Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education
The California Department of Social Services (CDSS), California’s oversight agency, operates a robust Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) Program with a goal and primary focus of improving the likelihood that persons eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)/CalFresh benefits will make healthy food and beverage choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the 2015−2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the current United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (USDA-FNS) SNAP-Ed Guidance.
These goals are achieved through behaviorally focused, evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions such as classroom lessons through evidenced-based curricula, social marketing campaigns and instructional school gardens, taste testing activities, walk to school events and school wellness policies. Other interventions also include different program initiatives such as the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, Champions for Change Movement and the Shaping Healthy Choices Program.
In addition to CDSS, there are four State Implementing Agencies (SIAs) in California’s SNAP-Ed program. These include the California Department of Public Health, UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program, Catholic Charities of California, Inc., and the California Department of Aging. CDSS emphasizes collaboration and coordination among all SIAs and their Local Implementing Agencies, to ensure that the quality of SNAP-Ed programs and services are in alignment with evidence-based and practice-based approaches stipulated in the current USDA-FNS SNAP-Ed Guidance.
Outreach raises awareness of the nutrition benefits of CalFresh, eligibility rules, and how to apply.
CalFresh outreach corrects myths and misperceptions about this food benefit program and enables potentially eligible people to make an informed decision to participate.