University of Maryland Extension

Food Supplement Nutrition Program

University of Maryland Extension Brings Nutrition Classes and Workshops to Your Community  


Maryland’s Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) offers nutrition education programs to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households and those eligible for SNAP. FSNE programs are provided at no cost to support the work of community agencies serving SNAP-eligible individuals and families, such as literacy centers, local food banks, soup kitchens, WIC offices, senior centers, community centers, neighborhood groups, and homeless shelters. Many materials are available in both English and Spanish. To learn more about our FSNE programs, see our FSNE Program Promotional

Maryland SNAP-Ed (FSNE)’s Program Reach:

In FY16, FSNE reached 26,398 low-income participants and made over 197,000 contacts with those participants over series of nutrition education classes. FSNE educators in 21 counties and Baltimore City spent over 7,400 hours delivering nutrition education to individuals throughout the lifespan – preschool-aged youth (27% of total participants), school-aged youth (57%), adults (15%), and seniors (1%). FSNE educators also trained 1,329 collaborating partners to administer lessons from 15 different nutrition education programs to the target audience. In FY16, trained trainers/collaborating partners alone provided education to almost 1/4 (5,861 individuals) of the total participants reached by FSNE.

Although most of FSNE’s nutrition education occurs during in-person sessions, FSNE also employs a number of unique indirect methods for accessing a hard-to-reach adult audience. In FY16, FSNE provided education to participants through print materials (589,277 items), informational text messages (171,699 messages), and informational email messages (41,994 messages). Diverse multimedia strategies, including the Eat Smart blog(link is external) (5,629 total hits) and the Eat Smart website(link is external) (29,548 total website page views) were also used to provide nutrition and physical activity information to the FSNE audience. 

How FSNE produced changes in local communities in FY16:

FSNE educators and collaborating partners reached low-income Marylanders through diverse modalities: direct in-person education; teacher trainings; cafeteria interventions; and parent engagement strategies, such as text messages, newsletters, parent nights, and garden involvement. FSNE’s multilevel interventions positively influence individual health behaviors, while also targeting the policies, systems, and physical environments (PSEs) of collaborating sites in an effort to improve access to healthy choices among Maryland residents.   

Our impacts in FY16:

After participating in FSNE nutrition education programming, individuals report positive changes in their eating habits and other health behaviors. Youth who participate in FSNE programs report higher preferences for healthy foods and a greater consumption of fruits and vegetables after program participation. Elementary-aged youth also demonstrate higher self-efficacy in preparing fruits and vegetables at home, selecting them when dining away from home, and asking someone in their family to purchase their favorite fruits and vegetables. Additionally, FSNE programming in FY16 contributed to improvements in physical activity among elementary-aged youth and their parents. 

FSNE interventions also encourage policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes, which promote and remove barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. Teachers who work with FSNE to deliver nutrition education to youth report healthier classroom and school environments, in which healthy foods are used for classroom lessons, signage promotes healthy foods, health information is regularly shared with parents or caregivers, and tasting opportunities are provided to youth. FSNE’s parent participants similarly report healthy changes in the home environment, including increases in their role modeling of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors, providing healthy foods for classroom celebrations, and advocating for healthy eating opportunities school-wide. Further, 77% of FSNE sites as a whole made changes that supported healthy eating choices, such as establishing and using an edible garden on site. More than half (54%) of FSNE sites similarly made changes to support physical activity behaviors, such as implementing policies that restricted screen time throughout the day.

To learn more about Food Supplement Nutrition Education program, contact LaTasha Coleman or call (410) 222-3903.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2021. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.