Maine SNAP-Ed

SNAP-Ed logoNutrition Education

What we do

CHCC implements Maine’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) program in York County. SNAP-Ed efforts contribute to obesity prevention and overall health for low-income Maine families. SNAP-Ed aims to improve the likelihood that eligible persons will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Guidance. Maine SNAP-Ed is funded by the USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program through a contract with the Maine Department of Health & Human Services and administered by the University of New England in collaboration.

Who we reach 

CHCC’s Nutrition Educators reach low-income families through long-standing partnerships with local schools, housing facilities, teen centers, Head Start programs, food pantries, grocery stores and other community organizations. SNAP-Ed works with all age groups from preschool to seniors, delivering a specific curriculum to each age group. SNAP-Ed classes are offered to SNAP recipients and those using any local or federal supplemental or emergency food program.

Our approach

Each year, CHCC’s Nutrition Educators deliver nutrition education classes for nearly 5,000 children, teens, families and the elderly in York County. Classes take place in more than 25 schools, teen centers and housing facilities. The classes include:

  • Eat Well Play Hard: A series of six to eight lessons designed to teach young children about healthy eating and the importance of regular physical activity. The series aims to increase the number of fruits and vegetables young children eat, encourage intake of low-fat or fat-free dairy options and increase the time they spend being physically active.
  • Pick a Better Snack: The PABS program consists of six to eight lessons (taught once per month) that focus on helping children eat more fruits and vegetables. Each lesson consists of two key elements: a nutrition education lesson and a food tasting of fruits or vegetables. This curriculum aims to introduce students to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and show how fruit and vegetable consumption is important for overall health.
  • Nutrition to Grow On: The Nutrition to Grow On program consists of six to nine lessons, designed to teach children about healthy eating through hands-on nutrition and gardening activities. The nutrition lessons are complemented with garden activities to reinforce key concepts and integrate instructions with other academic subjects. This series aims to provide students with basic nutrition principles to make healthy food choices and discover the nutritional aspects of gardening.
  • Cooking Matters: Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters™ classes provide a culinary-enhanced nutrition education program that teaches participants how to prepare meals that are healthy, tasty and low in cost. Each lesson engages participants in hands-on meal preparation, practical nutrition tips and food budgeting skills. Cooking Matters provides participants with the knowledge and skills to make healthy food choices, as well as to prepare healthy meals and snacks on a limited budget.
  • Store Tours are a guided grocery store tours, or pop-up tours set up in locations other than the grocery store, that teach families how to stretch their food budgets to prepare healthy meals at home.
  • Eat Smart Live Strong: This series consists of four interactive sessions that aim to improve overall health and well-being of older adults. The classes emphasize increases intake of fruits and vegetables as well as increasing the level of physical activity through goal setting and group support.
  • 10 Tips: The Teaching 10 Tips program consists of 4 sessions either based on the theme of “Add a Fruit or Vegetable to Every Meal” or “Healthy Eating on a Budget.” The series aims to provide participants of all ages with the knowledge they need to choose and prepare healthy foods and beverages on a limited budget.

Additional resources

  • Learn more about hunger in our country by visiting Feeding America
  • Learn more about hunger in our state by visiting Good Shepherd Food Bank
  • Visit Maine SNAP-Ed to find tips, recipes and plans for eating healthy on a budget
  • Watch Maine SNAP-Ed Nutrition Educators in action on the 207 Kitchen from WCSH6 - Portland