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 social service agencies, and planning meals and eating healthy foods within limited budgets. Less than a quarter of those eligible for food stamps actually receive them.

Description of Action: 

Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, in partnership with local social service agencies, county health departments, and other community organizations in the Arizona Nutrition Network, teach a variety of programs to food stamp-eligible families throughout the state. The social marketing campaign provides consistent messages on three themes: “Add physical activity to your day”; “go low–drink 1% milk or lower”; and “Eat 5 A Day” to increase fruits and vegetable consumption. Other topics include healthy eating based upon the dietary guidelines and the food guide pyramid, increasing calcium consumption, increasing physical activity, food safety, and eating for disease prevention. Local staff and volunteers distribute educational materials through classes, workshops, health fairs, after school programs, parents’ groups, community and wellness centers, food banks and other venues.


In 2004, Cooperative Extension faculty and volunteers in the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program directly contacted 13,126 persons in community events, 12,562 children in schools, and 13,377 adults and seniors. The total number of direct contacts for the Arizona Nutrition Network were 582,608. And, Extension’s indirect contacts through newsletters, radio and television, as part of the social marketing campaign reached 4,894,931 in Arizona. In one county, 30 students walked 180 miles in 3 weeks as a result of one program. In another county 45 adults received their food handler card through food safety training; post evaluation at three workshops showed increased knowledge of hidden fats in foods and the importance of reading labels and understanding portion size.

Funding Agencies: 

USDA; Department of Economic Security; Arizona Nutrition Network; Cooperative Extension faculty and staff salary match; In-kind support through personnel, facilities, equipment, supplies, and co-sponsoring events

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

Nutritional Sciences

309 Shantz, P.O.Box 210038

Tucson, AZ 85721-0038

Tel: 520-621-7123 FAX:520-621-9446