schools, senior living communities, group homes and more! These classes focus on improving overall nutrition, learning cooking skills, and identifying creative ways to stretch food dollars each month. NEPAs often live in the area in which they teach classes so they can better understand and address unique barriers to obtaining nutritious food.
Learn more and find nutrition education classes near you at the Purdue Nutrition Education Program website.
Community Wellness Program
Community Wellness Coordinators (CWCs) work in communities throughout the state to increase access to healthy food and safe physical activity environments for limited-resource Hoosiers through coordination and collaboration with local organizations and community members. CWCs live in the communities in which they serve, so they understand the unique challenges facing their neighbors. Examples of initiatives that CWCs work on include developing community gardens, expanding trail systems, coordinating local food distribution and produce prescription programs, and assisting local farmers markets.
If you would like to learn more about the SNAP-Ed efforts in your area, please contact the SNAP-Ed Coordinators.
Indiana SNAP-Ed Grant Program
The Indiana SNAP-Ed Grant Program funds projects that are evidence-based and focused on ensuring those eligible for SNAP benefits have an opportunity to access nutritious foods and safe physical activity environments where they work, live, and play. The goal of the grant program is to supplement the work being done by SNAP-Ed implementing agencies at a more regional and local level. Please see the list of awarded grantees and their projects here.
Cooking Matters is a SNAP-Ed-approved curriculum designed by Share Our Strength to actively assist communities to help parents and caregivers develop their skills when shopping for and cooking healthy foods on a budget. Each lesson is taught by experts in many different community-based settings. Participants learn about cooking, meal prep, grocery shopping, food budgeting, and nutrition. The Cooking Matters Grant Program funds organizations across the state who would like to implement the Cooking Matters program in their communities. The goal of the program is to expand the capacity of community organizations to work towards addressing hunger and poverty in SNAP-eligible populations.
Indiana State Nutrition Action Committee
Our primary statewide collaborative effort to support SNAP-Ed in Indiana is through the management and facilitation of the State Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC). The Indiana SNAC is a state-level collaborative with representation from organizations focused on addressing disparities in nutrition education, food access, and safe physical activity environments in communities. The overarching goal of this committee is to align efforts of statewide and local partners to support nutrition security and safe physical activity environments in limited-resourced communities. This committee was re-invigorated in the summer of 2019, and the SNAP-Ed team has been expanding the group to include representatives from many sectors.
Learn more about Indiana SNAC efforts, newsletters, quarterly meetings, member profiles/projects, and related events here. On the website, you will also find job opportunities in the field as well as nutrition and physical activity-focused grant opportunities.
Naima Gardner-Rice, SNAP-Ed and Nutrition Programs Director
Contact for all DNPA Nutrition Initiatives, including SNAP-Ed oversight, Farmers Markets, General Nutrition, and Food Access
Michelle Shippy, Food is Medicine Director
Contact for Nutrition Incentives, Food is Medicine
Nakia Bolden, SNAP-Ed Community Partnerships Coordinator
Contact for Indiana State Nutrition Action Committee (SNAC), General SNAP-Ed