Tamara Allen, Principal at Penn Hills Charter School for Entrepreneurship

What is Power Up?

Goals of Power Up

  • Power Up is a nutrition education program available at no cost to qualifying schools, early child care centers, food banks, grocery or corner stores, community centers, WIC, and senior centers to enhance knowledge about nutrition and physical activity

  • The Power Up program is funded through the USDA’s SNAP-Education

  • The Power Up staff includes registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN), nutritionists, and nutrition assistants


  • To provide evidence-based nutrition education for adopting healthy eating patterns as reflected in:

    • 2015 - 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

    • MyPlate Food Guidance System

    • 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines

  • To increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, whole grains, and water

  • To increase physical activity and reduce time spent in sedentary behaviors

  • To maintain appropriate calorie balance during each stage of life

  • To partake in initiatives to create a healthier environment for everyone

Nutrition Education and Obesity Approaches of SNAP-Ed

How is Power Up going to change the environment?

  • Individual or group-based direct nutrition education, health promotion, and intervention strategies

  • Conduct nutrition education

  • Comprehensive, multi-level interventions at multiple complementary organizational and institutional levels

  • Collaborate with schools and other organizations to improve the school nutrition environment

  • Coordinate with WIC

  • Establish community gardens

  • Community and public health approaches to improve nutrition and obesity prevention

  • Provide low-income individuals with nutrition information in collaboration with other community groups

  • Provide obesity prevention interventions

  • Support integration of wellness programs and policies by participating on wellness committees

  • Promote school breakfast and lunch programs

  • Collaborate with schools to support after-school and summer activities, including the summer feeding program

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate gardens at schools and community settings

  • Foster enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables

  • Support the development of child care wellness councils

  • Help bring Farmers Markets to WIC participants as part of the FMNP

  • Encourage participation in federal nutrition programs

  • Promote breastfeeding and support breastfeeding mothers

Meet the Administrative Team

Britney Zwergel MS, NDTR

Director, Nutrition Services

Oversees the Power Up and WIC Programs.

Mary Salnick

Operations Manager

Manages Erie, Mercer, Lawrence, Beaver, Westmoreland, and Fayette Counties.

Nicole Mitchell, RDN, LDN

Nutrition Services Education & Quality Assurance Coordinator

Manages all nutrition education materials for the Power Up program. 

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