Jill Armstrong Shultz, a professor in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, is the new principal investigator of a Washington Department of Social & Health Services grant funded by USDA/Food and Nutrition Service through which Washington State University Extension reaches more than 150,000 underserved Washington residents each year.
The grant supports the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education – which targets food stamp-eligible families. The SNAP-Ed grant – for nutrition education and obesity prevention – is $6.5 million to fund a program delivered in 27 counties, four Tribal projects and a sub-contract with Central Washington University. More than 420 partners in state and county government and local agencies and schools commit time and services to support SNAP-Ed, which reaches over 150,000 Washington residents every year.
The SNAP-Ed grant comes under the umbrella of the WSU Extension Food $ense program, which also administers money from the federal Farm Bill for the Expended Food and Nutrition Education Program that targets low-income families with children.
As PI on the grant, Armstrong Shultz has leadership and oversight of the WSU Extension Food $ense program and is responsible for strengthening the partnerships between university researchers and state and federal agencies. Armstrong Shultz succeeds Linda Kirk Fox, who left her position in July as WSU Extension associate director for a leadership position at the University of Georgia.
Armstrong Shultz has a Ph.D. in Nutrition and has contributed to research supporting more effective diabetes education programs, obesity prevention, and food and nutrition assistance services to low-income individuals and families. She has worked extensively with low-income, ethnic minority, and at risk individuals and families, addressing information needs at the state and national levels.
Her work has supported community nutrition programs found nationwide through an improved understanding of the needs of diverse clients and how to meet those needs. Over the years at WSU her research program has trained 27 master’s students and four doctoral students in the research methodologies required for community and behavioral studies and given students valuable experience in community networking skills.