Wellness Matters! June 2022

Wellness Matters! June 2022

What’s inside this issue:

  • Message from the Director: Pride and Equity
  • PHI CWN’s Toolkit Featured in FY 2023 SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance
  • New Staff Highlights
  • Celebrating the Historical Legacy of Juneteenth
  • Healthy Recipes for the Summer
  • CWN Policy Corner
  • Upcoming Events

New Report: Strategies for Strengthening Community Engagement

We’re All in This Together: Strengthening Community Engagement Strategies Through a Collaborative Technical Assistance Model

We're All in This Together reportThrough funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition (PHI CWN) provided technical assistance, resources, and training to the 2018 Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant recipients across the United States. The training and technical assistance focused on community engagement utilizing participatory approaches and lifting community voice and participation in local coalitions using a health equity framework. 

PHI CWN is excited to share a new report from this work! We’re All in This Together: Strengthening Community Engagement Strategies Through a Collaborative Technical Assistance Model is now available and outlines the qualitative study conducted to assess changes in the REACH community engagement practices. The report demonstrates identified successes through local stories.

Wellness Matters! February 2022

CWN’s monthly eNewsletter, Wellness Matters! February 2022

In this issue:

  • Southeast Region Unbranded Pictures Validation Report
  • Black History Month: Hope in Health Equity
  • Project Highlight: CalFresh Healthy Living’s Tribal Expansion Project
  • CWN Policy Corner
  • Announcements and Upcoming Events

State Nutrition Action Councils: Making the Nation a Healthier Place to Live, One State at a Time

Are you ready to be inspired by the successes of other programs? Do your partnership development efforts need a boost? The Public Health Institute’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition (PHI CWN) has two resources to help you maximize your resources and coalition-building efforts to reduce the burden of obesity.

Across the nation, obesity is a healthcare burden. Over one third of adults living in the United States are classified as obese. Unfortunately, at-risk communities disproportionately suffer higher rates of obesity than any other group. Consequently, obesity-related conditions like, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain types of cancer are some of the leading causes of death.

The good news is that obesity is preventable, and there are organizations across the country working to reduce this crisis and change the shape of this nation!

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS) coordinated efforts to convene State Nutrition Action Councils (SNACs) in states across the nation to align nutrition and obesity prevention activities across USDA FNS programs and other key stakeholders.

Through a partnership with the USDA FNS Southeast Regional office, the PHI CWN supported the eight Southeast states in establishing or refreshing their SNACs to meet their residents’ nutrition and food security needs through a peer learning community.

PHI CWN is excited to share these documented efforts in the 2021 Southeast Region SNAC Success Booklet. Together with motivated partners, SNACs are helping to identify state and local community assets, influence policies, challenge systems, and create opportunities for healthier communities.


This easy-to-read Success Booklet takes the reader through the various stages of success for nutrition and obesity-prevention program collaborations. The Booklet shows how organizations used resiliency and partnership expansion to forge win-win initiatives amid limited resources, setbacks, restarts and challenging times. The transparency of the organizations is refreshing. The “real talk” about what strategies worked and what did not work contributes to the creditability of this resource.

PHI CWN has inspired states across the country to act and build effective SNACs by providing customized resources, training, and technical assistance. In 2018, PHI CWN introduced the SNAC Toolkit which maps out ways to recruit and retain partners, choose an initiative, develop a plan, implement, and monitor and evaluate the progress and impact.

These resources draw attention to the obesity crisis in this country and features practical, proven community-focused solutions.

Are you interested in working with PHI CWN to build healthier communities? Contact us at info@wellness.phi.org. It’s time to tip the scale left.

Southeast Region Validation Report

Read the Southeast Region Validation Report here.

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service requires that surveys used to evaluate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education direct education interventions are not to include images with or references to brand name (branded) items (USDA-FNS, 2021). The primary aim of this study was to make surveys more accessible by determining if replacing branded images with unbranded images would affect how individuals responded to the survey questions. A total of 54 participants completed both pre- and post-surveys and were included in analyses. A Spearman’s rank-order correlation showed moderate (rs = 0.62) to strong (rs = 0.82) correlations for the four questions tested. These results support using unbranded images and show that participant responses to questions with unbranded images were very similar to their responses to questions with branded images.