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Saturday, June 9, 2018

Welcome to new SNAP-Ed educator Faro Jones

By Janice Rasmussen, SNAP-Ed regional coordinator

I am excited to introduce Faro Jones, our newest SNAP-Ed educator working out of the Extension Ramsey County office in Maplewood. Faro will be part of the Frogtown-Rondo place-based approach team and will teach classes and do policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) work around the Twin Cities-metro area. After training later this month, she will begin teaching I CAN Prevent Diabetes classes.
Faro Jones standing outside wearing a jacket.
Faro Jones

Originally from Minneapolis, Faro has spent the last 10 years working as a dietitian in New Orleans and Oakland. Her main interest is in improving food access, nutrition education and farming. She has a background in the Women, Infants, and Children program and lots of community work experience. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, traveling, and working on her farm plot in Stillwater.

SNAP-Ed educators, please contact Faro about shadowing you in some of your classes, PSE work, or meetings with partners. She is excited to get out in the community, to see how you do your work and to meet you all. The sooner the better on that! You can reach Faro at

Friday, June 8, 2018

Smarter Lunchrooms collaborative–A tale of two states

By Nikki Johnson, Area Extension specialist, North Dakota State University

In the beginning

In fall 2016, University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Smarter Lunchrooms National Office and key organizations in the state, formed the Minnesota Smarter Lunchrooms Collaborative. The collaborative’s goal is to improve the school nutrition environment by making the healthy choice the easy choice.

Girl leaving school lunch line.

Collaborative members meet each quarter to get the latest news from the Smarter Lunchrooms National Office at Cornell University. They also discuss marketing strategies, capacity building, funding opportunities, and best practices for implementation techniques. (See Kelly Kunkel’s blog entry elsewhere in Family Matters for more information.)

Minnesota Smarter Lunchrooms Collaborative still going strong

By Kelly Kunkel, Extension educator in health and nutrition

Did you know that Minnesota formed the country’s first Smarter Lunchrooms collaborative in fall 2016? The collaborative includes University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Education, and the Minnesota Department of Health.

Boy eating a sandwich at school lunch table.

The collaborative implements the research-based strategies of the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement to nudge kids to choose healthier foods, especially fruits and vegetables, in school cafeterias. Smarter Lunchroom strategies also aim to reduce food waste at schools and increase participation in school meal programs.

A bit of this, a bit of that

By Karen Shirer, associate dean, Extension Center for Family Development

The last few months have been a whirlwind of personal and professional transitions plus lots of important work related to the center. This blog is a little of this and a little of that to help highlight these events.

NHOC highlight: Priester Award winners lead the way in health and wellness programs

By Sharon Mulé, staff development coordinator, Extension Center for Family Development

The 2018 National Health Outreach Conference in Bloomington gave attendees the opportunity to learn about many innovative programs. Perhaps one of the best chances to learn occurred at the Priester Awards Luncheon on the second day of the conference.

FD in the news

Here’s a monthly roundup of regional media coverage on the work of Family Development staff and partners.
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