This is an excerpt from the Live Well in Alabama FY19 Annual Report.
The number of improvements Alabama SNAP-Ed at Auburn University supported in FY19 will ensure Alabama residents can Live Well in Communities in places they eat, learn, live, play, shop and work.
SNAP-Ed facilitated local and state policy changes, systems changes, environmental improvements and promotional efforts to make it easier for individuals with limited resources to choose healthy foods, healthy beverages and physically active lifestyles. SNAP-Ed efforts in Alabama continue to grow and overlap. The pockets of healthy change will eventually cover the state leading to a culture shift.
Total number of improvements:
- 20 improvements in 10 parks and recreation centers in 8 counties reaching 678 residents per day
- 17 improvements in 7 food retail outlets in 5 counties reaching 1,589 customers per day
- 47 improvements in 33 gardens in 17 counties reaching 7,100 residents
- 42 improvements in 22 farmers markets in 20 counties reaching more than 2,100 customers per market day
- 49 improvements in 26 emergency food assistance sites in 19 counties reaching 3,897 food pantry clients per month
- 5 improvements in 2 faith communities in 2 counties reaching 155 faith community members
Parks and Recreation
Alabama’s numerous parks, trails, and recreation centers provide opportunities to explore the great outdoors and come together as a community to learn and grow. SNAP-Ed educators partnered with numerous parks, trails, and recreation centers to increase access to physical activity and make healthy refreshments available during recreation.
- Systems changes improved access to local walking trails and initiated community walking groups. Environmental improvements enhanced physical activity facilities and increased healthy vending machine offerings at recreation centers.
- Physical activity promotional campaign continued operation in parks and trails in partnership with CDC ALProHealth.
- 20 improvements
- 5 systems change
- 1 environmental improvement
- 14 promotional efforts
- 3 parks and trails
- 1 nature center
- 7 recreation centers
- 8 counties
- 678 people
Alabama shoppers have an easier time choosing healthy items because of the support SNAP-Ed educators provided to 7 stores. Local champions, or owners/managers, of grocery stores, convenience stores and school stores made 17 improvements reaching almost 1,589 residents.
- Systems changes improved buying practices to increase inventory of healthy foods and beverages.
- Environmental improvements increased shelf space and improved placement of healthy foods and beverages, and in partnership with the CDC ALProHealth, improved facilities for stocking healthy items.
- Promotional efforts provided recipe demonstrations, tastings and signage and expanded the Good Choice initiative, a partnership with SNAP-Ed and Alabama Department of Public Health.
- 17 improvements
- 6 systems changes
- 4 environmental improvements
- 7 promotional efforts
- 10 food retail outlets
- 4 grocery stores
- 2 convenience stores
- 4 counties
- 1,589 people
Alabama youth and adults are taking control of what shows up on their lunch menus and dinner plates by growing their own fruits and vegetables. SNAP-Ed educators supported establishment, reinvigoration or sustainability of 33 school and community gardens making fresh fruits and vegetables available to over 7,000 Alabama residents.
- Policy changes allowed for fresh produce from gardens to be served in school classrooms.
- Systems changes implemented processes at food pantries, hospitals and schools to allow acceptance of fresh, local produce from gardens.
- Environmental improvements enhanced row-based, raised bed, hoop house and container gardening practices.
- Promotional efforts provided recipe demonstrations and tastings to encourage use of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the gardens.
Gardens Create Healthy Food Access
Seven Alabama gardens yield good returns on investment. Under the guidance of SNAP-Ed educators, garden volunteers recorded harvest weights. In FY19, gardens supported by SNAP-Ed yielded 10,581 pounds and 14 ounces of produce valued at $19,257.80. This equated to 47,606 servings of vegetables, which are enough vegetables for 19,042 adults to meet the USDA daily recommendation.
- 47 improvements
- 1 policy changes
- 6 systems changes
- 32 environmental improvements
- 8 promotional efforts
- 33 gardens
- 16 communities
- 3 faith communities
- 1 healthcare system
- 1 library
- 11 schools
- 1 housing district
- 17 counties
- 7,089 people
SNAP-Ed educators worked in partnership with 2 Alabama faith communities serving 155 members. Live Well Faith Communities provides a nine lesson education series on healthy eating and active living and supports the faith community for a year in implementing changes that make living well easier. Assessment findings show faith communities are interested in partnering in health initiatives in rural areas and are promising settings for public health initiatives. Individual data show that after LWFC, members plan, shop and prepare healthy foods for the family and increase daily vegetable intakes. Positive nutrition and physical activity changes happen daily through grassroots efforts at faith communities influenced by SNAP-Ed.
- Systems changes promoted healthy options at congregational meals.
- Promotional efforts encouraged healthy selections at congregational meals and provided recipe demonstrations to faith community members.
- 5 improvements
- 3 systems changes
- 2 promotional efforts
- 2 faith communities
- 2 counties
Emergency Food Assistance Sites
With the help of SNAP-Ed, 25 emergency food assistance sites combat hunger with healthy foods. Through partnerships with local champions, more than 3,800 residents received healthy foods during times of need.
- Policy changes improved hours of operation to increase access to emergency food.
- Systems changes expanded public transportation routes to food pantries and adjusted donation rules at food pantries to allow and encourage fresh produce.
- Promotional efforts provided recipe demonstrations, tastings and distribution prompts.
- 49 improvements
- 21 systems changes
- 28 promotional efforts
- 27 emergency food assistance sites
- 13 food pantries
- 8 faith communities
- 2 housing authorities
- 1 mobile market
- 1 backpack program
- 2 schools
- 19 counties
- 3,897 people
SNAP-Ed educators encouraged consumption of fruits and vegetables for more than 2,100 residents in Alabama farmers markets. Additionally, SNAP-Ed supported farmers by creating demand for fruits and vegetables at local markets.
- Policy changes improved days and hours of operation to make farmers markets more convenient for local residents.
- Systems changes expanded public transportation routes to farmers markets, began a coupon initiative and promoted acceptance of SNAP EBT payment for produce.
- Promotional and educational efforts provided recipe demonstrations, tastings and signage.
- 42 improvements
- 1 policy changes
- 10 systems changes
- 31 promotional efforts
- 23 farmers markets
- 20 counties
- 2,104 people
- Live Well in Alabama: FY19 Annual Report
- Live Well Alabama: Making a change with social marketing
- Live Well in Schools: Nutrition education moves youth and parents toward better health
- Awards, Publications, Recognitions, and Presentations