The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides eligible low-income individuals and families with a monthly allotment to use on food purchases at authorized stores and farmers markets. Eligible individuals and families in areas affected by lead exposure should be encouraged to use this allotment to purchase nutritious foods, including those high in the key nutrients. Some locations have “Double Up Food Bucks” or similar programs, which double the value of SNAP benefits at farmers markets, allowing participants to purchase more healthy foods containing the key nutrients.
Through SNAP’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Grant Program (SNAP-Ed), States receive grant funding to provide nutrition education to participants that can help them make healthy choices on a tight budget. In areas affected by lead exposure, States can use this program to raise awareness of the importance of good nutrition and teach participants how to incorporate foods high in the key nutrients into their diets.
For example, in Flint, Michigan, one of the agencies that implements SNAP-Ed, created a two-page fact sheet and distributed it throughout the area in a variety of languages. It also developed a recipe booklet featuring foods that are good sources of the key nutrients and held workshops for families.
States can also use SNAP-Ed funding on interventions that increase access to foods rich in nutrients key to combatting lead exposure through policy, systems, and/or environmental change.
In addition, SNAP-Ed Connection, an online resource center for State and local SNAP-Ed personnel, features a variety of helpful government resources on lead exposure and nutrition for educators and citizens alike. There are features articles on lowering a child’s lead levels, preventing lead poisoning among pregnant women, cost-effective recipes featuring the key nutrients, and more.