School Health and Wellness

A goup of children eating lunch and smiling

Through a partnership with the AZ Health Zone, the SNAP-Ed School Health team provides nutrition and physical activity technical support and resources to school staff, teachers, students, and their parents at over 200 schools within Maricopa County. Our team is available to assist in an integrated school, parent, and community-based approach to improve the health behaviors of children and their families.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly known as Food Stamps). It is part of the U.S. domestic hunger safety net and provides economic benefits to eligible, low-income individuals and families for food purchases. SNAP-Ed (Education) is the nutrition promotion and obesity-prevention component of SNAP.

The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that low-income individuals, including children eligible for free or reduced lunch or other child nutrition programs, will make healthy food choices and choose physically active lifestyles

Food and Nutrition 

SNAP-Ed provides food and nutrition education focusing on the student and school staff to support policy, system and environmental change using approved SNAP-Ed educational materials and curriculum. SNAP-Ed food and nutrition education classes can also enhance existing nutrition education and public health nutrition efforts in the community and provide education to the families.

Our SNAP-Ed team can provide support, such as:

  • Equip school staff with credible nutrition and wellness curricula and resources.
  • Offer guidance on how to incorporate nutrition and physical activity into the classroom.
  • Offer culinary clubs and cooking classes to support behavior change.
  • Provide nutrition and physical education in the classroom to students and staff in coordination with Local School Wellness Policy efforts.

Physical Activity

SNAP-Ed provides physical activity education to students and school staff to support policy, system and environmental change using approved SNAP-Ed educational materials and curriculum.   SNAP-Ed promotes physically active but also wants to educate the student, school staff and families why physical activity is important so that they can make healthy choices on their own.

Our SNAP-Ed team can provide support, such as:

  • Integrate classroom brain energizers into your daily classroom activity breaks.  (Link to classroom activity breaks in lessons and curricula)
  • Develop an active recess program to get students moving during the recess period.
  • Implementation of CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) a proven program focusing on nutrition and physical activity.

Health and Wellness

SNAP-Ed provides health and wellness guidance to schools and school districts to support policy, system and environmental change via the local school wellness policy.  Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs are required by federal law to establish a local school wellness policy.

Our SNAP-Ed team can provide support, such as:

  • Participating in district and school wellness committees.
  • Supplying wellness policy assessment and evaluation tools to measure implementation.
  • Assisting in lunchroom design ideas that promote healthier food purchases and consumption.
  • Providing guidance and support with new Local Wellness Policy requirements.

Contact Us

Office of Community Health Innovations Team

ChristineChris Hicks, RDN
Email | 602.506.9322

AndreaAndrea Zechmann, RDN
Email | 602.506.9323

KristiKristi Mollner, MS, RDN
Email | 602.506.9304

Denise AvitiaDenise Avitia
Email | 602.550.9429

AZ-Health-Zone-4C Opens in new window


This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP through the AZ Health Zone. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.