Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) – Direct Nutrition Education and Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Changes:
- Reached approximately 14,000 students and 268 caregivers in 20 schools
- Delivered nearly 20,000 total direct education events in 2012-2013
- Increased general nutrition and healthy snack knowledge among participating 4th grade students
- Improved knowledge about vegetables among participating 4th grade students
- Increased level of physical activity among participating 7th grade students
Health Promotion Council (HPC) is a Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) provider offering direct nutrition education to individuals through group classes and cooking sessions/tastings designed to prevent obesity by promoting healthy behaviors. These services are delivered at schools (public, charter, independent), food pantries, grocery stores, senior centers, emergency housing shelters, transitional housing, community centers, health centers and through partnerships. Programming involves activities at the individual, community, policy and societal levels. The focus of the program is: 1) to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles; and, 2) to help the SNAP-Ed target audience eliminate risk factors to prevent or postpone the onset of disease by establishing healthier eating habits and being more physically active.
HPC is also a partner in the School District of Philadelphia’s Eat. Right. Now. initiative that educates Philadelphia students about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, and works with schools to create heathier environments. The goal of Eat. Right. Now is to promote behavioral changes related to nutrition and physical activity. HPC uses a variety of strategies to reach program goals, including but not limited to, classroom lessons, garden-based nutrition education, and after-school cooking clubs. Educators focus on topics such as choosing fresh fruit and vegetables, where food comes from, and drinking plenty of water. Lessons and activities align with the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education Plan Guidance and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change approaches work in conjunction with nutrition education and marketing as the most effective strategy for improving health for SNAP eligible individuals. HPC implements PSE initiatives across various settings to promote healthy behaviors by making the healthy choice the easy choice.
• Healthy Out of School Time (HOST): HPC’s HOST program offers a variety of training and technical assistance opportunities around healthy eating and physical activity for staff at Out of School Time (OST) sites throughout Philadelphia. HPC’s HOST Coordinator can help OST sites and staff reach program and professional development goals through customized training and ongoing support and technical assistance. Training topics include the importance of healthy eating, reading a nutrition facts label, how to lead a cooking demonstration, physical activity recommendations and resources for youth, and healthy role modeling. If you need training or technical assistance on a nutrition and active living topic not listed, we may be able to accommodate your request.
• Pennsylvania Healthy Food Pantry Toolkit: HPC in partnership with The Food Trust and Einstein Medical Center developed the Pennsylvania Healthy Food Pantry Toolkit. The Toolkit uses a train-the-trainer model to guide nutrition educators to support pantry staff and volunteers in adopting practices that support a healthier pantry environment, at both bag and choice pantries.
Download the toolkit here: https://www.behealthypa.org/health-professional/healthy-pantry-toolkit/
• Breastfeeding Friendly Shelters Initiative: In collaboration with CHOP’s Homeless Health Initiative, AccessMatters, and the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services (OHS), HPC supports Philadelphia family homeless shelters in implementing the July 2019 OHS guidelines related to making breastfeeding easier for individuals living in shelter. SNAP-Ed staff provides technical assistance to OHS shelter staff to implement strategies that create breastfeeding friendly environments in several Philadelphia area shelters.
• Training and Technical Assistance for Food Service Departments: Since the establishment of the Philadelphia Nutrition Standards in 2010, Health Promotion Council (HPC) has played a central role providing nutrition education and technical assistance to City agencies on healthier cooking practices, recipe and menu development, and procurement policies. Through in-person collaborative culinary and nutrition trainings and site-based training and technical assistance, HPC adapts and implements the Philadelphia Nutrition Standards at eligible Food Service Departments. This training and technical assistance aims to facilitate healthy food selection processes and improve the nutritional quality of foods served by participating institutions, agencies, and organizations that purchase, sell, serve, or otherwise provide food to clients, patients, and employees.