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Two SNAP-Ed students using veggie vouchers

Alabama Extension at Auburn University Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) continued to pave the way for a healthier Alabama during 2023.

SNAP-Ed uses an evidence-based, multilevel approach to support the health of Alabamians, especially those with limited resources. To accomplish this mission, SNAP-Ed provided nutrition education to 31,759 individuals across a wide variety of settings, such as schools, food pantries, grocery stores, and many more.

SNAP-Ed also partnered with local communities to facilitate 540 unique policy changes, systems changes, and environmental improvements to make it easier for 73,941 people with limited resources to choose healthy foods, healthy beverages, and physically active lifestyles.

In addition, SNAP-Ed reached eligible individuals through Live Well Alabama, a statewide social marketing campaign encouraging Alabamians to Eat Better, Move More, and Choose Water.

  • 27 Educators
  • 9 Regional Extension Agents
  • 54 Counties
  • 31K Impacted by Education
  • 73K Impacted by Policy, Systems & Environmental Changes

Live Well in Schools


Students at a Body Quest food demoDuring the 2022–2023 school year, SNAP-Ed educators provided Body Quest (BQ) to 6,056 third graders in 107 schools. All schools were SNAP-Ed eligible with more than 50 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Classes included a mix of educator-led discussions, guided vegetable tastings, and iPad app reinforcement lessons narrated by the BQ Warriors who possess superpowers from eating healthy foods.

A statewide impact evaluation of BQ was conducted with schools assigned to a treatment or control group. Students in both groups participated in self-reported pre- and post-assessments. Data were analyzed and significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed in the treatment group from pre- to post-assessment and compared to the control group. The control group received BQ classes later in the school year, after the post-assessments were completed.

Positive Changes

At the end of BQ, significant differences in behaviors and attitudes were observed among treatment students compared to before BQ and compared to control.

  • Healthy Eating. After BQ, students ate more fruit, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains.
  • Beverage Consumption. After BQ, students drank more water, fewer sugary beverages, and more low or reduced fat milk.
  • Attitudes. After BQ, students said they actually liked eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains more.


BQ engaged parents in nutrition and physical activity education alongside their children.

Parents also completed pre- and post-assessments to measure beverage consumption. After BQ, parents reported significantly increased water intake and decreased sugary beverage intake compared to before BQ.

  • Weekly text messages encouraged 2,585 parents to make healthier choices.
  • Healthy recipes were provided for parents and children to prepare and “test” together at home.
  • Billboards and digital ads placed near BQ schools prompted parents to Eat Better, Move More, and Choose Water.

Text Messaging Encourages Change

Parents responded to a text message survey to measure additional changes after BQ:

  • 80% kept fewer sugary beverages in their homes.
  • 85% noticed their child ate more fruits & vegetables, tried new foods, or both.
  • 91% used tips provided in text messages.
  • 90% found more ways of being active with their 3rd grader.


Body Quest student from Glen Oak IntermediateMaking healthy food and physical activity priorities at schools is critical. Research shows kids who have healthy eating habits and get regular physical activity are more likely to have better academic performance, attendance, self-esteem, classroom behavior, and lower obesity rates. SNAP-Ed facilitated 207 positive changes in 84 schools, creating healthier school environments for almost 22,000 students.

Policy changes encouraged the establishment of new food distribution sites, such as food pantries, and supported healthy nutrition in schools.

Systems changes increased availability of fresh, local produce in school cafeterias.

Environmental improvements established or sustained edible school gardens, improved opportunities for physical activity, and provided tastings and signage throughout the school, encouraging students to make healthy choices.

  • 84 Schools
  • 21,920 Students
  • 30 Counties
  • 207 Positive Changes

School Garden Partnership

Ginger Eatman at a Body Quest Food DemoDesiree Hutcherson-Bates worked with several community partners to help students at Glen Oaks Intermediate School in Jefferson County learn about fresh fruits and vegetables and sustainability through a new school garden effort. Students were actively involved in learning about garden maintenance and created sustainability plans for the upkeep of their garden.

Farm to School

Ginger Eatman partnered with Marion County Board of Education to use grant funds to help purchase four greenhouses at county schools. Ginger helped the schools apply for additional grants and served as a connection for community partnerships to ensure sustainability of the greenhouses. Through a collaborative effort, students can now watch their efforts grow from seeds, learn various subjects with garden education, and develop a sense of ownership over the produce grown. Garden produce is used to teach students about healthy cooking, and students can enjoy their harvest as a school snack.


Encouraging healthy alternatives as rewards for students is a goal of SNAP-Ed. In 2023, SNAP-Ed took an innovative approach by collaborating with school administrators to promote fresh perspectives on incentives.

Torie Ennis at a Color RunDominguez Hurry (Bullock and Macon counties), Antionette Hamilton (Mobile County), Desiree Hutcherson-Bates (Jefferson County), Debbie Beverly (Conecuh and Covington Counties), and Cheri Huff (Tuscaloosa County) guided teachers in embracing a new way to think about classroom festivities. They collaborated with teachers to organize classroom parties, aiming to inspire the concept of healthy alternatives for games and snacks.

Cindy Harper (St. Clair County), Torie Ennis (Etowah County), and Michelle Puckett (Barbour and Henry Counties) put their nutrition education students to the test by challenging them with daily physical activities that ended with the reward of a color run celebration!

Eat Better, Move More: Helps Kids Have a Fun and Healthy Summer

Once school let out for the summer, Alabama youth stayed active and healthy with Eat Better, Move More (EBMM). Six engaging nutrition and physical activity lessons with pre- and post-assessments were offered to 652 kids through Boys & Girls Clubs, school summer programs, and local community centers. By the end of EBMM, kids improved their nutrition knowledge; chose whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and water more often; and participated in more physical activity.

Live Well in Communities


Rock Mills micro food pantryThrough the Live Well Alabama Healthy Food Pantry Program, SNAP-Ed partnered with 53 food pantries to facilitate 179 positive changes, improving nutrition security for almost 25,000 pantry clients per month. Changes included offering on-site nutrition education, enhancing the visual display of healthy options, connecting pantries to sources of fresh produce, and assisting with fundraisers and food drives to increase healthy food offerings.

Building Sustainable Partnerships

SNAP-Ed took steps to partner more closely with food pantries across the state by launching a survey tailored for food pantry managers. In total, 46 managers overseeing pantries that distribute an average of 26,410 pounds of food monthly participated. As part of this effort, Sherri Mulder (Randolph and Chambers Counties), Torie Ennis (Etowah County), and Sherry Carter (Bibb and Chilton Counties) initiated countywide food assistance councils to foster communitydriven decision-making around increasing the access and availability of healthy foods and pantry practices.


SNAP-Ed partnered with 8 local food stores to support shoppers in making healthy food choices. Store owners received assistance in offering and displaying healthy items, promoting healthy items through pricing specials and voucher programs, and highlighting healthy items through improved store layouts and promotional signage. Together, these efforts directed more than 1,353 shoppers per day toward healthier food and beverages.

Michelle Puckett (Barbour and Henry Counties) collaborated with the Eufaula Piggly Wiggly, which generously supplied $5.00 vouchers to every child participating in Michelle’s Body Quest nutrition education classes. With the vouchers, the third-grade students could purchase fruits and vegetables at the local Piggly Wiggly. This concept connects nutrition education from the school to the local grocery store, allowing children to get involved in shopping for healthy options.


A SNAP-Ed booth at a farmer marketSNAP-Ed helped 9 farmers markets increase sales of fresh produce by providing nutrition education, encouraging 1,210 customers per market day to purchase and eat more locally grown fruits and vegetables. SNAP-Ed partnered with local farmers and community organizations to make farmers market produce more accessible to people with limited resources through the promotion of SNAP EBT payments, voucher programs, and improvements in days and hours of operation.

Locally sponsored fruit and vegetable voucher programs are an exciting project SNAP-Ed has facilitated in several counties in recent years. This year, Kristen Sanders (Pike and Crenshaw Counties) joined other SNAP-Ed educators in Alabama by receiving local donations to distribute Veggie Bucks to children who received nutrition education at their local farmers markets. Thanks to this initiative, children experienced the excitement of shopping and interacting with farmers participating in the market.

Elizabeth Kohen (Henry and Barbour Counties) arranged a unique reward for families— a scavenger hunt adventure at the Headland Farmers Market. Children explored various vendors, interacted with farmers, and searched for unfamiliar fruits and vegetables, breakfast ingredients, or even veggies that grow in the ground.


Young students planting in a raised bedSNAP-Ed supported the establishment and sustainability of 38 school and community gardens, making fresh vegetables available to 10,640 Alabama residents. Educators played a vital role in connecting gardens to community organizations such as food pantries, school cafeterias, and summer feeding sites. SNAP-Ed educators and community garden volunteers weighed produce and determined a total harvest weight from gardens and gleaned excess produce from farmers. Gardens supported by SNAP-Ed produced more than 2,600 pounds of produce valued at $5,435. This equated to 9,440 servings of fruits and vegetables, enough for 1,888 adults to meet the USDA daily recommendations.

  • 2,600 Pounds
  • 9,440 Servings
  • 1,888 Adults
  • $5,435 In Value


SNAP-Ed educators partnered with local communities to create easy and engaging opportunities for residents to be physically active. Partnerships resulted in 102 improvements to 46 physical activity facilities, outdoor spaces, walking paths, roadways, and parks, serving 25,222 Alabamians every day.

Let’s Move Alabama

Move Alabama logoSNAP-Ed partners with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to lead Move Alabama, a statewide physical activity challenge. Move Alabama encourages Alabamians to stay motivated and physically active through statewide challenges, social media engagement, and community pop-up challenges.

During the challenge, participants were encouraged to motivate each other in the Move Alabama public Facebook group. Through social media, participants learned more about healthy eating and active living, and they stayed connected with others in the challenge.

Move Alabama engaged its 1,300 Facebook followers, which resulted in more than 700 posts of photos and comments and more than 30,000 views throughout the two-month challenge. In-kind donations of $2,800 were collected to support challenge winners.

Participant survey reveals positive outcomes.

  • 88% developed a plan to continue being physically active after Move Alabama.
  • 72% are confident or completely confident that they can be more physically active in their everyday lives after completing Move Alabama.
  • 61% learned a new way to be physically active in their community.

Want to get involved in 2024? Check out the Move Alabama Facebook page for more details.


Move Alabama pop-up challenges are creating demand for environmental enhancements to physical activity in Alabama communities. In FY23, educators worked closely with partners to organize 52 challenges, engaging more than 2,100 individuals.

Through a Move Alabama pop-up challenge, SNAP-Ed’s Kristen Sanders (Crenshaw and Pike Counties), leveraged several community partnerships to bring together reading and physical activity in the park. Using chalk and temporary signage, Kristen transformed a walking trail into a vibrant, interactive story experience. This innovative approach not only heightened community engagement but also resulted in community partners funding the development of a permanent StoryWalk® in Crenshaw County.

SNAP-Ed educators Cindy Harper (St. Clair County) and Leslie White (Lamar and Fayette Counties) made physical activity fun on their local walking trails. Using a temporary sensory path created with chalk drawings, families jumped through imaginary puddles, picked carrots, flew through the clouds, and zigzagged on a narrow path. These temporary efforts started community conversations toward more permanent solutions.

Live Well Social Marketing

Live Well Alabama messages are integrated into all SNAP-Ed activities. Promotional signage helped people identify healthy food choices in grocery stores and food pantries or encouraged physical activity in parks and schools. SNAP-Ed educators continuously spread Live Well Alabama messages and reinforced concepts through recipe demonstrations, nutrition education sessions, and community-based projects. SNAP-Ed adult participants were encouraged to follow and engage with us on social media for daily educational content and motivation to Eat Better, Move More, Choose Water, and Make a Change for better health.

Live Well Alabama social media posts from Facebook, Instagram, and XSocial media following and engagement across all platforms grew from the previous year. Facebook posts reached more than 450,000 accounts and the Live Well Alabama page was visited more than 300,000 times.

Billboards blanketed the state, making 192 million impressions in 48 counties and reaching 138,000 SNAP-Ed–eligible adults.

The Live Well Alabama text messaging campaign shared weekly educational tips with more than 6,200 people.

Digital advertisements made more than 18 million impressions and drove viewers to visit the Live Well Alabama Facebook page more than 95,000 times.


Live Well Alabama delivers educational content, motivation, encouragement, and inspirational stories about SNAP-Ed educators and their partners making real change in local communities.

SNAP-Ed professionals at Annual ConferenceSNAP-Ed Professionals

Creating a Culture Shift in Alabama

Alabama Extension at Auburn University SNAP-Ed’s statewide network of passionate educators and regional Extension agents is committed to improving the environment around health and well-being for Alabamians, focusing on communities with limited resources. Improving dietary and physical activity behaviors of individuals and families and building partnerships to improve the health of communities are among key SNAP-Ed efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice.


The Educators

Educator County/Counties
Annette Casteel Winston & Franklin
Bernadine Ransom-McCaskillMobile
Carolyn Rothschild Monroe & Wilcox
Cheri HuffTuscaloosa
Cindy HarperSt. Clair
Christina Drummond Etowah
Debbie Beverly Conecuh & Covington
Della Bramley Cullman & Marshall
Dominguez Hurry Bullock & Macon
Elizabeth KohenHenry & Barbour
Gina NimmoLee & Russell
Jennifer Palmer Lawrence & Colbert
Joshua Berryhill Marion & Walker
Leslie White Lamar & Fayette
Kara HallChambers & Randolph
Kristen Sanders Crenshaw & Pike
Mary Harden Jackson
Meaghan Robertson Clay & Talladega
Meaghanne Thompson Cherokee & Cleburne
Shalong Hamilton Hale & Greene
Sherita Hale Sumter & Pickens
Sherry CarterChilton & Bibb
Sicily Stacy Yarbrough Geneva & Coffee
Tabatha GlassburnCoosa & Tallapoosa
Tammy Glass Marengo & Choctaw
Tammy Hall Calhoun
Terronda FieldsButler & Lowndes

Regional Extension Agents

Educator County/Counties
Antionette HamiltonMobile
Camille MinayaEscambia
Desiree Hutcherson-BatesJefferson
Ginger EatmanMarion & Walker
Jacob BaileyLee & Russell
Michelle PuckettHenry & Barbour
Sanquenetta ThompsonSumter & Greene
Sherri MulderRandolph & Chambers
Torie EnnisEtowah

State Staff

Sondra M. Parmer
Katie Funderburk
Erin Reznicek
Sofia Sanchez
Mitch Carter
Dustin Duncan
Melanie Smith
Kelly Mailen


New May 2024, SNAP-Ed FY23 Annual Report, FCS-2790

Past Reports

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System (Alabama A&M University and Auburn University) is an equal opportunity educator, employer, and provider. If you need a reasonable accommodation or language access services, contact Katie Funderburk at kem0017@aces.edu.

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