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Arnold School of Public Health

Million-dollar grant to improve, expand SNAP-Ed programming across South Carolina

October 27, 2022 | Erin Bluvas,

Carrie Draper, a senior research associate in the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior and principal investigator for SNAP-Ed at USC, will lead six continued projects to improve nutrition education and obesity prevention programs throughout the state. The initiative is supported by more than one million dollars in funding from the United States Department of Agriculture. This is the eighth year Draper has served as the principal investigator of USC’s SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency.

“Since becoming a SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency in 2015, we’ve been able to help advance SNAP-Ed evaluation and build capacity for the program to focus on community and policy-level changes to improve healthy eating and active living state-wide," says Draper. “The work this year will build upon those efforts and prioritize the voice of people with lived experience and those working in diverse sectors to guide local and state initiatives.”

Working with key partners, the USC Team* will implement six impactful projects over the next year:

Evaluate effectiveness of nutrition education, physical activity, social media campaigns, partnership building, and other aspects of SNAP-Ed.

Partners: SC Department of Social Services, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, Clemson University Youth Learning Institute, Lowcountry Food Bank, program sites/partners

Provide training and technical assistance to at least three libraries on nutrition support strategy implementation.

Partners: SC State Library, local library systems

Develop and implement a social marketing campaign based on a community-wide plan to improve the health of families and children.

Partners: Flock and Rally, SC State Nutrition Action Coalition

Develop policy, systems, and environmental change strategies based on the current food environments of SNAP-Ed eligible populations, determined through existing data sources and multi-sector stakeholder engagement and input.

Partners: SC Food Policy Council 

Provide ongoing training and technical assistance to multi-sector groups on starting and expanding local food policy councils.

Partners: Local Food Policy Councils across SC

Provide funding, training, and technical assistance to local food policy council partners on strategies to strengthen or expand transportation options for SNAP-Ed eligible populations; provide technical assistance to the Planning and Transportation Committee out of the SC Food Policy Council on identifying and advancing state level policy and systems changes to improve transportation access.

Partners: Local Food Policy Councils across SC and SC Food Policy Council

Made possible by the Food Stamp Act of 1977, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) began expanding to states in the early 1990s. Legislation in 2008 (Farm Bill) and 2010 (Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act) strengthened the program such that SNAP-Ed had a presence in every state by 2013. The past decade has seen the addition of new supports, including intervention toolkits, improved data collection, increased accessibility through virtual education/platforms, and coalition-building efforts to enhance food system resiliency.

Today, SNAP-Ed is supported by the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program, which allocates funding to state-level programs to lead projects such as these. An evidence-based program, SNAP-Ed’s goal is to help people lead healthy, active lives.

*USC SNAP-Ed team members include Carrie Draper (Principal Investigator), Nicholas Younginer (Co-investigator), Ashley Page Bookhart (Program Coordinator), Zachary Herrnstadt (Program Coordinator), Amy Weaver (Program Coordinator)


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