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St. Louis County Commissioner a Partner in Prevention

By Darlene Collins, SNAP-Ed Regional Coordinator

One of the most interesting things that has happened recently in the Northeast Region has to do with the Spectrum of Prevention. SNAP-Ed Educators Linda Erdahl, Chris Strand, Betty Wistrom, and I made a presentation on the spectrum to the St. Louis County Extension Committee in October.

We first discussed how our SNAP-Ed work is funded and what our goals are. Then we moved to results of individual programming and ended with an explanation of PSE (policy, system, and environmental) work. Chris showed a slide of the multicolored Spectrum of Prevention (SOP) model, and then we heard, "I know what that is."
Instantly recognizable.
For more information on the Spectrum of Prevention, please visit Prevention Institute.

It was St. Louis County Commissioner Frank Jewell who had spoken up. He knew all about the spectrum. He had worked professionally with the model since 2005 when Men as Peacemakers, the organization where he served as executive director, was hired by the Minnesota Department of Health to help develop an effort to prevent sexual assault. Frank embellished our presentation with his explanation of how the spectrum is used in many ways and in many different settings. Instant credibility!

Commissioner Jewell has presented to groups across the state on prevention and the use of the SOP model as a teaching tool. He has expressed a sincere interest in our work and has offered to help us apply the SOP model in our efforts to improve the systems, policies, and environments related to SNAP recipients and other low-income individuals.

A man true to his word, he is meeting with the Northeast team early next year to address the merits of the Spectrum of Prevention, because it really is a timeless and effective model. He has become a strong champion for SNAP-Ed, and it is all due to that colorful slide of the Spectrum of Prevention.
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