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 FY19, FSNE reached 36,872 low-income participants and made over 293,000 contacts with those participants through ongoing educational interactions. FSNE educators in 23 counties and Baltimore City spent more than 10,300 hours delivering nutrition education to individuals throughout the lifespan – preschool-aged youth (36% of total participants), school-aged youth (61%), and adults (3%). FSNE educators also trained almost 1,500 collaborating partners to deliver nutrition education to participants in schools, early education centers, food assistance sites, farmers’ markets, and other local sites. An additional 1,000 collaborators, including teachers, cafeteria staff, farmers, and food pantry managers, were engaged in FSNE trainings empowering them to create policy, systems, and environmental changes within their local community. 

Although much of FSNE’s nutrition education occurs during in-person sessions, other methods are also used to reach participants. In FY19, FSNE provided education through newsletters, recipe cards, and other print materials (599,564 contacts), and through informational text messages (285,433 messages). Diverse multimedia strategies, including the Eat Smart blog (24,677 total page views) the Eat Smart website (64,585 total website page views), and Facebook (430 followers) were also used to provide nutrition and physical activity information to the FSNE audience. 


How FSNE produced changes in local communities in FY19:

FSNE educators and collaborating partners reached low-income Marylanders through face-to-face nutrition education lessons; teacher-and staff-driven wellness policy changes; cafeteria interventions; gardening programs; and parent engagement strategies, such as text messages, grocery store tours, newsletters, and parent nights. FSNE’s multi-level interventions positively influence individual health behaviors, while also contributing to changes in the environment of collaborating sites that support participants’ healthy choices.

Our Impacts in FY19:

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 eating more healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, after FSNE. Youth and their parents also report improvements in their knowledge about physical activity, and in the amount of time they spend being active. 

FSNE programs also encourage comprehensive changes that 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. FSNE schools see improvements in the use of healthy foods for classroom lessons, signs promoting healthy foods, healthy food tastings, and parent/family engagement. Cafeterias within FSNE schools also make changes that encourage students to select healthy foods. FSNE’s parent participants report similar healthy changes in the home environment, including increases in their role modeling of healthy eating and physical activity behaviors, cooking with their children, and purchasing healthy foods. 

Overall, 99% of FSNE sites in FY19 supported healthy eating choices through efforts such as requiring that healthy foods be used for celebrations or as rewards. All (100% of) FSNE sites similarly supported physical activity behaviors by allocating sufficient time, space, and resources for participants to be active. 


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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