Home & Family
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. — An Alabama Cooperative Extension System regional agent has been honored with the Alabama Friend of School Nutrition Association (SNA) Award. Ginger Eatman said the award prompted her to take a moment to reflect on her career.
Eatman is an Alabama Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) regional agent for Walker and Marion counties. Her nomination stems from her work as a SNAP-Ed educator in the same counties for several years.
“It is very humbling and overwhelming all at the same time,” Eatman said. “Just to think that all of the programming and work that you do make an impact on someone who thinks of you for an award like that–that’s pretty cool.”
Friend of the Year
The Alabama Friend of SNA Award highlights someone outside of school nutrition programs who has done extraordinary work on behalf of school nutrition programs.
Sandy McCaleb, Child Nutrition Programs director for Winfield City Schools, nominated Eatman.
“Ginger is a great asset to children’s nutrition,” McCaleb said. “Ginger consistently demonstrates her genuine love and concern for children by actively assisting Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) in any way she can.”
McCaleb said that Ginger is a constant presence around school activities and is always ready to provide relevant nutrition education.
“During COVID when we were doing pickup meals, she provided learning materials to give to all students in their food bags,” she said. “She provides educational information, food samples and materials to everyone participating in local CNP meetings and regional CNP meetings.”
McCaleb also said Eatman has served on the Winfield City Schools Wellness Committee as an active participant providing ideas and suggestions to develop nutrition standards for children.
“CNP is fortunate to be in Ginger’s circle of friends and a recipient of her generosity, kindness and positivity,” McCaleb said. “If you ever need Ginger, you can count on her showing up with a big smile, a hug, boundless energy and maybe even blue hair.”
Sondra Parmer, assistant director for Federal Nutrition Programs, said she was thrilled about Eatman being recognized by her partners for her hard work.
“Effective partnerships are the backbone of SNAP-Ed work as we cannot make true, sustainable change for healthier Alabamians without the contributions and work of many,” Parmer said. “It is a delight to see Ginger’s school partners recognizing the important role she plays in engaging and empowering this community. Ginger has a true passion for the work she does and this passion is on display daily for all to see.”
Eatman works with students at Jasper City Schools, Marion County Schools, Walker County Schools and Winfield City Schools. She reaches students through summer school and after-school programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program.
“When I leave my home each morning, I represent my family, I represent where I’m from and I represent SNAP-Ed, Alabama Extension and the people I work with,” Eatman said. “When I’m doing that, I don’t think about doing the work that we do to win an award. I do it because we are helping people live healthier lives.”
Learn more about SNAP-Ed by visiting www.aces.edu or contacting your local Extension office for more information about programs near you.