Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education!
Better Living for Texans (BLT) is a statewide nutrition education program that serves 217 of the 254 counties in the state of Texas. Since 1994, BLT has served the state’s residents through teaching nutrition-related concepts focusing on:
- Comparing Prices
- Healthy Menu Choices
- Preparing Healthy Meals
- Importance of Physical Fitness
Our state office is located in the AgriLife Administrative Services Building on the campus of Texas A&M Univerisity. Our address is: 578 John Kimbrough Boulevard, Bldg. 1536, College Station, TX 77843. In addition, we have four regional offices located in Dallas, San Angelo, Corpus Christi, and Amarillo.
Better Living for Texans is a cooperative endeavor between the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Since 1994, the program has been serving limited income families throughout Texas. BLT classes are offered at no cost to participants.
The goal of the Better Living for Texans program and the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Nutrition Education program) is to provide educational programs that increase the likelihood that SNAP recipients will make healthy food choices consistent with the most recent dietary advice as reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The Nutrition Education provided by BLT educators is research-based and is designed to meet the needs of our clients and our communities. The primary developers of BLT curriculum are:
Jenna Anding, Associate Department Head and Program Leader, PhD, RD, LD
Sharon Robinson, Associate Professor and Extension Nutrition Specialisit, PhD, RD, LD
THE NEED FOR BLT
It is estimated that one of every six households (16%) in Texas lives in poverty. Research has shown that individuals who live in poverty have dietary intakes that are deficient in the consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, and lean meat. This is a concern as dietary quality has been linked to four of the ten leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. In addition, many low-income families are also food insecure, meaning that the availbility of nutritionally adequate and safe food is limited or uncertain.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
The primary BLT audience is comprised of SNAP recipients and SNAP program eligibles. In addition, families participating in the Head Start program, Women Infants and Children (WIC), individuals receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), SSI recipients, Individuals receiving food from food pantries or soup kitchens, and others qualify. To see if you qualify, please contact your local Texas AgriLife Extension Agent or the BLT State Office.
Please take a look at the BLT Photo Gallery (link below) for pictures of this well received event.
Johanna Hicks, CEA-FCS Hopkins County, works with youth in bringing the message of healthy eating in a fun, engaging way. Thanks Johanna for your work with BLT!
Please visit our BLT Photo Gallery to see what BLT Educators are up to in your region or throughout the state.
Our Focus Areas for BLT for 2015 will be:
1. Increase fruit and vegetable intake
2. Increase physical activity
3. Improving access to fruits and vegetables (gardening)
4. Food Safety
5. Food Resource Management
Our staff is committed to serving Texans and to improving lives. We encourage you to browse our site and to contact us if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you!
Jon Perrott, Better Living for Texans Program Coordinator