Behavioral Economics in the Healthy Retail Environment: Working Within the SNAP-Ed Context

September 20, 2016

The field of Behavioral Economics provides valuable insight in understanding people’s behaviors and decision-making processes. This webinar will introduce key concepts from Behavioral Economics and discuss how SNAP-Ed agencies can leverage these concepts to “nudge” consumers to make healthier food choices in a retail setting.

Materials: Slides /  AdobeConnect


  • Alice Ammerman, DrPH, MPH, RD: Professor of Nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill; Director of UNC Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention; Director & Principal Investigator, RNECE-South; Principal Investigator & Executive Committee Chair, BECR
  • Molly De Marco, PhD, MPH: Research Assistant Professor of Nutrition at UNC Chapel Hill; Research Scientist, UNC Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention; Project Director, SNAP-Ed UNC; Co-Investigator, RNECE-South; Investigator, BECR
  • Daniella Uslan, MPH: SNAP-Ed Project Manager at UNC Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention


Strengthening Outcomes Through Collective Impact

May 2, 2016

Collective Impact is an emerging strategy for collaboration that is quickly gaining popularity in the social sector. In this webinar, we will introduce the concepts and theories behind collective impact, and guest speakers will discuss how it can be used by SNAP-Ed and EFNEP agencies to strengthen outcomes, especially in policies, systems, and environmental change.

Materials: Slides / AdobeConnect

Guest Speakers:

  • Loralei Jones (EFNEP Coordinator, NC Cooperative Extension) will examine EFNEP partnerships and how they can be strengthened by incorporating collective impact principles.
  • Andy Naja-Riese, MSPH (SNAP Branch Chief, USDA FNS Western Regional Office) will evaluation of collective impact using the new SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework.
  • Abby Piner (Program Coordinator, Community Food Strategies) will discuss how food policy councils are using collective impact and the forthcoming Collective Impact Toolkit for Food Policy Councils.
  • Julia Carboni, PhD (Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) will discuss the unique challenges of leading and management collective impact initiatives.


PSE Change Measurement & Reporting

February 25, 2016

This webinar will provide an overview of policy, systems, and environmental changes (PSE) activities within the SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs and how to evaluate those activities. Information on how to measure reach in PSE activities and examples from implementing agencies will be provided.

Materials:  Slides / AdobeConnect


  • Molly De Marco, PhD, MPH (RNECE-South, UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Andy Naja-Riese, MSPH (SNAP Branch Chief, USDA FNS Western Region Office)
  • Lauren Whetstone, PhD (Project Scientist, University of California Sacramento)
  • Alice Ammerman, DrPH (RNECE-South, UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Theresa LeGros (Senior Research Specialist, University of Arizona)
  • Pamela Bruno, MPH (Evaluator, Maine SNAP-Ed, University of New England)
  • Daniella Uslan, MPH (SNAP-Ed Project Director, UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Helen Chapman, PhD, RD (Program Leader, NIFA, USDA)


PHI Southeast Learning Community: Incorporating Farmers Markets and Community Gardens

January 26, 2016

You will hear from your colleagues about creative interventions and evaluation results from their projects that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables through Community Gardens and Farmers’ Market interventions.

Materials: audio recording


Moderator: Amy DeLisio from Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition


PHI Southeast Learning Community: Best Practices Webinar – Childcare and School Wellness

December 1, 2015


Moderator: Amy DeLisio, Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition


NC-NECE – Evaluating a Multi Modal Community Nutrition Education Model within SNAP Ed and EFNEP

October 23, 2015

Panelist: Jennifer McCaffrey, PhD, MPH, RD

Materials: YouTube


RNECE-South Training Webinar: Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change in SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Programs

August 17, 2015

Through the Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) Initiative, the USDA’s NIFA and FNS hope to assess and improve the long-term quality and success of policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change strategies used by SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs across the country. In the first of a series of PSE training opportunities, RNECE-South will provide an overview of PSE and how it relates to guidance, policy, and toolkits for SNAP-Ed and EFNEP implementers, specific examples of PSE strategies from across the RNECE-South region/network in both SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs, and guidance on the evaluation of PSE implementation and effectiveness.

The “Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) Change in SNAP-Ed and EFNEP Programs” webinar was developed by RNECE-South for implementers, evaluators, researchers, and partners of SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs nationwide to provide a broad introduction to the guidance and training opportunities available to help programs get started with new PSE initiatives, improve current PSE implementation and evaluation efforts, and/or learn how current activities may already fit with PSE strategies.

Materials: Slides / AdobeConnect

Lead Presenters:

  • Alice Ammerman, DrPH RD (UNC) – Co-Director of RNECE-South
  • Lorelei Jones, MEd (NCSU) – Co-Director of RNECE-South and EFNEP Coordinator
  • Molly De Marco, PhD MPH (UNC) – Evaluation Specialist and SNAP-Ed Implementer
  • Stephanie Jilcott-Pitts, PhD (ECU) – RNECE-South Project Consultant (PSE Implementation and Evaluation)


Western – RNECE Healthy Food Pantry Assessment Toolkit

Primary investigator: Karen Barale, MS, RD, FADA, Associate Professor and State EFNEP Leader – Washington State University Extension
Research Coordinator: Alexandra Bush-Kaufman, MPH, RD – Washington State University Extension

The Healthy Food Pantry Assessment Project was designed in three phases.

  1. Phase one included in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews with food pantry managers and EFNEP/SNAP-Ed managers to determine current practices of “healthy food pantries” within the food assistance system of the NIFA Western Region.
  2. Phase two tested a draft pilot assessment tool in five state and included site visits to food pantry sites by a trained researcher who completed on-site cognitive interviews of the assessment tool content.
  3. Phase three was a field test of the food pantry environment with the assessment tool.

Field testing for validity and reliability was completed in seven states: California, Delaware, Maryland, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Washington. Final data was collected in August 2017 and is currently undergoing analysis. The final product will be an assessment tool for the food pantry environment that will provide a numeric score on a scale of 0-100. The closer to 100, the more aligned the pantry environment is to current healthy best practices defined by in-depth interview results and research literature. Most pantries score between 35 and 65 at the start of the process. In addition, a recorded training presentation, instruction manual, and matched resource guide of best practice strategies will be available. This tool can help pantries and their SNAP-Ed and EFNEP partners identify action areas for PSE interventions, and the tool can be used pre/post to assess change.

For additional information about this project, please contact RNECE-W Research Coordinator, Alexandra Bush-Kaufman (