A healthy, nourished population depends on strong research and education programs in human nutrition. NIFA partners with the Cooperative Extension System to deliver community-based nutrition education programs that help individuals, families, and communities make informed choices about food and lifestyles that support their physiological health, economic, and social well-being.
The programs also provide policymakers with the knowledge to make appropriate policies for our citizens. NIFA sponsors nutrition-related research conducted through multistate projects and projects funded through the Hatch Act and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. 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.
The principles found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans are used 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 guidelines and about ChooseMyPlate.gov, 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.
Examples of NIFA Nutrition Programs include:
- Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program (CFPCGP)
- The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
- Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE)
- Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational Program
- Food and Agriculture Service Learning Program
Related programs include: The Supplemental Nutrition Education Program - Education (SNAP-Ed), Obesity Prevention & Healthy Weight Programs, Hunger & Food Security Programs, and Child and Family Development