SNAP-Ed implementers are encouraged to engage in multi-sector partnerships in order to ultimately lead to long-term impacts, addressing factors at upstream levels. Though, SNAP-Ed programs are beginning to document engagement with multi-sector coalitions, little is known about implementers’ current and perceived future partnerships with individual sectors (e.g., transportation, education, health care).
To identify sectors with which South Carolina SNAP-Ed (SC SNAP-Ed) program implementers currently engage or plan to engage with in the future.
Study Design, Settings, Participants
Educators and managers of SC SNAP-Ed Implementing Agencies (IA) (n = 24) participated in qualitative in-depth interviews. Participants rated the amount of support/collaboration they had or expected to have with 16 sectors. Participants then reflected on their responses for each sector.
Participant responses to the level of support/collaboration were tabulated across Implementing Agencies (n = 4) for each sector. Verbatim transcripts were analyzed in Nvivo 11 to identify perspectives surrounding the selection of each sector.
The most frequently engaged sectors were Education, Faith-based, and Healthcare. The most frequently cited sectors where no support/collaboration occurred were Business, Economic Development, and Transportation. The most commonly identified reasons for this lack of engagement were: the scope/focus of the specific educator or IA, negative perception/lack of experience with the sector, and perceptions that connection with the sector was unallowable under SNAP-Ed guidance.
The SC SNAP-Ed program currently has support/collaboration with traditional SNAP-Ed sectors. These sectors have been partners primarily in direct nutrition education. Expanding the scope of SNAP-Ed partnerships into other sectors could provide necessary linkages to developing PSE changes that address SNAP-Ed goals at a larger scale. Guidance and training of allowable, effective strategies for collaboration are needed to change implementer perceptions.