Maryland SNAP-Ed is a program within University of Maryland Extension that creates healthier environments and improves the health and wellbeing of limited income families across Maryland. SNAP-Ed programs encourage a nutritious and active lifestyle through increased food access, drinking more water, and promoting physical activity. SNAP-Ed provides comprehensive programs that consist of nutrition education lessons, social marketing programs and policy, system and environmental-level changes at partnering sites.
SNAP-Ed collaborates closely with over 500 partner organizations to design programs that meet the needs of clients where they live, work and learn. Partners include community sites that serve families including youth education sites such as schools, early education centers, and out of school programs, as well as food access sites such as food pantries and farmers’ markets. Nutrition education programs available to youth and adult audiences consist of hands-on activities including gardening, food preparation and tasting opportunities. SNAP-Ed complements those educational programs with site-level efforts aimed to create a healthier environment by bringing more nutritious food and beverage options as well as increased physical activity opportunities, resources and marketing to participants.
SNAP-Ed works with food pantry collaborators to increase procurement and promotion of healthy food options, including maximizing local produce donations, gardening efforts, and education and tasting of nutritious recipes.
SNAP-Ed provides nutrition education programs at youth sites across Maryland, reaching children and their families. Programs work to establish a healthier cafeteria environment, a greater connection to local food access including farms, on-site gardens and food pantries, as well as supporting teachers in providing access to water, healthy celebrations and physical activity resources for the school community.
SNAP-Ed connects local farmers and farmers’ markets with low income Marylanders to increase access to locally grown fruits and vegetables. SNAP-Ed supports farmers with marketing and promotion efforts, encouraging EBT acceptance at markets and farm stands, and helps to foster community connections through market tours and farmer visits to local SNAP-Ed sites.