SNAP-Ed in Washington

What is SNAP-Ed? 

SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) is a program that supports the health and food security of people who receive SNAP food benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Who can use SNAP-Ed?  

In Washington, SNAP is also called Basic Food or Food Stamps. The SNAP-Ed program is for people who receive or are eligible for SNAP benefits. You are eligible for SNAP if your household income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) gets funds from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for SNAP and SNAP-Ed. Currently, DSHS partners with Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to provide SNAP-Ed in five different regions in Washington. 

SNAP-Ed Goals

Our goals are to support people eligible for SNAP:

  • Make healthy food choices within a limited budget
  • Choose physically active lifestyles that follow USDA recommendations 
  • Make the healthy choice the easy choice where people live, work, play, learn, shop, and worship

Farmers Markets across WA State 

All over Washington, farmers markets partner with food access programs like the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for WIC and Seniors (FMNP), SNAP or SNAP EBT, and a fruit and vegetable initiative called "SNAP Market Match." For many shoppers, farmers markets are an essential source of fruits, vegetables, and other locally produced items, supporting healthy eating for everyone. Farmers markets in Washington state work closely with DSHS, DOH, and local partners to coordinate opportunities, measure outcomes, keep up with changing technologies, and share best practices.

Please get in touch with Washington Connection by dialing (877) 501-2233 if you need assistance obtaining food assistance.

Core SNAP-Ed Topics

The SNAP-Ed program addresses four main topics:

  • Healthy Living: Spend more time being active and using healthy eating habits, as recommended by the USDA. This includes eating more fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains and less sodium and added sugars.
  • Healthy Shopping: Improve the household food budget by using smart shopping tips and menu planning to buy and prepare healthy meals and snacks.
  • Food Security: Have enough quality food to eat throughout a month without seeking emergency food help.
  • Food Safety: Learn to safely handle, prepare, and store food.

Core SNAP-Ed Program Elements

SNAP-Ed connects with people in the places where they eat, live, learn, play, work, and shop. SNAP-Ed uses three key program elements to support healthy lifestyle choices:

Nutrition education

SNAP-Ed provides nutrition education to individuals and groups of youth and adults. Education is provided in places like parks, churches, community centers, schools, farmers markets, and food pantries. SNAP-Ed nutrition education classes also build on existing nutrition education and public health nutrition efforts in the community.

Health promotion

SNAP-Ed promotes healthy eating and physical activity through many efforts, including: 

  • Healthy cooking demonstrations in food pantries.
  • Providing health education at community events, school parent nights, and health fairs.
  • Sending meal planning and recipe newsletters to parents of students in nutrition classes.
  • Hanging posters where SNAP customers live or work, that show the benefits of walking.

 SNAP-Ed tracks the progress of each effort’s goals and priorities and shares the success of those efforts with the community.

Policy, systems, and environmental strategies

SNAP-Ed partners with communities to plan policy, systems, and environmental changes (PSE). These changes create opportunities for and remove barriers to healthy eating and active living. SNAP-Ed promotes PSE changes that encourage long-lasting impact to nutrition and physical activity for people with low incomes. These changes drive health equity. For examples of PSE strategies, please visit the Creating Healthy Local Places SNAP-Ed PSE Interactive Map.