Policy, Systems and Environmental Strategies (PSES)

The SNAP-Ed Program is involved in PSES in several of the designated counties. Linking direct education with policies, systems and environmental changes are more effective in preventing overweight and obesity than either of these strategies alone.

Here at DHEC SNAP-Ed, we are expanding our efforts to reduce obesity and chronic disease in SNAP recipients through policy, systems and environmental changes. Click below to see a few of our success stories.

State-Level Partnership: South Carolina Read Eat Grow: SC Plants the Seed

DHEC partnered with the South Carolina State Library and the South Carolina Department of Social Services, to develop the SC Plants the Seed. The program was created to help address two major issues facing our rural communities, i.e., literacy and access to healthy food access.

At the local level, SNAP-Ed assists farmers with accepting federal benefits such as SNAP, Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) & WIC. Farmers are paired with local libraries to provide fresh produces to patrons and community. SNAP-Ed provides food demonstrations at the farmers market to families while they shop and the local library gives each child a free nutrition-related, age-appropriate book that reinforces healthy eating behaviors. An important part of the program is promoting the South Carolina Department of Education, Summer Food Service Program, and the South Carolina Department of Social Services, farmers market incentive program, Healthy Bucks.

South Carolina Read Eat Grow: SC Plants the Seed Tool Kit

The guide contains resources pertaining to the SC State Library "SC Read Eat Grow" initiative, encouraging nutrition education, health literacy and food-related programs in public libraries.

View the SC Plants the Seed Tool Kit

Growing C.O.B: Creating Gardens in Low Income Communities

Caroline Coats, Nutrition Educator, is a member of Growing C.O.B (Calhoun, Orangeburg & Bamberg Counties) and the Bamberg Health Coalition. The mission of Growing COB is to empower communities, low-income households and schools by improving health through access to gardens, fresh food, and nutrition information.

Growing C.O.B established several gardens in the community and continues to harvest produce to distribute to community members. Produce distributions are held at places including local libraries, South Carolina State University, and Jamison's Pharmacy. Caroline has conducted recipe tasting at distributions sites using produce distributed in the food boxes.

Blueprint for Health: West Lee Elementary Park

Our PSE Coordinator, Quin Knox, a member of the Lee County Rural Leadership Institute-Interagency Coalition, received the Blueprint for Health Leadership Grant from the South Carolina Office of Rural Health. The Leadership Team chose to direct efforts to the education and health of residents living in the Spring Hill Community.

Thanks to the coalition’s work, students and the Spring Hill community that surrounds West Lee Elementary School in Rembert, SC, now have a park with a playground, walking trail, community garden and outdoor learning space that is used for a farmers market and picnic area. Quin and other members helped build a partnership with the local county government and the school district in Lee County for an Open Community Use policy, making the park available to the community for recreational use after school hours. The Farm and Garden Committee, a subgroup of the coalition, will host a farmers market at the school to address the food access needs of the area.

Coalitions at Work: Marion County CHFE Project

Our Nutrition Educator, Sherretta Thomas, is a member of the Marion County Coordinating Council, working to have a healthier Marion County.  The Marion County Creating Healthy Food Environments (CHFE) Project, involves creating and sustaining links between the health care safety net and the nutrition safety net. Two health care organizations will screen families with preschool children for food insecurity and refer eligible families to the FoodShare Program.  The program includes nutrition education provided by Sherretta with the produce pick-up.

Partners are working together to improve nutritional literacy, reduce food insecurity, and prevent childhood obesity. The CHFE project will make produce more accessible and provide nutrition education to increase nutrition literacy to anyone who screens positive for food insecurity. Systems changes through CHFE will be a major step towards health equity among the residents of Marion County.