Land-Grant University System SNAP-Ed Program Development Team Annual Work Meeting Report: Action Items and Accomplishments
April 19-21, 2021, Virtual
The Land-Grant University SNAP-Ed Program Development Team (PDT) is action-oriented, proactive, and focused on long-term projects. This 17-person team represents all Extension regions and is comprised of family and consumer science program leaders and other university administrators, SNAP-Ed program coordinators, an Assistant from the Land-Grant University (LGU) System, and an ex officio federal partner from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), U.S. Department of Agriculture. The team conducts monthly conference calls, subcommittee work, and an annual meeting to improve the consistency and effectiveness of Extension SNAP-Ed programming to address national health and nutrition-related problems facing populations with low income in the context of Extension’s broader low-income nutrition education portfolio.
At its annual meeting in April, the PDT reviewed progress, refined and updated its strategic plan implementation, and developed key action steps for the upcoming year. Specific deliverables were identified, building upon past efforts. These included:
- Providing resources and training to support SNAP-Ed leaders in educating legislators and stakeholders;
- Improving coordination, complementary efforts, and synergy across the LGUs and with additional partners to maximize efficiency and avoid duplication;
- Fostering communication among LGUs and with other implementing agencies and stakeholders.
- Identifying and sharing best practices and resources related to online education utilized by LGUs.
The PDT’s ongoing goals are to support programming, professional development, and partner engagement in ways that will best serve the SNAP-Ed population.
Highlights from last year made possible in part due to the APLU SNAP-Ed Assessment include:
- Administrative Support. The PDT hired a full-time LGU SNAP-Ed PDT Assistant, Dr. Lauren Sweeney, to help coordinate and support PDT priorities. Dr. Sweeney, who has prior Extension and SNAP-Ed experience, communicates regularly with internal and external stakeholders in an effort to strengthen SNAP-Ed through the land-grant system.
- Legislative Education. A priority for the PDT was to develop and update content for stakeholders. The PDT developed a document highlighting the complementary programming of EFNEP and SNAP-Ed, provided a presentation on how to educate legislators on SNAP-Ed, and participated in the ECOP Farm Bill working group.
- Strengthening Program and Developing Colleagues. A second priority was the development of program staff. Providing resources and shared expertise to Extension leadership was critical over this past year as SNAP-Ed programs addressed challenges associated with programming during a pandemic. The PDT provided one formal opportunity for dialogue between universities early in the pandemic and a presentation from states on Thriving During COVID. A resource developed over the past year includes staff Core Competencies for Paraprofessional staff, Supervisors, and Program Leaders.
- Building and Sustaining Critical Partnerships. PDT members met with USDA FNS and NIFA contacts to consider how to support agency priorities. Over the past year, a number of PDT members participated in FNS-led Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to provide guidance on a variety of programmatic components, including evaluation and reporting. Several PDT members also served as liaisons with the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA) committees to ensure that PDT efforts aligned with priorities of other implementing agencies.
- Enhancing Communication and Shared Understanding. To highlight the impact of SNAP-Ed through the land-grant system, the PDT published a national report of impacts, available at https://nifa.usda.gov/snap-ed-lgu-reports. As COVID-19 was a challenge for all states over the past year, PDT members facilitated increased calls and more consistent communication within and across Extension regions. Increased dialogue in these regional meetings resulted in support for enhanced programming, for example evaluation support for reporting COVID-19 outcomes. PDT developed resources continue to be made available at https://community-nutrition-education.extension.org/about-us/, the community nutrition page on the eXtension website. Program impact reports from 14 states for the past year have also been posted. This “community,” currently at 238 members, continues to grow.
Members of the LGU SNAP-Ed Program Development Team for 2021-2022
North Central Region
- Jennifer McCaffrey, Assistant Dean, Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Illinois
- Lisa Ross, Program Manager, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed, Kansas State University
- Rececca Henne, Associate Program Leader and State SNAP-Ed Coordinator, Michigan State University
- Patricia Olson, Associate Dean, University of Minnesota (new)
- Joan Paddock, EFNEP Coordinator, Cornell University
- Gina Crist, Community Health Specialist, University of Delaware
- Sylvia Byrd, Project Director, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Mississippi State University
- Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University (new)
- Shea Austin Cantu, Community Nutrition Education Program Director (EFNEP and SNAP-Ed), Tennessee State University, 1890 representative (new)
- Heidi LeBlanc, SNAP-Ed Director, Utah State University
- Katie Panarella, Director Nutrition Family and Consumer Sciences (NFCS) Program, University of California
- Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom, State Program Leader Nutrition Health and Wellness, Washington State University (new)
- Angie Abbott, Assistant Dean and Associate Director, Health and Human Sciences Extension, Purdue University
- Andrea Morris, Health and Nutrition Specialist/Program Manager EFNEP and SNAP-Ed, Alabama A&M University
- Jill Thorngren, Dean, College of Education and Human Sciences, South Dakota State University
- Lauren Sweeney, LGU SNAP-Ed PDT Assistant, South Dakota State University (new)
- Helen Chipman, ex officio member, National Program Leader Food & Nutrition Education, NIFA/USDA
Rotating Off – April 2021
- Candance Gabel, State Coordinator/Associate Extension Specialist, Oklahoma State University
- Elise Gurgevich, SNAP-Ed Coordinator, Pennsylvania State University
- Lorelei Jones, EFNEP Coordinator, North Carolina State University
- Renda Nelson, Better Living for Texans State Program Director, Texas A&M University
- Donna Sauter, ICAN Director (SNAP-Ed & EFNEP), New Mexico State University