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Areas in NIFA Nutrition Education Programs

Four broad program areas—food security, food safety, dietary guidance, and health—are the foundation of NIFA nutrition education programs.

Food security can be defined as access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. At a minimum, this includes:

  • Readily available, nutritionally adequate, and safe foods.
  • Assured ability to acquire personally acceptable foods in a socially acceptable way.

In cooperation with our land-grant partners, NIFA provides practical, science-based education to the general public about affordable and accessible food, food resource management, food recovery and food rescue, gleaning and food donations. We also train staff and volunteers at emergency food assistance sites and other locations. We provide public issues education by:

  • Facilitating open forums to discuss hunger and poverty at the community level.
  • Encouraging and facilitating citizen and consumer participation in public policy issues affecting food access and recovery.

To ensure safe food handling, NIFA promotes food safety, providing consumer education for proper food handling, certificate training for food handlers, and food safety education for growers, producers, distributors, retailers, and food service workers.

Dietary guidance is the use of principles found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to develop non-formal nutrition education services for youth and adults. There are also programs for the elderly that focus on their specific nutritional needs. Our land-grant partners offer these community-based nutrition education programs at the local level. Participants learn about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid, which provide the basis for healthy lifestyle choices, and on how to read labels on processed foods. Participants also learn about health risk factors such as obesity and hypertension, and learn to make appropriate nutrition and lifestyle changes.

NIFA provides health promotion for consumers by promoting home and occupational safety and accessing quality health care. We also provide public issues education and education on personal, family, and community health issues.


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