UNE has been awarded the SNAP-Ed contract from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office for Family Independence (OFI) to act as Maine’s Implementing Agency for the federal SNAP-Ed grant since 2013. SNAP-Ed is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education and the grant is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
The UNE model contracts with local community coalitions across the state where nutrition educators implement SNAP-Ed programming. The UNE Maine SNAP-Ed team provides public health, nutrition, physical activity, obesity, and chronic disease prevention expertise to support nutrition educators. UNE also provides internal evaluation support to report outcomes and provide continuous quality improvement.
In collaboration with partners statewide, Maine SNAP-Ed delivers cost-effective nutrition and obesity prevention programming through a three-pronged approach that produces multilevel interventions.
Evidence-based education programs are provided in settings that are accessible to individuals eligible to receive SNAP benefits including schools, food pantries, childcare settings, public health centers, public housing sites, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets.
Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change
Evidence-based public health approaches are implemented to impact nutrition-related policies, systems, and environments where families eat, live, learn, play, shop and work.
Social Marketing Campaign
Focusing on mothers with young children, the Maine SNAP-Ed Shop, Cook, Eat Healthy on a Budget social marketing campaign promotes the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, drinking water, and having an active lifestyle. To experience the Shop, Cook, Eat campaign visit the Maine SNAP-Ed website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.
CEPH professional staff lead the internal evaluation of UNE’s SNAP-Ed statewide implementation plan. The multi-disciplinary team tracks and reports outcomes and provides continuous quality improvement to support successful program interventions at the individual, environmental, and sector levels. The evaluation team monitors and reports monthly data to track local progress for community interventions and activities. The data allow the implementing team to identify challenges and highlight accomplishments at the local and state levels. Outcomes related to nutrition education, participant satisfaction, and implementation of policy, systems, and environmental changes are shared annually with partners and funders who broadly impact the program by making sector-level changes in collaboration with the implementing team. The Maine SNAP-Ed evaluation plan is guided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s SNAP-Ed evaluation framework and utilizes the indicators and tools designed to facilitate aggregate reporting on national priorities.
Food and Nutrition Services and National Institute for Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture
October 2018–September 2023
Maine State Nutrition Action Council (SNAC)
States with SNAP-Ed grants implement SNACs to engage state-level organizations in multi-sector state-level initiatives to improve food security, nutrition, and health for people experiencing low income. Partner organization members of two subcommittees of the Maine SNAC are actively engaged in this collective impact approach.
Maine SNAC Subcommittees
- The Federal Food Programs Subcommittee promotes and increases participation in federal food programs for youth
- The Wraparound Services Subcommittee increases the purchasing power of federal nutrition program benefits through promotion and coordination, in particular when benefits are spent on local Maine foods