HCN News & Notes

Baker-Polito Administration Announces SNAP Nutrition Education Vendors

BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration announced the four organizations that have been selected as the Commonwealth’s new Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Nutrition Education Program (SNAP-Ed) vendors: Ascentria Care Alliance, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Extension Nutrition Education Program, and the YMCA of Greater Boston.

SNAP-Ed is a federally funded grant program, administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), that provides evidence-based nutrition education and obesity-prevention programming to promote healthy food choices and physical activity consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

“The recent White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health affirmed what we already knew to be true: reducing hunger is not enough; we must also work to address the underlying systems and structures that lead to food insecurity,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders said. “SNAP-Ed is an important tool in this critical work.”

Applicants for the SNAP-Ed request for responses were evaluated on a multitude of criteria, including their ability to support geographic areas that have food-access barriers and communities where food insecurity and rates of chronic disease have historically been disproportionately high. Vendors who can reach SNAP clients with disabilities were strongly considered. Further, vendors were evaluated on their ability to implement policy systems and environmental change efforts and prioritize culturally appropriate programs for diverse target audiences and communities.

“The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is thrilled to partner with DTA to be able to continue to provide nutrition-education programming to our neighbors in need,” said Christina Maxwell, director of Programs at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. “We have a long-standing SNAP outreach partnership with DTA, so we are very pleased to be able to expand that partnership into this new area.”