The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) conducted throughout the nation by Extension began in 1968. However, EFNEP was actually an extension of a pilot project conducted in five Alabama counties. Baldwin, Calhoun, Houston, Marion, and Walker counties were selected to test ways to reach limited-resource families with homemaking skills and education.
The Pilot Project
The pilot project involving young homemakers in limited-resource rural areas of Alabama was a cooperative 5-year project (July 1, 1964 through June 30, 1969) between Alabama Extension, Auburn University, and Federal Extension Service, USDA. The three primary areas considered in the pilot project were:
- To develop and test methods of reaching and teaching homemakers
- To develop and test educational materials
- To determine if paraprofessionals could be trained to teach low-socioeconomic homemakers so they could understand and apply what they learned
For more than 50 years, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) has been an integral part of Alabama Extension. EFNEP teaches limited-resource individuals how to improve their dietary practices and become more effective managers of available resources. The adult component of EFNEP focuses on educational programs to enhance the quality of family nutrition. Once graduated from EFNEP, families have opportunities to participate in other Extension programs. The youth component of EFNEP focuses on nutrition education to contribute to personal development of youth from limited-resource families.
Four Distinguishing Features of EFNEP are:
- A targeted audience of limited-resource families and youth
- Nutrition education provided by EFNEP educators and/or volunteers
- Intensive instruction for individuals and/or small groups
- Innovative program delivery methods to expand clientele participation, increase retention of nutrition knowledge, and improve program effectiveness
The use of EFNEP materials can contribute to interaction and serve as a bridge between Extension programs. View the links below for information on Alabama EFNEP programming.
Contact your local Extension office for more information. Follow Alabama EFNEP on Facebook and Twitter. Text EFNEP to 555888 to receive nutrition tips.