FoodWIse is the Wisconsin nutrition education program also known federally as SNAP-Ed. FoodWIse is a USDA federally funded grant program. which provides nutrition education and physical activity promotion for youth and adults with limited incomes. FoodWIse works in partnership with agencies and schools to promote nutrition education, opportunities for physical activity and Policy System and Environmental change to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Douglas County FoodWIse provides evidence based education to youth in school, to parents of young children enrolled in Head Start and WIC, to adults using local food shelves to feed their families and to Seniors at Senior Connections meal sites and their Meals on Wheels program. As trained facilitators of the WI Strong Bodies program Educators provide free Strong Bodies exercise and balancing training classes for adults in person when possible and virtually using the UW-Madision Zoom platform.
FoodWIse Educators are active in the Family Services Advisory (FSA) Committee the homelessness identification and support program within the School District of Superior, the community Anti-Poverty Action Coalition (APAC) supported by Faith United Methodist Church (FUMC), the Northern Campus Food Shelf Network supporting college campus food shelf leaders in collaboration with University of MN-SNAP-Ed Educators, connecting college food shelves with best practice university food shelf research and the 2nd Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.
Douglas County FoodWIse supports the Superior Community Gardens Association (SCGA) with grant funding through our state Growing Together WI grant program at the Oakes Avenue Community Garden on 23rd and Oakes Avenue. To date FoodWIse has provided more than five thousand dollars to the SCGA Oakes Avenue Garden since 2019. All supplies and services provided are purchased locally.
IN SCHOOL YOUTH EDUCATION
Youth nutrition education programs include lessons on MyPlate, food safety, eating clean vs overly processed foods and increasing physical activity. FoodWIse educators provide nutrition education & promote active lifestyles in classrooms at Cooper, Northern Lights, Lake Superior, Bryant Elementary Schools, Superior Middle School, and with parents of preschoolers enrolled in the Superior Preschool program.
With a strong desire to learn more about the results of our years of providing nutrition education in the Superior School Districts elementary schools (since 2002), Douglas County FoodWIse launched a Nutrition for LIfe Survey to the Class of 2020 graduating Seniors of Superior High School gathering information to be used to improve our future teaching. Of the nine counties taking part in the N4L Pilot, Douglas County had the largest response rate! Sr.’s who were unable to enjoy a regular graduation during the COVID-19 pandemic helped our program plan for the future. Stay tuned for results as we work on sifting through their valuable data.
In 2021, Douglas County FoodWIse looks forward to piloting Harvest of the Month (HOM), a state program with the Superior School District Food Service promoting fruit and vegetable consumption in classrooms, the cafetorium, and with families as a part of our Healthy Schools initiative. A state FoodWIse grant will provide the district with professionally printed posters, the why we eat the fruit or vegetable (what it does for our bodies) all based upon WI fruit/vegetables served for school. Including easy family recipes and activities sent home with students and social media posts to educate the community.
POLICY, SYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (PSE) ACTIVITIES
Douglas County’s Policy System and Environmental (PSE) efforts are in partnership with the Superior School District creating Healthier Schools through use of the Harvest of the Month, connecting students and families to community gardening in collaboration with Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV’s), Nutrition for Life and assisting the district with their wellness policy.
FoodWIse provides ADULT AND FAMILY EDUCATION
FoodWIse partners with community agencies to provide nutrition education, planning and shopping for healthy meals, managing resources on a limited income and promoting physical activity for children and adults.
Nutrition education and physical activity promotion are provided to participants in partnership with agencies and schools. Some of our partners include:
- Northwest Community Service Agency (NWCSA) food pantry and Solid Rock Supplemental Food Garden with Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) and the Women Infant Children (WIC) program and food pantry
- Superior School District schools which quality under the free or reduced meal count: Bryant Elementary, Cooper Elementary, Northern Lights Elementary, Lake Superior Elementary and Superior Middle School, parents enrolled in the Superior Preschool program housed in Cooper Elementary School educating thousands of county youth in school annually.
- Faith United Methodist Church (FUMC) Transitional Living Center (TLC) housing program, the food pantry and community garden.
- City of Superior National Night Out
- Classes are held with parents of children pregnancy through preschooler at Family Forum, Inc.- Project Head Start‘s Home Base and Center Based programs in Center #1, #2 and Brule Head Start. Cooking Matters parent child cooking classes are provided throughout the year to Head Start and WIC families. FoodWIse provides the food items for cooking through a state grant supporting nutrition education enforcements for families with limited incomes.
- More than 600 seniors enrolled in Senior Connections Senior Meal Site congregate meals or the Meals on Wheels (MOW) program receive nutrition information, healthy eating, food safety and physical activity information via news articles published six times per year. FW Educators visit county senior meal sites providing nutrition education throughout the year. The FoodWIse Coordinator is an active member of the Sr.Connections Nutrition Advisory Council providing input and support for senior meals served within the county.
- Superior Community Gardens Association supporting the Oakes Avenue Community Garden with Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV)
- Northern Campus Food Shelf Network in collaboration with University of MN SNAP-Ed Educators in support of WI & MN college and university food shelves.
STRONG BODIES STRENGTH TRAINING
Douglas County FoodWIse Educators are trained Strong Bodies Strength Training & Exercise Program facilitators and CPR certified to teach adults of all ages. Douglas County FoodWIse educators provide the evidence based Strong Bodies program twice weekly for one hour free of charge to county residents. A lending program allows for no-contact lending dumbbells, ankle weights, exercise mats. We encourage participants to track progress and join our weekly eating well discussions following class. Since March 2020 Strong Bodies classes are held virtually and can be accessed by phone, tablet, computer, iPad. Contact us for a registration link.
COOKING MATTERS @ THE STORE GROCERY STORE TOURS
In person grocery tours are on hold until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FoodWIse Douglas County Educators are certified Cooking Matters @ the Store Grocery Tour Leaders. FoodWIse Douglas County Educators provide FREE grocery tours to WIC & SNAP eligible families. Tours are provided to Douglas County residents who qualify for WIC, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program also know as FoodShare in WI).
Sign-up needed. Tours are conducted by FoodWIse Educators.
During the 1 hour-tour, participants are empowered with four key food skills:
- Reading food labels
- Comparing unit prices
- Finding whole grain foods
- Identifying three ways to purchase produce
Participants take home a booklet with recipes, shopping tips, and a reusable grocery bag.
When available tour participants may be offered the Shopping Challenge in which they put into practice what they’ve learned by buying food for a family of four from all five food groups. The grocery tour including the Shopping Challenge activity is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Tours are available upon request. Email: Julie.Montgomery@wisc.edu or call 715-395-1427 for information or to schedule a tour.
New: Cooking Matters Grocery Tour Kit!
FoodWIse Educator’s Tarah Nicholds or Julie Montgomery will deliver the store to your door to practice what you’ve learned saving time and money shopping for food.
FOOD SECURITY AND HUNGER
Douglas County FoodWIse supports Poverty Simulations provided by University of WI-Madison to better understand the culture of poverty. For more information call (715) 395-1363.
Healthy Food for all
“Working together to increase access to fresh and healthy food in Douglas County.”
- Douglas County has formed a community coalition working toward improving access to fresh produce through community gardening, Master Gardener Volunteers, public schools, the Solid Rock Supplemental Food Gardens, Parkland Community Garden, Superior Community Gardens Associations Oakes Avenue Garden and Faith United Methodist’s Food Pantry Community Garden in support of increased fruit and vegetable consumption by county residents.
- UW – Extension FoodWIise state website
- American Dietetic Association
- American Heart Association
- Be Food Safe
- Fight Bac
- Food and Nutrition Information Center (USDA Agricultural Library)
- Food and Nutrition Information from USDA
- Food Safety and Health
- International Food Information Council
- More Matters
- National Heart, Lung and Blood
- Nutrition Facts Label
- Nutrition for Family Living Newsletter
- UW-Extension Food and Nutrition Publications