204999 Listening to EARS-What the FY 2008 Education and Administrative Report (EARS) said about SNAP nutrition education activities

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 9:30 AM

Judy F. Wilson, MSPH, RD , Food & Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
Anita Singh, PhD, RD , Food & Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
Alice Lockett, MS, RD, LD , Food & Nutrition Service, SNAP, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
Melissa Walker, MS, MBA, RD , Food & Nutrition Service, SNAP, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
Carol Olander, PhD , Food & Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (previously the Food Stamp program) currently serves about 31 million people in the U.S.each month. SNAP is the nation's first line of defense against food insecurity and provides food resources as well as support for nutrition education to assist consumers in making healthier food choices. SNAP nutrition education (SNAP-Ed) is an important but optional part of the program. Over the past 18 years, the number of States offering nutrition education increased from 7 (1990) to 52 (2008) and the federal share of funding rose from $661,000 to about $350 million during this period. States are reimbursed for 50% of allowable expenditures. While most States provide annual reports, there is considerable variation in the types of information included and in definitions of data elements. As a result, there is very little national data available to describe the scope or reach of SNAP-Ed activities. FNS designed EARS to obtain uniform data and information about SNAP-Ed to inform management and policy decisions, enable the agency to describe SNAP-Ed services and answers questions from policy officials. EARS data also supports policy and legislative initiatives, budget requests, and planning at the national, state and local levels. FNS used a collaborative process in developing EARS that involved a diverse group of stakeholders in identify essential components. Development required over 4 years and included an assessment of existing reports, identification of essential content, field-testing, clearance, training, implementation and monitoring. The clearance process allowed opportunities for public review and input States. EARS implementation began in FY2008, and must be fully implemented by 2010. However, many States submitted full reports for FY 2008. The reports provide valuable insights about characteristics of participants, types and amounts of education delivered, behavioral goals, educational strategies, venues used to deliver SNAP-Ed and resources expended. EARS data paints a national picture of SNAP-Ed for policy officials and nutrition professionals. This presentation summarizes the developmental process for EARS, shares national FY 2008 data, discusses the utility and implications of the data, and outlines next steps.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the components of the new national reporting system for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (previous know as the Food Stamp Program) and its objectives Discuss the utility of FY 2008 data Identify strategies for using the data at the State, regional and national levels to support policy decisions, identify unmet needs and improve services.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Reporting

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In my current and prior positions, I have planned and conducted national conferences as well as regional and local training and seminars for professionals. I have served as chair of the Food and Nutrition Section Program Planning Committee and I have planned educational sessions for APHA, ADA, SNE and others. I planned and lead the development of this project, served on the workgroup and managed the implementation process. Following are examples of articles and presentations. 1. Kumanyika, S; Wilson, Judy; Glifford-Davenport, Marshall: Weight Related Attitudes and Behaviors of Black Women, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol. ICIII, April 1993, pp. 416 VIII 422. 2. Suiter, Carol: Olson, Christine; Wilson, Judy: Implementing the Nutrition During Pregnancy and Lactation Guidelines¨ Journal of the American Dietetic ASSOCIATION, Vol. XXIII, April 1993 3. Wilson, J.F; Farrell, M.; Martinez; M.; Application of Geographic Information Systems for Nutrition Programs. 80th Annual Meeting of the American Dietetic Association. Boston, Mass. 1997. 4. AH White, A Burns, JF Wilson, A Singh, D Blum-Kemelor, J Dusenberry. The Development of Core Nutrition Education Messages Targeting Low-Income Mothers. American Dietetic Association Food & Nutrition Conference & Exhibition, Oct. 2008 Philadelphia, PA. 5. Williams L, Bronner Y, Wilson JF, Blum DM, McCabe S. Citywide Breastfeeding Promotion Campaign: The District of Columbia's Model. American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Oct. 1987, New Orleans.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.