The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) is an evidence-based, federally funded education program to support participants eligible for receiving SNAP food benefits. SNAP-Ed initiatives include nutrition education classes, social marketing campaigns, and efforts to improve policies, systems, and the environment of communities; the program is known as CalFresh Healthy Living in California. The COVID-19 pandemic produced unprecedented challenges for SNAP-Ed implementation in California. Nutrition Policy Institute researchers from the CalFresh Healthy Living Evaluation team–Gail Woodward Lopez, Janice Kao, and Christina Becker–presented at the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators virtual conference on Feb. 10, 2022 a talk titled “Where do we go from here? COVID-19 impacts on local health department SNAP-Ed programming, priority populations and equity in California”. The talk was part of a panel moderated by NPI researcher Sridharshi Hewawitharana. Researchers presented results of a web-based survey of 1064 majority Black, Indigenous, and people of color SNAP-Ed eligible parents across California and results from online reporting from local health departments that implement SNAP-Ed at over 500 sites. Results showed dramatic changes in food and physical activity acquisition and SNAP-Ed programming, reductions in physical activity, mixed impacts on dietary intake, and a high prevalence of perceived weight gain.
Author - Policy Analyst