Eat Well & Be Active
Healthy Programs That Make A Difference
The Maine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) is nutrition and physical activity education for people who are eligible for SNAP benefits (previously known as food stamps). SNAP-Ed provides USDA evidence based nutrition education in a variety of community settings across the state.
SNAP-Ed’s mission 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 ChooseMyPlate.gov.
To Learn More About Let’s Go!
Nan Bell: Let’s Go! Coordinator
Email: [email protected]g
Office: (207) 588-5341
Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0
Let’s Go! is a statewide childhood obesity prevention program working with communities to create environments that support healthy choices. Bringing evidence-based strategies for healthy living into schools, child care and out-of-school programs, health care practices, and workplaces, Let’s Go! reaches children and adults where they live, learn, work, and play.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area is partnering with Let’s Go! to fund a Let’s Go! Coordinator and be the local face of the Let’s Go! program in eighteen communities of Southern Kennebec County.
Since change takes time this program is being funded for five years with a vision that all health care centers, schools, childcare sites, out of school programs and workplaces will be practicing healthy eating and active living across communities.
Maine Farm to School Network
HCCA is the fiscal and staffing home to the Maine Farm to School Network (MFSN). MFSN offers resources and technical assistance for schools interested in integrating agricultural-based nutrition education into the classroom, building and tending school gardens, and sourcing local foods for school meals. The Network hosts a biennial statewide conference and has representatives who offer technical assistance and support across the state. HCCA’s Renee Page coordinates MFSN and is the Maine State Core Partner to the National Farm to School Network.
Maine, Massacheustts, and New Hampshire Farm to School teamed up to create two new Sea to School resources for classrooms and cafeterias. The Sea to School Guide and accompanying 15-minute video Sea to School: A Lunch Voyage support use of local seafood in school meals and marine education and will help schools procure, serve, and promote sustainable, harvested Gulf of Maine seafood products.
MFSN collaborated with the Maine Department of Education to launch the Maine Harvest of the Month Program. This campaign promotes the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities.
To Learn More About Maine Farm to Institution
Renee Page: MEFTI Leadership Team Coordinator
Email: [email protected]
Office: (207) 588-5347
Maine Farm to Institution
HCCA is the fiscal and staffing home to Maine Farm to Institution (MEFTI). In 2015, with generous support from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Maine Farm to School Network began working on cross-sector farm to institution efforts with representatives from K-12 schools, higher education, corrections, and health care, and formed Maine Farm to Institution to knit together these cross-sector efforts to harness the buying power of food-serving institutions to increase the amount of Maine harvested foods served in institutional settings across the state.
Reducing Wasted Food & Increasing Access to Fresh, Local Food
In 2016-2018 HCCA partnered with the Kennebec Sheriff’s Office’s Inmate Community Service Program to glean end of harvest fruits and vegetables from area farms, which was then donated to hunger relief organizations and other sites serving those in need. Food distribution was paired with nutrition education and practical tips for using freshly harvested produce. The project rescued and redirected to 30,999 recipients, 54,733 pounds of food that otherwise would have gone to waste, and 3,058 hours of nutrition education was provided to 1,373 recipients. This project was supported by generous funding from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund.
Since 2016, as a result of Healthy Food Fund contributions to 25 organizations across New England, the amount of healthy, local produce distributed free to low-income families in the region increased 116 percent to nearly 1.8 million pounds of fresh produce; and the amount of produce sold increased 189 percent in the same time period. The total dollar value of healthy food reaching households in communities across the region since 2016 is $4.9 million.
Resources and updates
- Community Resources – Here are Maine Snap-Ed’s Community Member Resources
- Maine Let’s Go 2017 Annual Report – Snap Shot of statewide program efforts and successes for Let’s Go!
- Eliminate Sugary Drinks
- Sea to School: A Guide for School Cafeterias & Classrooms
- 5-2-1-0 Scientific Rational
- Let’s Go! Healthy Habits Survey – Self Assessment of Healthy Habit