2021 Program Development Team Meeting

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)

Northeast Region

  • Joan Paddock, EFNEP Coordinator, Cornell University
  • Gina Crist, Community Health Specialist, University of Delaware

Southern Region

  • 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)

Western Region

  • 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)

Executive Committee

  • 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

FY20 SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Impact Reports

We have received the following states FY20 impact reports on their SNAP-Ed and EFNEP work during the 2020 fiscal year.  Click on the name of each state to view the corresponding report:

SNAP-Ed Successes During COVID-19

Vegetable Sharing Program in Louisiana



Many SNAP-Ed programs have assisted with food assistance efforts during COVID-19.   Below you will find programs that have made a difference during this time!

Wyoming SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Programs

The Wyoming Cent$ible Nutrition Program had several different activities that featured gardening, adult education, and news articles throughout the pandemic.  Visit the links to learn more about the programming in Wyoming.

Community Gardening for Resilience
Growing Green Thumbs
Article on Limiting Grocery Trips
Adult Series Education Success Stories


Maryland SNAP-Ed

Maryland SNAP-Ed has created additional virtual resources to complement their four youth curricula for use in the virtual learning environment.  Resources include lesson videos, worksheets, ideas to extend the nutrition lesson, tasting at home activities, and family engagement calendars.  To access these resources, visit:  https://mdteachertoolkit.org/lessons-and-resources/curricula/.  All virtual resources are listed in the Guide under each curricula:
Edible ABC’s
Growing Healthy Habits
Read for Health

Louisiana SNAP-Ed

A News Release from LSU Ag Center

J.S. Aucoin Elementary donates school garden bounty to senior meal program

Writer: Ruthie Losavio at rlosavio@agcenter.lsu.edu 

(06/12/20) AMELIA, La. — When the school garden at J.S. Aucoin Elementary started producing an abundance of cucumbers, LSU AgCenter area nutrition agent Jessica Randazzo saw the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. 

 “We had more cucumbers than we knew what to do with,” Randazzo said. “We reached out to the Council on Aging to see if we could donate the produce to their meal delivery boxes for seniors.”

 The school garden provided more than 50 cucumbers to the senior feeding program.

 “They’re already asking when I can bring more,” Randazzo said.

 The St. Mary Parish Council on Aging senior feeding program has been delivering meal boxes to low-income seniors across the parish amid the pandemic.

 “Our dedicated employees that have been delivering meals during this time of isolation were excited to also provide fresh produce,” said Beverly Domengeaux, St. Mary Parish Council on Aging director. “It put a big smile on all our seniors’ faces to have something fresh.”

 Before COVID-19, J.S. Aucoin Elementary’s school garden club gave students the opportunity to grow their own food and try new recipes.

 The program proved to be a huge success. Students were eager to try the vegetables they had grown. The school cafeteria even incorporated vegetables from the garden into school lunches.

 “Two years ago, when I was asked if I wanted to be president of the garden club, I was hesitant to say ‘yes’ because of how the garden looked at the time,” said Tracy Gros, J.S. Aucoin Healthy Communities Coalition and faculty member.

 “Once the garden was finished, we stayed after school and the students couldn’t wait to plant,” Gros said. “During the day I would go outside to see if anything was growing or needed watering, but the students were there before me.”

 Despite school campus closures and summer vacation, the school garden continues to thrive thanks to the care and attention of the J.S. Aucoin Healthy Communities coalition and faculty volunteers like Gros.

 The school’s Healthy Communities coalition focuses on improving health at J.S. Aucoin through community-led, sustainable physical and social environmental changes. The school garden is just one of those changes.

 Funds from USDA SNAP-Ed, the Walmart Foundation and the 4-H Healthy Habits program have supported the garden.

 For more information about the J.S. Aucoin Elementary school garden or Healthy Communities coalition, contact Randazzo at jrandazzo@agcenter.lsu.edu.