Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Family eating food together at the dinner table. Courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Community Nutrition Programs Improve Healthful Outcomes

Community Nutrition Education Programs, a service of the Land-grant University System, use Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) funding to educate and empower low-income individuals, families, school-age youths and pregnant teens.  

Adapted from content on

Launched in 1969, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s EFNEP is the nation’s first nutrition education program for low-income populations and remains at the forefront of nutrition education efforts to reduce nutrition insecurity of low-income families and youths today.  

At just over 30 years old, SNAP-Ed is administered by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) coordinates nutrition security efforts with FNS and supports SNAP-Ed efforts through its partnership with Cooperative Extension within the Land-grant University system.  

Extension educators across the country deliver research-based, hands-on learning experiences on diet quality, food safety, physical activity, food security and food resource management through various virtual platforms and in-person classes. 

Here are a few examples of that work:  

  • Obesity prevalence in the U.S. has increased steadily in the past three decades. In Oklahoma, 90% of participants improved in one or more physical activity areas like exercising for at least 30 minutes a day or making small changes to be more active.  
  • Tennessee’s Community Nutrition Education Programs saved over $13 million in health care costs for the people in the state.  
  • Of the participants in Connecticut, 97% improved at least one practice related to diet quality, and 74% of adults improved one food resource management practice.  
  • In Alabama, 45% of youths increased the variety of vegetables they eat, and 38% increased their physical activity. Evaluations from another program showed that 74% of participants improved in one or more physical activity behavior.  
  • Parents in Arkansas learned how to cook and interact at the dinner table with their children to help obesity and provide a better head start. 
  • A project in Montana provided 4,700 pounds of fresh food to support hundreds of households, including indigenous communities.  
  • In Delaware, 91% of participants improved one or more of their food resource management skills, and 42% now compare prices when shopping.  
  • Wisconsin developed a culturally appropriate evaluation tool in English and Spanish and shared it with programs throughout the Land-grant University System to continue improving the services offered. 

Top image: Family eating food together at the dinner table. Courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health
U.S. States and Territories

Your feedback is important to us.

Take the Website Survey