Last month, 350 SNAP E&T, state agencies, and other partners from across the country gathered in Alexandria, VA, for the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, opened the conference with an important reminder, sharing:
This year’s National Forum featured 32 sessions on various topics, including SNAP E&T policy, building E&T programs in rural communities, and improving E&T programs through a trauma-informed and anti-racist lens.
The National Forum was the culmination of all the work that the Food and Nutrition Service, our local and state partners, and others have already done to reimagine SNAP E&T. States have increased the potential of SNAP E&T. They are leveraging it as a powerful tool in their workforce development toolbox. Over half of state SNAP agencies have participated in the USDA’s SNAP to Skills project, which has helped them strengthen their staffing and expand the diversity and reach of their E&T programs.
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USDA’s SNAP E&T National Partnership Grants are also helping to build provider capacity across the country; our grantees have already worked with 142 providers in 31 states to help them serve more SNAP participants.
It was the second National Forum but only the first in-person event. As the country recovers from the public health emergency, coming together in this way can help us solve problems and identify best practices, such as providing comprehensive participant reimbursements and virtual training.
FNS also announced the 2023 SNAP E&T State Institute. The SNAP Mind the Gap: Building a Bridge from Vision to Outcomes in Your SNAP E&T Program will be held in Alexandria, VA, on September 20-21, 2023, in collaboration with the Seattle Jobs Initiative. The program will allow a select number of state SNAP agencies to reimagine their SNAP E&T program and develop a strategic plan to achieve their long-term E&T goals. The goal is to carefully determine what works and where gaps in their SNAP E&T programs can be filled. States will collaborate with their interagency team to identify and develop data-driven steps to meet their E&T program objectives.
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