The Healthy Eating on a Budget program has been integrated into the TANF Work Readiness workshop as a SNAP-Ed program. The purpose of the 8-lesson series is to provide SNAP recipients with education on healthy nutrition and physical activity practices, food resource management, food safety and food security.
Poor health disproportionately affects minority and low-income U.S. populations. The 2012 American Community Survey data shows Nevada’s poverty estimate to be 16 percent. According to Nevada’s 2010 Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance Survey (total n=3,913), of the respondents with incomes less than $25,000 per year, 14 percent have been told by a doctor they have coronary heart disease, 21 percent have been told they have diabetes, 68 percent are overweight, and 47 percent are obese. Low-income families are the most vulnerable to both undernutrition and overconsumption. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans specifically emphasizes consumption of low-fat, nutrient-dense foods, limited sugars and increased physical activity. In contrast, food consumption research shows low-income families often consume low-cost, high-fat, high-calorie foods that provide more calories for less money.
The number of total SNAP participants increased in Nevada by 4.7 percent in 2014, with 375,506 people participating in SNAP in Nevada each month. Demographics of those participants included: 46 percent were under the age of 18, 17 percent were under the age of 5, and 9 percent were 60 years of age or older. White (non-Hispanic) participants made up the largest percentage of SNAP participants at 37 percent, while Hispanic participants were reported at 30 percent and Black (non-Hispanic) participants were reported at 22 percent. SNAP participation in 2015 has continued to increase and year-to-date includes 7.6 percent more participants than in 2014.
Healthy Eating on a Budget partners with the Nevada Department of Welfare and Supportive Services (DWSS) in conjunction with their job readiness to provide nutrition education to those receiving SNAP benefits. Participants learn how to select a nutritious diet, use food resources efficiently to prevent food insecurity, and maintain food safety.