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Strengthening Southwest Minnesota's Healthy Eating Work

By Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator — Health & Nutrition

In many places across Southwest Minnesota, community members partner with public health professionals to make their communities healthier places to live, work, learn and play. In 2016, two groups of these professionals — SNAP-Ed educators and Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) staff — are joining forces to strengthen their community-based healthy eating work.

The "Southwest Food Network Community of Practice" is a year-long series of learning opportunities related to network-building, effective facilitation, assessment, action planning, and health equity. With the Minnesota Food Charter as a guide, the project invites SNAP-Ed educators, SHIP staff, and key partners to events and webinars where they work together on food access, food skills, and food infrastructure issues.

My fellow Health and Nutrition Extension Educator Mary Schroeder and I are leading the Community of Practice, with the expertise of two colleagues from the Extension Center for Community Vitality: Toby Spanier, Extension educator, leadership and civic engagement and Neil Linscheid, Extension educator, community economics.

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