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Who Provides SNAP-Ed in Minnesota Besides Extension?

By Ryan Johnson, Associate Program Director — Health and Nutrition​

In last week’s blog post, I talked about the differences between the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed). SNAP-Ed helps people with limited financial resources make healthy food choices and become more physically active. This week I want to introduce Extension’s partner in administering SNAP-Ed in Minnesota — the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.

The Minnesota Chippewa Tribe provides SNAP-Ed on six reservations: Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs and White Earth. The mission of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe SNAP-Ed program is to provide a circle of quality services to elders, families and children within the tribal community by promoting wellness and healthy active lifestyles through education, advocacy, and training emphasizing culture.

The Ojibwe name for the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe SNAP-Ed program is Gwe Yak Mino Wiisin A Da (Let’s Eat the Right Foods). The goal of Gwe Yak Mino Wiisin A Da is to use educational strategies, while improving environments to support participants in choosing healthful, safe foods and active lifestyles to help reduce obesity and chronic disease and increase general well-being.

This goal incorporates a specific concern that is critically important for Gwe Yak Mino Wiisin A Da — addressing the obesity epidemic that hits families with limited financial resources particularly hard, especially youth, and that paradoxically co-exists with hunger. Tribal officials estimate up to half of American Indians on the White Earth reservation live below the poverty line. For some, ensuring there is enough healthy food to feed themselves and their families is a problem. Gwe Yak Mino Wiison A Da is part of a growing effort to return to traditional foods that can help alleviate hunger and improve the health of people on the reservation while reconnecting them with a diet that served their ancestors.

Gwe Yak Mino Wiisin A Da provides community-based, multi-level, and multi-organizational nutrition education programming that empowers SNAP-Ed participants with knowledge and practical skills to help prevent obesity, ameliorate its negative effects on health, and reverse its progress.

For more information, watch the video Let's Eat the Right Foods - "Gwe Yak Mino Wiisin A Da" or contact Doris Jones, Nutrition Education Manager, Minnesota Chippewa Tribe at 218-335-8585 or
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