Readiness of SNAP-Ed Implementers to Incorporate Policy, Systems, and Environmental Approaches into Programming


Draper, C.L.; Younginer, N.


Objective: To identify the readiness of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) implementers to facilitate policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) changes in conjunction with delivering direct nutrition education. Design: Qualitative study using semistructured interviews. Setting: A southeastern state. Participants: Purposive sample of SNAP-Ed staff (n = 19) from state implementing agencies (n = 3) in 1 state. Phenomenon of Interest: Readiness using the validated framework: readiness equals motivation coupled with general-capacities and innovation-specific capacities (R = MC2). Analysis: Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts were analyzed using an iterative approach to the analysis via emergent coding and constant comparison. Results: Although a general sense of motivation is present among implementers to meet the new federal guidelines, nutrition education is still prioritized. General capacity for SNAP-Ed implementers, comprised communication, training, and funding and staffing, was limited. Innovation-specific capacities around the implementation of PSEs revealed limited knowledge, experience, and resources among most implementers. Conclusions and Implications: Identifying the nuanced and interrelated aspects of motivation and capacity of SNAP-Ed implementers to incorporate PSEs into their direct education interventions could inform tailored strategies for increasing readiness, such as through training, reallocation of resources, or program restructuring. © 2021 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior