Hello SNAP-Ed Friends,
We hope that you and your families are safe from the fires and smoke that are affecting so many across the state. Again, I am struggling with the scale of the problems that our country is trying to address, feeling small and often like the work I am doing is not important in this moment. If you are feeling the same, know that you’re not alone. And know that we recognize and appreciate the work that each of you do, every day, in the face of disease and flames and homeschooling and all the –isms that are barriers for so many.
I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of updates again this week. We have tried to break a few pieces out into attachments to make it more digestible. Thank you for reading.
*Reminder* Important Dates – Mark Your Calendars!
- September 30: All end of year reporting DUE only for LIAs not continuing SNAP-Ed in FY21 (detailed information has been communicated individually)
- October 1: FFY2021 SNAP-Ed fiscal year start!
- October 6: Q4 PEARS reporting, including COVID-19 information – DUE in PEARS
- October 16: Annual Report DUE to IA
- October 30: All FFY2019 Effort Certification forms DUE to Kim Buckhalter
- October 30: Final FFY2019 invoices DUE to Sponsored Program Services – Please mark “FINAL” on the last invoice!
*NEW* FY20 Annual Reporting: Success Stories
Because of the many program changes that have occurred due to COVID, this year’s evaluation will focus mainly on qualitative rather than quantitative measures. Without the usual numbers of participants, our Evaluation Team will be drawing heavily from the success stories that you put into PEARS, and we will use the story that you highlight in your annual report. Please pay special attention to your success stories this year to highlight the fabulous work you’ve done. Here are some resources to help:
*NEW* FY21 Region 3 Zoom Kickoff Meeting: Please Respond by 9/18
As we say a sloooooow goodbye to FY20, we are thinking ahead to FY21, and starting to plan our kickoff event! We will meet via zoom this year, and are planning for about 1.5 hours to share FY21 updates and spend some time together. Please click the doodle link to let us know your availability the week of October 4.
*NEW* Racism and Equity
Washington State ACEs and Resilience Community of Practice Fall 2020 Event
September 24, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM PDT
This learning event will address trauma-informed care and its intersections with Black Lives Matter – Racial Justice Movement and the COVID-19 Pandemic. Space is limited. Please do not register if you are not sure you can participate. Register by September 22.
Upcoming CDC webinar: Identifying and Addressing Barriers to Physical Activity in the Black Community – September 18, 10am Register
Active People, Healthy Nation is CDC’s initiative to get 27 million Americans more physically active by 2027 through supporting evidence-based strategies to increase population levels of physical activity. However, well-documented disparities in physical activity exist between White and Black Americans. It is critical to identify and address the barriers that cause these disparities.
This virtual event includes a keynote presentation by Charles T. Brown, MPA, CPD, LCI and a panel discussion featuring Black thought leaders in community and transportation planning to explore limits placed on Black mobility. The panel will highlight examples of everyday challenges Black people may experience while doing activities like walking to the store or school, bicycling on local greenways, or taking transit to work.
*NEW* USDA Fraud Alert: Text Message Scam Targeting SNAP Recipients
WASHINGTON, September 10, 2020 – USDA issued the following notice today to protect SNAP participants, after receiving reports of several possible SNAP Fraud attempts:
Be aware of a scam using texting to obtain your personal information. The text might say you were chosen to receive food stamps or SNAP. If you do not know if a request for information about SNAP is real or not, contact your local SNAP office.
Never share personal information with individuals or organizations that you do not know. Personal information includes your social security number, bank information, or SNAP electronic benefits transfer card or PIN number.
If you think the text is a scam, do not reply at all. Just delete.
If SNAP participants are unsure if a request for information is legitimate, USDA advises they contact their local SNAP office. If they do not know their local SNAP office, participants should contact their state agency. State contact information is available at https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory
*NEW* Nutrition and Physical Activity Resources and Updates
USDA Extends Free Meals for Kids Through 12/31/20
Washington, DC, September 8, 2020 – Last week, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will extend several flexibilities through as late as December 31, 2020. The flexibilities allow summer meal program operators to continue serving free meals to all children into the fall months. This unprecedented move will help ensure – no matter what the situation is on-the-ground – children have access to nutritious food as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. USDA has been and continues to be committed to using the Congressionally appropriated funding that has been made available.
Smarter Lunchrooms Update
Many of you have worked with Bianca Smith from OSPI. She recently sent out an email with updates re: National Smarter Lunchroom:
- The Smarter Lunchrooms National Office has officially closed due to lack of funds to keep their team and website afloat.
- It comes with great sadness for me to share that Erin Sharp, a leader who has been with the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement from its start, passed away unexpectedly back in May. I know many of you may not have known Erin, but I worked very closely with her on the development of the Smarter Mealtimes materials and considered her to be a good friend. She left behind a legacy that won’t be forgotten.
- The Smarter Lunchrooms website has officially shut down due to the lack of funds. All of the materials from their website are being moved to the BEN Center webpages. I will provide more details as I receive them.
*NEW* Evaluation Updates
For those doing Direct-Education please review the attached document for direct-ed related Q&A
- Attached: “Evaluation Team DE Q&A”
Q4 COVID-19 Report:
Quarter 4 COVID-19 reporting has two parts. LIAs should complete both:
1) PEARS COVID-19 Impact Field; and
2) The attached Quarterly/Annual Report Template: “SNAP-Ed COVID-19 Response Template”.
The PEARS COVID-19 Impact Field will help with federal reporting requirements and the template will help tell the story of how SNAP-Ed was able to continue connecting with participants and provide programming during the pandemic.
New PEARS “Collaborators” Section:
Tonight, PEARS is adding a “collaborators” section in all modules. It will always show after the “general information” section in each module. This page will replace the “delivery people” field in the Program Activities module. Information on how to use this new section, including knowledge and help articles, can be found on the PEARS support site, here: https://support.pears.oeie.org/collaborators/
*NEW* Curriculum Training and Website Team Updates
Everyone, please review the attached for information on FY21 Trainings, Friday Forum topics, website updates and curricula resources!
- Attached: CTW Team Updates
No Teaching Calendars!
For the fall and winter quarters we will not ask LIAs to provide teaching calendars. Due to the pandemic, we are all in “upside down” mode and it does not make sense to ask people to send calendars. CTW will revisit the topic once we return to “normal.”
New Video! Help Participants Know How to Save Money at the Farmers Market and Stay Safe.
We have a new video to help SNAP eligible participants understand how SNAP Market Match works and how to shop safely during COVID at a farmers market. This video was produced as a collaboration between WSU CLARK County SNAP-Ed (they provided film from a video they did for Clark County), WSFMA (they wrote the script for the statewide “generic” version and help coordinate the project) and WSU CAHNRS Communication (they put it all together). Here is the link to the English version of the video: How SNAP Market Match Works We will send a translated version for both Spanish and Russian as soon as they are available. Please share with your communities!
Acacia & Jen