Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation

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Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation, conducted by the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health under a contract with Health and Human Services (HHS), is a two-year project to evaluate, on a statewide basis, the effectiveness of SNAP-Ed nutrition education and obesity prevention programming activities delivered by Implementing Agencies throughout the state of Texas. Both behavioral and organizational outcomes are included in the evaluation. Findings from this project will be used to improve SNAP-Ed programs in Texas and the U.S.

SNAP-Ed, or SNAP Education, is a federal nutrition education and obesity prevention initiative targeting low income households in the US. Overseen by the USDA, and implemented at the state level, SNAP-Ed is an adjunct to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the largest federal nutritional assistance program in the US. SNAP-Ed is central to USDA’s efforts to improve nutrition, prevent or reduce diet-related disease and obesity, and assist SNAP-Ed eligible households to make healthy diet and physical activity choices within a limited budget. Within states, SNAP-Ed programs are administered by Implementing Agencies that offer nutrition education and obesity prevention services to low-income communities and SNAP-eligible families.

Evaluation of SNAP-Ed programming to ensure that projects are effective is a key priority for the USDA. To this end, the USDA/ FNS has developed a SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, to facilitate standardized evaluation and reporting of outcomes. The evaluation framework facilitates the use of standardized, evidence-informed methods to share with clients, partner organizations, stakeholders, and policy makers.


The overall objective of the Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation project is to conduct an evaluation of the implementation and utilization of SNAP-Ed in the State of Texas, in accordance with the SNAP-Ed evaluation framework. The state of Texas has funded 7 agencies as of April 3, 2018 that are charged with implementing educational programming for the SNAP-Ed eligible population. This evaluation seeks to determine if the Texas SNAP-Ed plan and initiatives result in changes to proposed short term (readiness and capacity) and medium term (behavioral and policy/systems/environmental) outcomes.

Research Details  

Multiple methods will be used during the evaluation process, including:

    • A literature review to identify barriers and facilitators to program success in other SNAP-Ed implementations
    • A logic model and evaluation plan to guide initial assessment and work flow
    • A needs assessment by reviewing existing data collected by HHSC in the Texas SNAP Education State Plan, as well as the work and evaluation plans for the current SNAP-Ed initiatives in Texas,
    • A detailed set of interviews with key organizational and program personnel at the implementing agencies to identify themes in their experiences for current SNAP-Ed initiatives as well as partnership and organizational capacity
    • A primary data collection from 800 SNAP-Ed eligible individuals, to be conducted 3 times during the project period, to evaluate program and behavioral outcomes.



Contact our Team


Photo of Sarah Bentley

Sarah Bentley, MPH

Photo of Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg

Alexandra (Sandra) van den Berg, MPH, PhD

Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study; Co-Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Alejandra Gonzalez

Alejandra Gonzalez

Assistant Project Director, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Deanna Hoelscher

Deanna Hoelscher, PhD, RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

Photo of Sarah Martinez

Sarah Martinez, MPH

Research Assistant, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation Photo of Nalini Ranjit

Nalini Ranjit, PhD

Principal Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation; Co-Principal Investigator, GAVA Evaluation Study Photo of Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Smith

Project Director, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation; School Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Project Director; Texas Grow! Eat! Go! (TGEG)/Project Director; Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE)/Project Coordinator Photo of Anna Wilkinson

Anna Wilkinson, PhD

Co-Investigator, Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation