SNAP-Ed in Snohomish County
Karen Erickson, Regional Lead
WSFMA believes everyone should have access to fresh, local, healthy food. Our Food Access Programs foster healthy communities and individuals by enabling low-income shoppers to purchase more fresh produce from local farmers. We educate stakeholders, provide networking opportunities, share resources, and facilitate collaboration for individuals, organizations, and markets in order to increase access to healthy, locally-produced foods in Washington State. WSFMA SNAP-Ed facilitates local networks of food access stakeholders at farmers’ markets to increase or expand farmers’ market food access to shoppers. Our SNAP-Ed program supports more than 90 farmers markets across the state.
The program's goal is to increase awareness of farmers markets as healthy places to shop among SNAP clients. Each state region has a lead person who works with local communities and develops ways to increase access to healthy foods, lower food insecurity, and strengthen our local food systems. Each lead person
- Acts as a resource for local farmers markets
- Is available to help local markets get authorized to accept food assistance benefits
- Helps develop other food access programs such as incentive programs or kids activities. They also
- Builds relationships between farmers markets and community agencies to benefit food assistance recipients.
Snohomish Health District has delivered SNAP-Ed programming in Snohomish County since 2016. The Snohomish Health District provides a wide range of programs and services that protect and promote public health for all Snohomish County residents, with a particular focus on the prevention of injury and disease. We focus our SNAP-Ed efforts on environmental health, maternal and child health and healthy communities programming. We work to change the built environment, influence policies that strengthen access and appeal for physical activity county-wide.
Current Programming Environmental, Systems and Policy Change Activities
- Working with child care centers to improve indoor and outdoor play environments and strengthen physical activity policies in accordance with the Child Care Center and Child Care Family WAC licensing requirements and best practice recommendations.
- Recognizing Snohomish County schools that have enacted the Recess before Lunch, a best practice for childhood nutrition, and drafting and promoting a county wide resolution to go before the Snohomish County Board of Health.
- Supporting efforts such as The Walking School Bus additional strategies that aim increase walking and biking around schools through assessment, increased safety measures, policy changes, and infrastructure improvements.
- Snohomish County Planning and Development
- Our Cities
- Our School Districts
- Everett Farmer’s Markets
- Verdant Health
- Snohomish County Health Leadership Coalition
- Licensed Child Care Providers
- Parks and Recreation
- Providence Live Healthy 2020
- Many more!
Acacia Zambrana, Regional SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator
Tori Sorenson, Snohomish County SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator
Kathy Gilman, Local SNAP-Ed Coordinato
WSU Snohomish County Extension Food $ense collaborates with schools, school districts, food banks, farmers markets and low-income housing sites in Snohomish County to provide hands-on nutrition education and public health approaches that promote healthy eating and physical activity. We have successfully provided SNAP-Ed programming since 1993.
Events that help families learn how to use EBT at farmers markets and food bank cooking demonstrations have helped increase access to, and appeal for, fresh produce; and resource for families to prepare them successfully.
“Oh, good, I’ve been wanting to get information about using EBT at the market.”
”Bill”, who only has a hot plate, no refrigerator or anything, was so excited to be able
to make his at home – he picked up all of the recipe ingredients”
– Food Pantry Director
Eating Smart ●Being Active. Low income adults of all ages-singles, parents or seniors- enjoy this popular series of nine lessons offered in a small group setting. This series engages the group in learning about healthy lifestyle choices. It helps participants build confidence through talking with peers and practicing new skills, such as cooking low cost recipes. Most learn how to save money when making healthy food and activity choices. Participants are given tools that help them practice these skills at home. We offer these lessons at transitional/ low income housing sites.
Choose Health: Food, Fun, Fitness (Grades 3-6). This series engages kids in activities that support healthy eating and active play. Its goals are to teach kids how to decrease high fat and sugar foods and eating more fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy foods. It also promotes playing actively for 60 minutes daily while limiting screen time to two or less hours a day. Each lesson has a food experience and active games.
Choose Health Action Teens. This program includes 10 hours of initial teen training and up to 30 hours of ongoing training to prepare high school students to facilitate CHFFF nutrition classes.
Kids in the Kitchen (Youth Ages 6-15 years). This youth curriculum is intended for use in summer and after-school settings, and may be used in schools. Youth learn how to prepare simple, healthy foods for themselves or for their family at home. They also learn good food safety practices. The lessons are written at three levels that are age and developmentally targeted. We offer these lessons at housing sites and after-school programs.
Cooking Matters in the Community. This series of stand-alone lessons teach adults, families or parents to “shop smarter,” make healthier food choices using nutrition information and cook affordable meals. Key messages include increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains, choosing learn proteins, consuming less sugar, and making snacks at home. These lessons are taught in a demonstration setting; each taking 15-30 minutes. Recipes provided.
Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Activities
- Student Nutrition Action Council (SNAC). Students advocate for healthy food options and implement behavioral economic principles to support healthy eating at school. SNAC students provide lunchroom taste tests, conduct surveys, provide feedback to district food service and work to create healthy school environments.
- Smarter Lunchrooms. We help school cafeteria staff and Food Service Directors implement environmental strategies that make the healthy choice, the easy choice.
- Choose Health Action Teens. High schools students are engaged in teaching healthy eating and active living to younger youth in after school and summer programs.
Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP). We provide FFVP nutrition education and support FFVP assessment in the classroom that allows student voice to contribute to food service fruit and vegetable selection.
- Brain Breaks training for teachers. This simple technique of taking breaks for physical activity in the classroom, helps kids gets the wiggles out, and helps them focus on their studies.
- Recipe tastings and cooking demonstrations of foods available at the pantry
- Environmental strategies to promote healthy food options at schools and food banks.
- Food Bank Garden (SNAP Ed role?) We will increase access to healthy food and physical activity through garden education and cooking demonstrations utilizing food from the garden.
- Food bank, youth and senior backpack programs. We support pack policy for healthy foods, provide recipes, food safety and budget tips and offer cooking clubs to empower youth and seniors to prepare nutritious meals with food from their packs.
- Recipe tastings and cooking demonstrations at farmers markets to increase appeal for fresh produce.
- Pop-Up Farmers’ Markets. Increase access to fresh produce by families by facilitating how to use EBT at pop-up farmers markets at schools and low income housing sites.
“We’re going to get kale (from the farm stand booth) so we can make these [kale chips] tonight!” - Parent at Pop-up Farmers Market Event
If you are interested in learning more about this programming, contact:
Acacia Zambrana - Larson2@wsu.edu - 206-459-9378
Tori Sorenson - Torissa.Sorenson@wsu.edu - 425-357-6021
United General District 304 is committed to improving the health and quality of life for the residents of the communities we serve. We help our community get healthy through fitness, nutrition, education, support and outreach. With our SNAP-Ed funding, we are in our second year of coordinating Farm-to -School Harvest of the Month and Smarter Lunchrooms activities in the Sedro Woolley School District. In addition, we also promote physical fitness to children and families in the school district through family health nights and Walk to School days.
Current Programming DIRECT EDUCATION Cooking Matters in the Community. This series of stand-alone lessons teach adults, families or parents to “shop smarter,” make healthier food choices using nutrition information and cook affordable meals. Key messages include increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains, choosing learn proteins, consuming less sugar, and making snacks at home. These lessons are taught in a demonstration setting; each taking 15-30 minutes. Recipes provided. Environmental, Systems and Policy Change Activities
- Connect the farm and education systems through Harvest of the Month activities
- Implement Smarter Lunchrooms strategies to make the healthy choice, the easy choice in school cafeterias
- Encourage families to increase fitness level through sponsorship of Family Nutrition/Fitness Nights
- Promote increased physical activity through Walk to School Days
- Sedro Woolley School District
- Concrete School District
- Local farmers including Blue Heron Farm, Sauk Farm, Sherman’s Pioneer Farm, Barbie’s Berries, Cascadian Farm, and many more
- Creative Culinary Solutions, Kent Getzin Consulting