Texas SNAP-Ed Evaluation
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.
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.
- Nalini Ranjit - Principal Investigator
- Deanna Hoelscher – CoPrincipal Investigator
- Gretchen Gemeinhardt – Co Investigator
- Alexandra van den Berg – Co Investigator
- Anna Wilkinson – Co Investigator
- Carolyn Smith – Project Director
- Alejandra Gonzalez – Assistant Project Director
- Claire Niday – Research Assistant
- Sarah Bentley – Research Assistant
- Sarah Macias – Research Assistant
- Amanda Reat – Graduate Assistant
- Jordan Williams – Graduate Assistant
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