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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education Impacts

FY23 SNAP ED Program Impacts

Working Together with NEP

UMass Amherst Extension Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is an implementing agency of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP Ed). The goal of SNAP Ed is to help people stretch their SNAP dollars, promote making healthy food choices, and increase physical activity by providing workshops aligned with the current recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 


SNAP ED by the Numbers

In FY23, NEP collaborated with 85 community agencies and organizations in Massachusetts. Through direct education workshops, NEP reached 29,222 participants, representing 1,034 adults and 28,188 youth.


Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change Activities

SNAP Ed’s community partnerships fostered 39 PSE activities throughout Massachusetts in 2023, with unduplicated reach totaling 10,745 individuals. 


SNAP Ed Nutrition Education was Delivered Across Massachusetts in a Variety of Locations

  • Adult education and job-training programs
  • Community centers and gardens
  • Child care and preschool programs
  • Elderly service centers
  • Family resource centers
  • Food assistance sites, food banks, and food pantries
  • Farmers' markets and mobile markets
  • Head Start programs
  • Public schools
  • SNAP office sites
  • Youth education and recreation sites

Using Effective Methods

  • SNAP-Ed staff and educators work with local collaborators to design and implement programs that will meet local needs (including workshop series, single session workshops, displays, food/cooking demonstrations, posters, and follow-up enrichment materials).
  • SNAP-Ed provides newsletters and follow-up nutrition education materials to parents of participating youth to reinforce what their children have learned.
  • SNAP-Ed provides follow-up materials for teachers, nurses, and food service staff in schools where SNAP-Ed educators conduct a series of lessons.

FY23 Highlights and Successes from Work in the Commuity

In the NORTHEAST REGION, our Lawrence office nutrition educators provided direct education at the Lynn Farmers’ Market to youth by coordinating with a local nonprofit after school program (Gregg House). Youth attended a nutrition workshop that included a farm tour, scavenger hunt, and tasting of a locally grown fruit or vegetable.


In the SOUTHERN REGION, our Raynham nutrition educators collaborated with multiple partners in the region, including the Fall River Family Resource Center and Community Health Network Areas (CHNA 25), to provide direct education and food demonstrations at a slow- cooker cooking event for families living in temporary housing.


Our CAPE COD REGION Barnstable educators collaborated with Bourne Friends Food Pantry to provide on-site cooking demonstrations and interaction with clients to deliver recipes, nutrition education, and easy-to-prepare meals.


CENTRAL REGION nutrition educators piloted and expanded nutrition education programming for seniors at two low-income retirement locations.


PSE Efforts Increased Access for SNAP Participants to the Fruit and Vegetable Incentive Program

“I was never able to use my HIP benefits before!” – Plymouth resident

Partnership between mobile farmers’ markets, UMass Extension NEP SNAP Education Program, and community organizations made it possible for SNAP participants to access fresh, healthy produce at their homes, schools, educational centers, and councils on aging. NEP’s Southeast Region collaborated with Patti’s Patch Farm, local low-income housing authorities, councils on aging, and food distribution organizations to bring colorful mobile farmers’ markets to the doorsteps of underserved SNAP participants. SNAP participants can now participate in the joyful atmosphere of a fresh produce market where they live and learn and can use their HIP benefits there. NEP nutrition educators offered delicious food samples, healthy recipes, and reusable “MyPlate” shopping bags.

In 2023, monthly markets in Plymouth and Wareham rang up more than 1,250 HIP purchases, which totaled approximately $38,000 in redemptions. In Brockton, the Saturday school markets had more than 360 HIP purchases and averaged $14,40 in redemptions each month.


“It gives me great satisfaction to provide healthy produce to this generation.” – Farmer Patti


To learn more about this project see