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Let’s Move to Buy Groceries with SNAP

Life students are finding out that learning about nutrition can be healthy and fun!

Life students are finding out that learning about nutrition can be healthy and fun!

It can be a challenge to build a healthy plate of fresh fruits and vegetables. That’s why First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Faith and Communities initiative is helping community and faith-based organizations to ensure that all families have access to healthy, affordable food in the communities. These organizations are moving across the country in several creative ways: hosting farmers markets, organizing food pantries, and starting community gardens. ACTIVE Life, a non-profit supporter of Let’s Move!, is working to “make healthy the norm” so that people build and sustain healthy communities in Texas.

One way that ACTIVE Life is tackling the challenge of low access to produce is by helping youth and families use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), to buy groceries. SNAP helps more than 45 million people put healthy food on the table each month. An easy-to-use electronic benefit transfer card, much like a debit card, is provided to SNAP participants and accepted at most grocery stores. The First Lady has encouraged organizations to promote affordable and accessible food by helping families, congregations, and communities sign up for SNAP online or by calling the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY for information.

But good nutrition doesn’t stop at the grocery store. That’s why ACTIVE Life is helping SNAP participants learn to make healthy eating and active lifestyle choices through nutrition education. ACTIVE Life is part of Texas’ statewide SNAP-Ed plan, which helps SNAP participants make healthy decisions when shopping with a SNAP card. ACTIVE Life created a nutrition curriculum to teach shoppers how to plan menus before heading to the grocery store and to cook healthy meals with the understanding that money can  be saved without taking up too much time. They’re teaching shoppers that nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive and that healthy eating on a budge can be easy if shoppers choose wisely. This curriculum was brought to students and families at more than 380 sites across Texas last year. One SNAP-Ed teacher said, “What I notice most [in response to the ACTIVE Nutrition lessons being taught to our participants] is that the kids begin to think about what they eat and ask themselves if it fits with what they discuss in the lessons.  It’s the first step towards a happier, healthier self, but it’s a big one.”

ACTIVE Life SNAP-Ed supporters take pictures with milk mustaches to promote healthy choices.

ACTIVE Life SNAP-Ed supporters take pictures with milk mustaches to promote healthy choices.

That’s exactly what Let’s Move Faith and Communities is all about, and it’s a priority for the First Lady: “In the end, as First Lady, this isn’t just a policy issue for me. This is a passion. This is my mission. I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition.”  Ready to get your community moving? Visit us at Let’s Move Faith and Communities or contact us at collaborate@usda.gov.

2 Responses to “Let’s Move to Buy Groceries with SNAP”

  1. Joanna Moore says:

    We want to be a healthy community partner here in the rural area of Maine. How can we partner with you all as a nonprofit food pantry/meal site?

    Sincerely,

    Joanna Moore
    for CrossWalk Community OUtreach
    Naples, Maine 04055

  2. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Thanks for your inquiry, Joanna. We have many resources available for those who want to join us in our fight against hunger. Work at the local community level is really important, and we’re glad to hear of your interest. As a first step, please visit our outreach page. We have a host of information and tools available to help you get started.

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