SNAP-Ed Works 2021

Montana State University Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education

The Challenge

  • 75% of Montana youth do not participate in enough aerobic activity to meet guidelines
  • 92% of Montana adults do not meet the vegetable intake recommendations
  • 65% of Montana adults are overweight or obese
  • 77% of American Indian adults are overweight or obese
  • 26% of Montana children in grades 9-12 are overweight or obese
  • 1 in 10 Montanans face hunger/food insecurity

The SNAP-Ed Solution

  • Teach
    • low-income youth and adults in the locations, online or in-person, that they eat, live, learn, work, play, and shop
  • Collaborate
    • with community and statewide partners to leverage resources and increase program reach to eligible audiences, and work to meet new needs related to COVID-19
  • Empower
    • organizations and individuals to create changes in policies, systems, and environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice

The Results

Graduates from nutrition classes improved their healthy habits.

  • Adults
    • 49% ate fruit more often
    • 44% ate veggies more often
    • 49% were more physically active
    • 76% improved food safety practices
    • 81% improved food management practices
  • Youth
    • 53% improved physical activity behaviors
    • 55% improved food safety practices
    • 88% made healthier food choices

"Young adults transitioning out of homelessness attended SNAP-Ed classes where they learned about meal planning and healthy cooking. Among the six participants, one young man who struggled with diabetes was driven to develop the skills he needed to take better care of himself and his loved ones. The classes improved his confidence to cook for himself and prepare healthier snacks. - Nutrition Educator

SNAP-Ed By The Numbers

  • 7,705 visits to in 2021
  • 47,540 Pinterest post views
  • 18,987 Facebook post views
  • 2,686 Montanans reached with online & in-person nutrition & physical activity classes
    • 41 adults and 1,679 youth graduated from SNAP-Ed programs
  • 99 policy, system, environment, or promotional changes to support health
  • 18,799 Montanans reached by policy, system, environment or promotional changes
  • 198 partnerships with organizations where Montanans eat, live, learn, work, play, and shop

Program Impacts

  • In response to COVID-19, youth and adult education continued to be offered online, as well as in-person.
  • SNAP-Ed's work also supported:
    • 16 school-based Harvest of the Month partnerships that promote healthy, local food
    • 14 food bank partnerships that increase capacity for healthy choices
    • 14 farmers' markets with increased access to and promotion of fruits and vegetables
  • In Northwest Montana SNAP-Ed partnered with a small, rural food pantry to promote the use of beans. SNAP-Ed promoted canned garbanzo beans that had been piling up on the shelves by providingtasty recipes to the pantry clients as they waited for their food boxes. Many were eager to try the recipes and asked for a few extra cans of beans. The overflow issue was solved and food pantry clients enjoy more fiber and healthy protein in their diet.
  • In Southwest Montana, SNAP-Ed helped families with young children and low income access locally grown food. This past summer, SNAP-Ed partnered with several community organizations to promote healthy eating and physical activity at a local farmers' market. A station was set up that encouraged
    families with young children to engage in games, local food tastings, and hands-on learning. This initiative increased families' access to healthy food choices and participation at the farmers' market.
  • In Southeast Montana, a community garden was established at a local food bank, increasing access to fresh produce. SNAP-Ed partnered with a food bank that borders a reservation to establish six raised garden beds. Despite a very hot, dry summer, the garden produced 127 pounds of food. All of the produce grown was distributed directly to food bank participants. The initiative has also helped to make the food bank a more welcoming space and has generated interest in gardening from individuals and families living in the community. 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-SNAP. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact the Montana Public Assistance Helpline at 1-888-706-1535 or Montana State University Extension is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran's Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.