Vermont’s SNAP-Ed program, called 3SquaresVT, is administered by the Department for Children & Families. The program provides physical activity and nutrition resources for parents and caretakers of children ages 2-12.
SNAP-Ed programming and recommendations are consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the USDA food guidance, MyPlate.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services' Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits to eligible low-income households so they can purchase food from authorized food retailers. Its mission is to provide needy children and families better access to food and a more healthful diet through its food assistance programs and comprehensive nutrition education efforts.
The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) administers all SNAP programming. This includes the federal Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention program called SNAP-Ed, intended for SNAP participants (called 3SquaresVT in Vermont), and others who qualify for SNAP and other means-tested federal assistance programs. The program focuses on:
- Health promotion to help SNAP-Ed eligible people establish healthy eating habits and physically active lifestyles.
- Primary prevention of diseases to help eligible people with risk factors for diet related chronic disease prevent or postpone the onset of disease by establishing healthier eating habits and more physically active lifestyles.
SNAP-Ed programs utilize behaviorally-focused, evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions, projects, or social marketing campaigns consistent with FNS mission and the goal and focus of SNAP-Ed. SNAP-Ed behavioral outcomes are:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables, at least half your grains whole grains and switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products,
- Increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors as part of a healthy lifestyle,
- Maintain appropriate caloric balance during each stage of life.
Over the coming years, with SNAP-Ed funding, Vermont will be implementing comprehensive nutrition and physical activity programming in high need communities, prioritizing women with children ages 2-12. This will include nutrition education and changes to environments in places such as towns, schools, worksites, and stores to support healthy eating and physically active lifestyles.
3-4-50 stands for the 3 behaviors (physical inactivity, poor nutrition and tobacco use) that lead to 4 diseases (cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease), resulting in more than 50% of deaths among Vermonters. Our 3-4-50 web page offers examples of actions and resources individuals can take to eat healthy, be physically active and quit tobacco use.