Fall 2018 

News for our friends, partners, and stakeholders
Thanks for subscribing to our quarterly e-newsletter! We hope you enjoy staying informed about Virginia Family Nutrition Program's different programs and initiatives. We value your support, and hope that this information will inspire you to strengthen your partnership with our organization. Please consider sharing this e-newsletter with colleagues and friends who would like to subscribe.
 It's a SNAP to use EBT at Farmers Markets 

The Family Nutrition Program (FNP) has been working with farmers markets for a number of years to increase SNAP redemption at farmers markets accepting SNAP. Activities have included hosting awareness activities, providing technical assistance to farmers markets in addressing SNAP needs, helping design a course for farmers market managers, and assigning Virginia Tech undergraduate interns to farmers markets to conduct food and nutrition education demonstrations. FNP is also an active member of the Virginia Farmers Market Association, which aims to support farmers markets through education initiatives, while building opportunities for collaboration, networking, advocacy, and innovation that supports the growth and sustainability of farmers markets statewide.

With the 2018 growing season wrapping up, our eight Farmers Market Nutrition Education interns are back at school. This internship gives Virginia Tech Health, Nutrition and Foods and Exercise students a chance to gain experience in community nutrition while giving farmers markets that accept SNAP support by providing at market food demonstrations and community outreach to market their SNAP programs. This year the interns were in markets all over the state including Roanoke, Blacksburg, Harrisonburg, Fredericksburg, Reston and Manassas to name a few. Interns made over 8,000 contacts with market shoppers; teaching about topics such as the importance of fruit and vegetables, how to store produce to make it last longer, and beans as a protein source. Thank you to both our interns and their host markets!

To find a map of farmers markets that accept SNAP/EBT and those that participate in a SNAP Match Program, visit our online map.
 Shop Smart, Eat Smart Healthy Retail Program 

After 10 months of research and much training, the new healthy retail program called Shop Smart, Eat Smart is rolling out across the state! In this new program, FCS SNAP-Ed Extension Agents initiate partnerships with food stores either in low-income areas or with high SNAP redemption. These retailers then select strategies that they feel will be feasible in their stores from a “menu” we developed based on interviews with owners and managers. These strategies range from implementing shelf-labels highlighting healthy food options to conducting in-store food demonstrations with nutrition education. Allowing retailers to choose from a list of feasible strategies allows for flexible programming with uniform evaluation across the state.

"Menu" of strategies for retailer-FNP partnerships

Shelf-talker highlighting eggs as a quick, easy and low-cost option for a healthy meal.

Posters identifying low-cost ingredients for quick and easy meals.

We encourage SNAP-Ed Agents to partner with Program Assistants (PAs) in their areas to support direct education efforts. PAs are able to conduct food demonstration in stores with Heart Smarts (a curriculum developed by The Food Trust), incorporate grocery store tours for adults and scavenger hunts for youth into their classes, and initiate classroom dialogue around asking for healthy foods to be sold in stores through our new pilot program, Voice Your Choice. So far, we have seven partner stores all across the state.

Program Assistant Kim Russell (pictured left) and SNAP-Ed Agent Andrea Wann (pictured right) conduct a food demonstration for Food Country in Saltville, VA.

For more information on Shop Smart, Eat Smart, please review these two posts on the Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems blog.

Virginia’s Family Nutrition Program is designing a comprehensive program around healthy food retail
The Shop Smart Eat Smart Healthy Food Retail Program is starting in Virginia
 Staff Highlights 
We would like to welcome Dr. Gina Kindred to her new position as Program Manager of Field Operations. Gina brings over 20 years of Extension experience to this position, serving as a Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent and Unit Coordinator before becoming a Family Nutrition Program Area Coordinator for the southeast district. She also holds an Ed.D. in Child and Youth Studies with a specialization in Program Management. Her experience and passion for engaged leadership will be a great asset in this new role.
We would also like to welcome Becca Bowman, our new Events and Logistics Coordinator. Becca joined our state staff in September. She will coordinate all logistics and planning for FNP new hire trainings, continuing education, district meetings, and events, including our biggest annual gathering: All-State Training! As part of her position, she will also coordinate trainings and communication among Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialists within the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, & Exercise.
This summer, four FNP employees welcomed new additions to their families. We are thrilled to introduce Wyatt Johnson, Max Mako, June Misyak, and Austin Martin.
 Website Launch! 

At the beginning of October, we officially launched our new and improved website,

This new website will serve as a resource for everyone. Here, you can find healthy, low-cost recipes that can be shared and downloaded easily, tips for meal planning, shopping, and saving money, and contact information for FNP educators throughout the state. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our program.
 About Us 

The Virginia Family Nutrition Program’s (FNP) mission is to teach limited-resource families and youth how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth. Our programs focus on basic nutrition, physical activity, safe food handling, and thrifty food shopping. 

The FNP uses integrated, coordinated approaches to promote healthy eating and physical activity through nutrition education, food access and availability initiatives, and social media and marketing. Partnerships and collaboration with local, regional, statewide, and national stakeholders have been critical in program design and delivery. Through these strategic partnerships with 539 organizations across the state, FNP is able to connect with SNAP-eligible participants and work to improve the food environment to support healthier choices.

FNP, funded through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), is offered through Virginia Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach partnership between Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.
 Client Success Stories 
 FNP In The News 
Do you tweet? Follow us on Twitter at @VaFNP to keep up with FNP in between e-newsletters.

Copyright © 2020 Virginia Family Nutrition Program, All rights reserved.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - SNAP.

This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

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