The New Jersey SNAP-Ed (formerly the FSNE Program) was established in 1997 to provide nutrition education to SNAP program participants, i.e., limited-resource adults, seniors, and children in school systems that have 50% or more of the children enrolled receiving free or reduced price school lunches. SNAP-Ed is funded through New Jersey’s Department of Human Service’s SNAP Program, as part of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; and, is a Rutgers’ Cooperative Extension (RCE), a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES), program housed in the Department of Nutritional Sciences.
The desired outcomes of our education are as follows:
- Improved diets and nutritional welfare;
- Increased knowledge of the essentials of human nutrition;
- Increased ability to select and buy food that satisfies nutritional needs;
- Improved practices in food production, preparation, storage, safety and sanitation; and,
- Increased ability to manage food budgets and related resources such as food stamps.
The majority of SNAP-Ed programming in New Jersey follows the USDA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) teaching model, i.e., it provides nutrition education through paraprofessionals (Community Assistants) who are peer educators who are indigenous to the target population.
In New Jersey, adult education in the SNAP-Ed program is accomplished through classes that meet all of the following criteria; they are:
- Comprised of 4-15 people;
- Groups having at least 50% of the individuals participating in the SNAP Program, or eligible to receive SNAP;
- Groups that meet at least 6 times (Department of Labor (DOL) job training program groups can meet 4 times);
- Classes that last a minimum of one hour per session; and,
- Classes where programming is delivered over a minimum of 6 weeks, excepting again the DOL job training programs, for a maximum of one year.
To receive a graduation certificate from our program, adults must attend at least 6 classes as outlined above.
Youth programming, in New Jersey has the same requirements as adult programming, with two exceptions. Classes can contain up to 25 children per Community Assistant in pre-organized youth groups, and may meet for a minimum of 30 minutes, rather than one hour when a full hour is not available. Pre-school programs may meet 15-20 minutes.
For additional information regarding Ocean County SNAP-Ed program, please go to: www.njsnaped.org or contact:
Angela Greene, Program Associate