Arizona Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program

Improve the Nation's Nutrition and Health
Research Year: 

Families eligible for food stamps often need help receiving food stamps, getting referrals to other agencies, and developing and maintaining healthy eating plans within the limits of their budget. Less than a quarter of those eligible for food stamps actually receive them in Arizona.

Description of Action: 

Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, in partnership with local social services agencies, health departments, and other community organizations in the Arizona Nutrition Network, teach a variety of programs to low-income families throughout the state who are eligible for food stamps.

The social marketing campaign provides consistent messages. Topics include healthy eating based on the food pyramid, recipes, food safety, increasing physical activity, increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, and drinking lower fat milk. These classes, workshops, health fairs, radio programs, newsletters and other activities target low-income audiences across the lifespan, from children through adults and seniors. Local staff and volunteers distribute educational materials and outreach education at parents' groups, community centers, low-income schools, womens' shelters, food banks, health fairs and other venues.


In 2003, Cooperative Extension faculty in the food stamp nutrition education program directly contacted 13,680 people through the variety of community events listed above. They reached 18,316 school children and 30,033 adults through nutrition classes, camps, fairs, presentations and demonstrations. Over 293,300 media impressions were made in print and radio ads. In one county, 30 students walked 180 miles in three weeks as a result of the program; in another, 97 percent of 235 participants in an urban horticulture program responded that the workshops met their needs and expectations perfectly. In still another county, food safety training has qualified more than 45 adults for the county volunteer food handler card; post evaluation at three of the workshops showed increased knowledge of hidden fats in foods, and the importance of reading labels and understanding portion size.

Funding Agencies: 

USDA, DES, Arizona Nutrition Network; In-kind support through personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies, co-sponsoring events

Conact Name: 
Scottie Misner
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Department of Nutritional Sciences

309 Shantz, PO Box 210038

Tucson, AZ 85721-0038

Telephone: (520) 621-7123 FAX: (520) 621-9446