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University of Minnesota Extension

Making the healthy choice the easy choice since 1992

SNAP-Ed celebrates 30 years

Preschooler boy in flannel shirt shows off his tortilla filled with peas, carrots and purple cabbage. He has a yogurt mustache.

Minnesota’s poverty rate is low, but statistics hide some of the largest health and economic disparities in the country.

University of Minnesota Extension reached 60,852 individuals through health and nutrition education and partnerships in 2021, many through Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program.

SNAP-Ed educators teach at schools, farmer’s markets, food shelves, community gardens and partnering organizations.

2022 marks SNAP-Ed’s 30-year anniversary of serving the nutrition and food budgeting needs of Minnesota families. Federal funding supports Extension’s SNAP-Ed educators throughout Minnesota.

First known as the Family Nutrition Program, SNAP-Ed began in 1992, after the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) was well established and serving metropolitan families.

Today, SNAP-Ed and EFNEP educators work together, steadfast in their commitment to the health and well-being of all Minnesotans. 

cardboard carton of red and green tomatoes

Current SNAP-Ed initiatives include:

  • Supershelf, a partnership that transforms food shelves with fresh produce, whole grains, wholesome dairy and signs that respectfully nudge clients toward healthy choices.
  • Helping 428 childcare providers make meals and snacks tasty, nutritious and affordable, saving them time and money to help them stay in business.
  • Coaching prediabetic individuals and families, reducing the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 58% in adults at high risk for the disease.
  • Tailoring health and nutrition education to men and fathers, who then shop for and prepare healthy foods, and do outdoor physical activities with their children.
  • New statewide farm-to-school resources, connecting farms with school districts and engaging students in local foods through a Harvest of the Month campaign.
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