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 Landgrantimpacts.org.
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.