SNAP-Ed Works 2020

Montana State University Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education

The Challenge

  • 72% of Montana youth do not participate in enough aerobic activity to meet guidelines
  • 92% of Montana adults do not meet the vegetable intake recommendations
  • 63% of Montana adults are overweight or obese
  • 72% 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
    • 35% ate fruit more often
    • 37% ate veggies more often
    • 72% were more physically active
    • 74% improved food safety practices
    • 83% improved food management practices
  • Youth
    • 47% improved physical activity behaviors
    • 54% improved food safety practices
    • 88% made healthier food choices

A single mother hoping to stay within her budget while encouraging her young son to eat healthier foods attended a six-week nutrition series. Finding whole grain options for breakfast as well as utilizing unit price calculating to stretch food dollars were some of the skills she learned and incorporated into her life. As a result of attending this series, she now reports being able to provide her son more nutritious meals. - Nutrition Educator

SNAP-Ed By The Numbers

  • 6,382 visits to in 2020
  • 34,711 Pinterest post views
  • 19,595 Facebook post views
  • 6,040 Facebook Live views
  • 10,737 Montanans reached with indirect education efforts during COVID-19
  • 4,424 Montanans reached with online & in-person nutrition & physical activity classes
    • 205 adults and 2,553 youth graduated from SNAP-Ed programs
  • 113 policy, system, environment, or promotional changes to support health
  • 10,399 Montanans reached by policy, system, environment or promotional changes
  • 183 partnerships with organizations where Montanans eat, live, learn, work, play, and shop

Program Impacts

  • In response to COVID-19, youth and adult education began to be offered online, as well as in-person.
  • SNAP-Ed's work also supported:
    • 113 nutrition and physical activity improvements in SNAP-Ed counties or reservations
    • 30 school-based Harvest of the Month partnerships that promote healthy, local food
    • 7 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 county to increase physical activity. SNAP-Ed promoted a winter & summer wellness program aimed at increasing physical activity and overall health. Local businesses partnered with the program as well, providing prizes to participants as incentives to be physically active. As a result, 52% of participants reported increasing their physical activity.
  • In Southwest Montana, SNAP-Ed helped community members with low income access a local Farmers' Market. This past summer, SNAP-Ed taught nutrition classes and promoted Double SNAP Dollar use among attendees. Class graduates received fruit and veggie coupons to use at the market, which in turn, supported local farmers and increased healthy food access. In its second year, SNAP at the Market has seen a 13% increase in the number of households shopping at the market, and a 71% increase in SNAP dollars spent each week on fresh, local foods.
  • In rural MT where Internet access is limited, SNAP-Ed reached students and their families by providing recipes and activities in the meals sent to them by the schools. SNAP-Ed partnered with multiple agencies on projects that included coordinating services, meeting local health needs, and supporting food systems during the pandemic. SNAP-Ed provided nutrition and physical activity information, leveraged seed donations, and provided consultation for six garden projects throughout the region. They also worked with food banks to decrease food insecurity 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.