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Local Communities gain SNAP-Ed Educator, strengthens Extension commitment to food access & healthy living

JOLIET, Ill – For over 100 years, communities trust University of Illinois Extension to provide accurate knowledge and solutions to problems that are facing local communities. Healthy living and food security are two top priorities. Now, Illinois Extension reaffirms these top priorities locally by hiring a new educator focusing on these important issues as Extension empowers communities to make healthy choices and increase food access.

Illinois Extension recently welcomed Dominique Cobbs, MPH, CHES® in Grundy, Kankakee, & Will Counties as the new Extension Educator for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education program (SNAP-Ed).

"We are very excited to announce that Dominique Cobbs has accepted the position of SNAP-Ed Educator for our Unit" says Michele Crawford, interim county director serving Grundy, Kankakee, & Will Counties, "Dominique is a talented educator who makes a difference in the communities she serves."

Cobbs comes to the Unit from Cook County where she served as the SNAP-Ed educator. Prior to Extension, Cobbs has had extensive experience in assisting community members to be their best self, including as a Community Outreach Worker at a Federally Qualified Health Center and as Community Health Educator at a health department with a focus on Tobacco Control and Prevention, Affordable Care Act In-Person Coordinator, and Chronic Disease and School Health.

"Coming from my role as SNAP-Ed educator in a different unit, I look forward to serving a community where I am confident in my knowledge of where people live, work, shop, eat, play, and learn," says Cobbs, who mentions that her move to Will and Kankakee is especially exciting as she will be working in a community she is from, "Knowing the community and who the key stakeholders are helps lead to the SNAP-Ed goal of making the healthy choice the easy choice."

The Illinois Nutrition Education Programs, of which Illinois SNAP-Ed is a part of, works with community stakeholders and partners to promote healthy choices and increase food access. The program provides solutions to improve the health of community families through strategic partnerships.

Food access and empowering communities to make healthy choices are both core missions of Illinois Extension. According to Cobbs, this work can have substantial impacts:

"Increasing food access, decreasing food insecurity, and ensuring physical activity opportunities are available to the community through sustainable systematic and environmental change is what I will continue to strive to do to my greatest potential. While there is still room to grow and getting to know additional parts of the unit, I am determined to make a difference through my work here with Illinois Extension."

Cobbs is based in the Will County office and can be reached at [email protected] or (815) 727-9296.

If you or someone you know needs access to food, visit eat-move-save.extension.illinois.edu/ to find the Find Food IL community food map.


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