Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) – Nutrition Education and Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Changes:
Health Promotion Council (HPC) is a Pennsylvania Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) provider, a program that supports evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions and projects for persons eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through complementary direct education, multi-level interventions, and community and public health approaches to improve nutrition. The focus of the program is: 1) to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles; and, 2) to help the SNAP-Ed target audience limit risk factors to prevent or postpone the onset of disease by establishing healthier eating habits and being more physically active. HPC services are delivered at schools, food pantries, grocery stores, senior centers, emergency housing shelters, transitional housing, community centers and health centers among others.
HPC is a partner in the School District of Philadelphia Eat Right Philly initiative that educates Philadelphia students about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity, and works with schools to create heathier environments. HPC uses a variety of strategies to reach program goals, including classroom lessons, garden-based nutrition education, and after-school cooking clubs. Educators focus on topics such as choosing fresh fruit and vegetables, identifying food sources, and choosing water to stay hydrated.
Policy, systems, and environmental (PSE ) change approaches such as multi-level interventions and community and public health approaches are implemented in addition to individual or group-based nutrition education, to deliver effective, evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention programming. HPC implements PSE initiatives across various settings to promote healthy behaviors by making the healthy choice the easy choice.
• Healthy Out of School Time (HOST): HPC’s HOST program offers a variety of training and technical assistance opportunities on healthy eating and physical activity for staff at Out of School Time (OST) sites throughout Philadelphia. HPC’s HOST service can help OST sites and staff reach program and professional development goals through customized training and ongoing support and technical assistance. Training topics include the importance of healthy eating, reading a nutrition facts label, how to lead a cooking demonstration, physical activity recommendations and resources for youth, and healthy role modeling.
• Pennsylvania Healthy Food Pantry Toolkit: HPC in partnership with The Food Trust and Einstein Medical Center developed the Pennsylvania Healthy Food Pantry Toolkit. The Toolkit uses a train-the-trainer model to guide nutrition educators to support pantry staff and volunteers in adopting practices that promote a healthier pantry environment, at both bag and choice pantries.
Download the toolkit here: https://www.behealthypa.org/health-professional/healthy-pantry-toolkit/
• Breastfeeding Friendly Shelters Initiative: HPC in partnership with the Children Hospital of Philadelphia Homeless Health Initiative, the Philadelphia Department of Health and the Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services (OHS), provides training and technical assistance to city-funded family shelters with adapting and expanding existing policies to protect breastfeeding residents and their children. The implementation of this policy is designed to: (1) improve the experience of pregnant and breastfeeding residents using emergency and temporary housing and ensure they are treated justly, as is stated by law; and (2) clearly communicate to all staff and residents the appropriate procedures and protocols for supporting breastfeeding residents. HPC continues its partnership with the OHS, working with shelters to train staff as breastfeeding champions, who serve as a resource for residents and support the implementation of the breastfeeding policies.
• Training and Technical Assistance for Food Service Departments: Since the establishment of the Philadelphia Nutrition Standards in 2010, HPC has provided nutrition education and technical assistance to city-funded agencies on healthy cooking practices, recipe and menu development, and procurement policies. Through in-person collaborative culinary and nutrition trainings and on-site training and technical assistance, HPC adapts and implements the Philadelphia Nutrition Standards at eligible Food Service Departments. This training and technical assistance aims to facilitate healthy food selection processes and improve the nutritional quality of foods served by participating institutions, agencies, and organizations that purchase, sell, serve, or otherwise provide food to clients, patients, and employees.