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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education

Alaska’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program (SNAP-Ed) program provides nutrition education for low income Alaskans. The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate.


SNAP-Ed Program Goals

Alaska SNAP-Ed programs goals are:
  1. Alaska SNAP-Ed participants will increase behaviors consistent with the  2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate resulting in:
    • a. The percentage of adults who consume the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables will increase by 2%. (BRFSS)
    • b. The percentage of youth consuming one or more Sugar Sweetened Beverages per day will decrease by 2%. (YRBS/DHHS results)
    • c. The percentage of adults who meet CDC recommended levels of physical activity will increase by 2%.  (BRFSS)
    • d. ​The percentage of adolescents who meet CDC recommended levels of physical activity will increase by 2%.  (YRBS)

SNAP-Ed Providers (Grantees) in Alaska

Currently, four SNAP-Ed providers deliver SNAP-Ed services in the state:

The Municipality of Anchorage Health Department: AHD provides direct education and grocery store tours for smarter shopping, and is also implementing the Healthy Retail Program and working to increase EBT acceptance at local farmer’s markets.

The North Slope Borough: NSB provides direct education to school-aged children and works with schools and out-of-school programs to improve wellness policies and practices for healthy eating and physical activity. NSB provides services in four communities: Anaktuvuk Pass, Atqasuk, Utqiagvik, and Wainwright.

RurAL CAP: In a project with five Head Start locations, RurAL Cap is providing direct education to young children and their families and piloting a hydroponic gardening system at program sites in Anchorage, Gambell, Stebbins, Savoonga, and St. Michael.

University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Services: UA CES provides direct education at a variety of locations and is working with school wellness committees to improve school and out-of-school wellness policies and practices for healthy eating and physical activity in Title 1 schools in Anchorage, Mat-Su, and Fairbanks.

Nutrition educators work with partners such as schools, early care and education centers, residential centers and shelters, food banks, local WIC and public assistance offices to deliver evidence-based classes and programs in communities throughout Alaska. They also work with partners in their communities to promote changes to policies, systems and the environment that support Alaska’s SNAP-Ed goals.

Based on the2018 SNAP-Ed Needs Assessment, the target audiences of the SNAP-Ed program are: youth and families with children, Alaska Native people, rural communities, and communities in Anchorage, Mat-Su, Northern and Southwest regions.

Grantee Locations

Alaska map highlighting: Utqiagvik, Wainwright, Atqasuk, Anaktuvuk Pass, Fairbanks, Gambell, Savoonga, St. Michael, Stebbins, Mat-su, and Anchorage

Program Strategies

The five strategies of the SNAP-Ed program are:

Strategy 1: Create, enhance and support implementation and evaluation of strong wellness policies and practices in eligible schools and out of school time programs to promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Strategy 2: Support the development and implementation of Farm to School and Farm to Summer Meal projects, including gardens.

Strategy 3: Support the implementation and promotion of Summer Food Service Program Sites.

Strategy 4: Support the development and implementation of Healthy Retail practices and policies in food pantries, food banks, convenience stores and grocery stores.

Strategy 5: Expand the number of retail stores and Farmers Markets accepting SNAP EBT and support efforts to increase access and awareness in the target audience.

The Alaska SNAP-Ed Toolkit and approved Curriculum List have additional information.

SNAP-Ed Resources

The Alaska SNAP-Ed Program has also put together a list of additional program planning and evaluation resources, local data sources, training materials, and other helpful websites.
In 2018, the SNAP-Ed program had its Needs Assessment updated, with a focus on Policy, Systems and Environmental changes. Read the results of that needs assessment:

Social Marketing Reports

Social Marketing

In 2019, SNAP-Ed launched a marketing campaign, Every Bite Matters. The objectives of the campaign were:
  • Increase fruit and vegetable consumption among SNAP-eligible Alaskans
  • Increase knowledge of the benefits of all fruits and vegetables
  • Dispel misconceptions regarding any difference in quality between the source of fruits and vegetables (canned, frozen and fresh)

Subsistence Hunting & Fishing

SNAP benefits can be used to purchase subsistence gear, such as hunting and fishing gear, and some gardening supplies.

Arctic Food Security & Nutrition Network collaboration with FRESH

The Arctic Food Security & Nutrition Network (AFSNN) was established in 2015 by the Alaska DHSS Family Nutrition Programs with the goals of reducing food insecurity in Alaska, Yukon, and Northern Canada; informing policy makers; and building cross-border relationships.

In the beginning of 2020, AFSNN began a new collaboration with Food Research, Enterprise, and Sustainability Hub of the North (FRESH), a multi-institutional effort between faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. FRESH’s goal is a more food secure and sovereign Circumpolar North through education, research and engagement, and local food systems and economic development. Through the collaboration AFSNN is further expanding capacity, outreach, and collaborative opportunity relevant to food security and food system development in the Circumpolar North.

Visit the FRESH website to sign up for the newsletter, post a food-systems job opening, or join the Collaborator Catalog!


Mini-Magazines: Tundra Plants

SNAP Public Retailer Information


Learn More

To learn more about SNAP and other programs for needy families visit the links below: