By Julene Reese
The Utah State University Extension Create Better Health (SNAP-Ed) program recently announced recipients of its 2022 Utah Outstanding Partner Awards.
The Create Better Health (CBH) administrative team invited all county ambassadors and supervisors to nominate community agencies or individuals who have been crucial to the success of the program at the county level. Entries were evaluated according to length of partnership with Create Better Health and how the person/agency championed or supported the work in their area, among other factors.
“Building successful partnerships with local agencies is essential to the work of a CBH ambassador,” said Jocelin Gibson of the CBH team. “Community partners help our program find people who could benefit from SNAP Education. Collaboration with existing programs expands both our reach and resources. Many local agencies work with similarly vulnerable populations, and they are grateful to have ambassadors teach their clients and oversee improvements to policy, systems, and environments. We are working together toward a healthier and stronger Utah.”
Award recipients include:
- Davis County – USU Botanical Center Farmers Market, the highest performing market for Double Up Food Bucks in the state in 2021.
- Salt Lake County – Utah AIDS Foundation Pantry, which works to provide healthier foods and fewer highly processed options at the pantry.
- Statewide – Utah Department of Public Health, Healthy Environments Active Living Program, which is working to improve the environment of Utah food pantries and educate pantry patrons on healthy choices.
- Weber County – Kenneth Donovan at Catholic Community Services, who established a system to provide pantry patrons with regular and reliable health and nutrition information with their food supplies.
- Washington County – Southwest Utah Public Health Department, which helps coordinate education at food pantries that offer Create Better Health classes in the southwest region.
- Davis County – Davis County Master Gardener Program, which worked closely with Create Better Health to offer the Create Farm Fresh Garden Series. They also developed a beautification project at the Clearfield Community Garden that resulted in eight garden boxes and a large plot for community garden work.
- Duchesne County – Turner Lumber, which provided Ute Tribe Reservation residents with lumber and hardware for more than 175 garden boxes. Elden Oaks of Turner Lumber cut and fit the garden boxes at no charge and made the tribal garden project possible.
- Emery County – Huntington Senior Citizens Center, which provides a mentally stimulating environment for seniors, including classes on the importance of nutritious meals and how to be physically active at any age. The senior center also provides commodity food boxes for qualifying seniors in the area.
- Davis County – Utah House Representative Stephen Handy, who has successfully sponsored several public policies addressing poverty and healthy food access, including the creation of the Local Food Advisory Council with HB121 in 2017. He continues to focus on increasing consumer access to fresh and nutritious food and providing greater food security for state residents.
Gibson expressed appreciation to all those who donated time and money to make these projects and partnerships available to communities around the state.
Create Better Health (SNAP-Ed) gives program participants the knowledge and skills they need to have regular access to safe, healthy foods. Participants learn to cook nutritious meals on a budget, buy and prepare whole foods, read food labels, practice food safety in the kitchen, and more. The program also promotes fresh, local food and physical activity opportunities in communities. It supports the education and skills learned in classes by providing reminders, tips, examples, recipes and other resources through social marketing and social media outreach.