(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program- Education)
Who We Are - Our Team
Our Mission & Goals
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) is the educational component of the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a program that offers nutrition assistance to eligible, low-income individuals and families.
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe SNAP-Ed Program is currently focusing on helping participants learn about healthy food & physical activity. Because we are a tribal SNAP-Ed grantee, we are able to look at these ideas with a specific focus on traditional indigenous teachings. By tapping into foods through local farmers/growers and by traditional means (hunting, fishing, gathering), SNAP-Ed helps emphasize and excite our partners with different ways to look at and appreciate foods. We also help educate on how to stretch your family’s dollar further and connect our families with our foods through teachings and increasing food sovereignty.
We focus on two larger projects
This project is to help participants in the community improve their healthy eating and active living behaviors through participation in direct education courses. With this initiative we look at bringing in locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables to the classrooms and to the organizations, while always tying in a physical activity component. These classes are generally hands-on and allow our participants to experience and build skills at the same time as absorbing teachings. We hope at the end of courses that our participants increase their fruits and vegetable consumption, learn basic food handling safety, tips on cooking and shopping and ways to increase physical activity- to name a few!
Gardening & Community Food Sovereignty
This project focuses on developing partnerships across local, state, and regional work to collaborate and network in order to maximize resources and the capacity of which our community can support local access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Participants will also engage in classes that teach about traditional Native American foods, the classes focus on how to harvest, prepare, and preservation of indigenous foods. This will also be tied to learning about different food sovereignty methods and how to handle different plants as well as companion growing and seed saving. SNAP-Ed is also looking to establish a mobile free farmers market during the harvesting times of the summer with produce from community gardens. There are currently community gardens in the following communities: Cass Lake (2x), Onigum, Bena, and Ball Club.
SNAP-Ed is based in evaluations and data to show effectiveness. We use a pre and post-test series with a select group of our participants across our initiatives and projects, as well as help support and engage in community assessments.