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Background

As the cornerstone of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrition assistance programs, the Food Stamp Program plays a vital role in helping to improve nutrition in the nation, particularly among low-income individuals.

The goal of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education is to improve the likelihood that Food Stamp Program participants and applicants will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education is intended to:

  • Assist food stamp households to adopt healthy eating and active lifestyles that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid.
  • Enhance practices related to thrifty shopping and preparation of nutritious foods by food stamp households.
  • Insure that food stamp households have enough to eat without resorting to emergency food assistance and making sure people eligible for the Food Stamp Program but not participating are made aware of its benefits and how to apply for them as part of nutrition education activity.
  • Improve food stamp households’ safe handling, preparation, and storage of food.

Four core elements outline the topical areas of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education:

  1. Dietary Quality
  2. Food Resource Management/Shopping Behaviors
  3. Food Security
  4. Food Safety