Notes for the Road: Walk Georgia Blog

UGA SNAP-Ed

Food Talk logo

Athens, GA – The University of Georgia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (UGA SNAP-Ed) offers free nutrition education classes to Georgia residents in communities across the state.

The Food Talk curriculum was originally developed at UGA by the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) staff and may be familiar to some communities across the state. UGA SNAP-Ed is building upon this award winning curriculum  to include different learning opportunities to the communities we serve on topics like healthy eating habits, obesity, and the importance of a physically active lifestyle.

“We have a great need for this type of program in the state of Georgia, and we have a capacity to meet that need,” said Jung Sun Lee, an associate professor in the department of foods and nutrition who serves as principal investigator for UGA SNAP-Ed. “Food insecurity, people having problems getting the type and amount of food they need, exists in this nation, but it’s hidden and not many people think it’s actually happening,” Lee added. “In all indicators, Georgia always ranks poorly (in obesity and chronic disease statistics). We hope we can change these issues.”

UGA SNAP-Ed reaches out to low- income residents of our state by developing group classes that include six lessons taught by Extension staff who are members of the communities they serve. Participants learn how to make healthy choices when dining out, how to adapt traditional Southern recipes to reduce sodium and increase vegetable servings, and how to plan meals and discuss shopping tips to save money.

Recipe samples are served in class and participants also receive educational extenders, such as cutting boards, measuring cups and a water bottle. Participants who successfully complete all six lessons earn a certificate of completion.

UGA SNAP-ED also provides an online learning resource called Food eTalk. Food eTalk is adapted from the Food Talk curriculum and offers interactive online nutrition education courses and videos that are designed for mobile and accessible from any web-connected device.

“The great thing about Food eTalk is that people can use it anywhere, at any time,” said Sarah Stotz, a dietitian who was closely involved in Food eTalk’s development.

Last year, more than 1,500 low-income participants enrolled in face-to-face Food Talk programs with hundreds enrolled in online courses.

Those interested in Food Talk group classes offered in Bartow, Clarke, Clayton, Coffee, DeKalb, Fulton and Gilmer counties may contact their local UGA extension office. We also invite you to visit our website  www.foodtalk.org to receive information about this classes or how to enroll in our e learning program.

This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. To learn more about SNAP in Georgia or apply for benefits, visit www.dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/food-stamps or call 1-800-436-7442.

Writer: Austin H. Childers, 706-542-7323, austinhc@uga.edu

Contact: Edda Z. Cotto-Rivera, 706-542-7171, ecrivera@uga.edu