University of Maryland Extension

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. 

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

In FY17, FSNE reached 34,458 low-income participants and made over 243,000 contacts with those participants over series of nutrition education classes. FSNE educators in 22 counties and Baltimore City spent almost 9,500 hours delivering nutrition education to individuals throughout the lifespan – preschool-aged youth (33% of total participants), school-aged youth (54%), adults (12%), and seniors (1%). FSNE educators also trained more than 2,000 collaborating partners to administer lessons from 14 different nutrition education programs to the target audience. In FY17, trained trainers/collaborating partners alone provided education to almost 1/4 (8,934 individuals) of the total participants reached by FSNE.

Although most of FSNE’s nutrition education occurs during in-person sessions, FSNE employs a number of other unique educational methods for accessing a hard-to-reach adult audience. In FY17, FSNE provided education to participants through newsletters, recipe cards, and other print materials (694,665 items), informational text messages (186,660 messages), and informational email messages (3,910 messages). Diverse multimedia strategies, including the Eat Smart blog (2,078 total hits) and the Eat Smart website (79,068 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 FY17:

FSNE educators and collaborating partners reached low-income Marylanders through diverse modalities: face-to-face nutrition education lessons; teacher-driven wellness policy changes; cafeteria interventions; and parent engagement strategies, such as text messages, grocery store tours, 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 FY17:

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 FY17 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, choosing healthier menu options when dining out, and shopping for healthy foods with their child. Further, 87% of FSNE sites as a whole made changes that supported healthy eating choices, such as reducing or removing the number of sugar-sweetened beverages offered on children’s menus. More than 3/4 (76%) of FSNE sites similarly made changes to support physical activity behaviors, such as incorporating physical activity into the daily schedule of the site. 

To learn more about FSNE Youth Programs go to FSNE Youth Programs, FSNE Adult Programs go to FSNE Adult Programs.



 To access the FSNE non-discrimination statement click here

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