Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
Auburn University EFNEP
Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, AU EFNEP helps participants gain the knowledge and skills to prepare healthy meals, save money at the grocery store, and lead more active lives. EFNEP educators are embedded in the communities they serve to equip their neighbors to make healthy choices that will provide lasting, positive health impacts.
In 2022, EFNEP served 5,878 adults and youth through nutrition education programs across 34 Alabama counties. Participants represented families with children, youth in grades 5 —12, and pregnant women and teens. Our results indicate that those individuals who completed the program are healthier today.
- 96% improved diet quality
- 94% improved food resource management
- 71% improved physical activity
- 77% improved food safety
Our Impact on Youth
- 90% chose more foods according to federal dietary guidelines
- 65% increased physical activity throughout their day
- 63% used safe food handling practices more often
- 49% improved their ability or knowledge of how to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food
30% (280) of adult participants completed the Today’s Mom prenatal nutrition education program to improve the health of moms-to-be and increase the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
AU EFNEP focused on teaching older youth basic nutrition and meal prep skills as they prepare to become independent young adults. 30% of Teen Cuisine participants were in grades 7—12.
Families Eating Smart and Moving More
To better serve adult participants, we added a new curriculum in FY22 called Families Eating Smart and Moving More. Educators now have multiple options for creating engaging classes for adults.
We served 4,942 youth in FY22— that’s a 124% increase over FY21.
By Reaching People
“After classes, she would come home sharing what she had learned with the whole family so we would make better choices. It has changed our lives.” – Parent of a Teen Cuisine Participant, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
“I want and need to take the program for myself and my baby. I want to have a healthy baby and learn as much as possible about eating right.” – Today’s Mom Participant, Butler County, Alabama
“I learned to prepare enough meals and store them for later in the week. I use frozen meat and veggies to make stir fry, and I make a big pot of peas or greens on Sunday. I am saving time and money and not eating out every day. Now my family has healthier meals at home several days a week!” – Eating Smart, Being Active Participant, Perry County, Alabama
Educators in Action
Reaching Rural Teens
LaFayette is a former mill town with a rural Alabama hometown feel. While the area is large on scenic drives and beautiful landscapes, it is short on youth activities and job opportunities. Ashley Butler, AU EFNEP educator in Chambers County, taught Teen Cuisine Encore to local high schoolers using interactive teaching methods, such as a classroom-based quiz show.
With each session, Ashley could see students begin to model the new behaviors they were learning. Students used AU EFNEP water bottles to replace sugary drinks with water throughout their school day. Some became focused on reading nutrition labels and selecting better snack choices. The students even shared stories with Ashley about encouraging their parents and grandparents to take walks with them and eat dinner together as a family at the table.
After one of the final lessons, the teacher asked Ashley to stay and speak with a senior struggling with a career decision. The student said, “I want to do exactly what you do. I want to be an EFNEP educator.”
Bringing EFNEP education to these teens has significantly impacted their health, well-being, and even career goals as they continue toward becoming young adults.
– Ashley Butler, EFNEP Educator, Randolph and Chambers Counties
AU EFNEP partnered with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) team at Auburn University to develop Move Alabama, a community physical activity challenge offered in six Alabama counties. Through this 8-week challenge, participants completed up to 20 local
and state challenges to get moving for their health. By completing these challenges, participants were entered to win donated prizes such as family activity sets and gifts from local businesses.
As challenges were completed, participants were encouraged to share their progress through a public Move Alabama Facebook group. In the months of March and April, more than 300 people engaged with the Facebook group, and more than 3,700 informational flyers were distributed across the six counties.
EFNEP educators used Move Alabama to promote physical activity and recruit participants to EFNEP classes. They also incorporated more movement into ongoing classes with some educators starting walking groups. Check out Move Alabama on Facebook if you’d like to engage with Move Alabama in 2023.
For the past year, Shirley Jimenez, AU EFNEP educator in Franklin County, has collaborated with the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) classes at two local high schools. Shirley teaches students how to eat smart and incorporate good practices in nutrition, food safety, food preparation, and physical activity. Shirley’s education has helped many students learn valuable life skills, such as cooking, food safety, and the relationship between food, health, and exercise.
One FCS teacher shared, “The nutrition program conducted with my students has had positive impacts. Many of the students started telling me when they would eat or cook something nutritious at home. They also became more conscious about the grams of sugar in their drinks and snacks. I saw more students choosing water over soft drinks. We enforced these new habits by having labs at school where the students made themselves salad and fruit-flavored water.”
Another FCS teacher shared the value of bringing AU EFNEP programming to their school. “I really appreciate Shirley coming to my class to talk about nutrition. This program helps to support what I am teaching. I really appreciate this program!”
– Shirley Jimenez, EFNEP Educator, Franklin County
Growing a Healthy Future
A home daycare provider in Butler County joined Families Eating Smart and Moving More with an interest in food safety, physical activity, saving money at the grocery store, and delicious, easy recipes. She wanted to incorporate these lessons into her own life and in the lives of those in her care. Butler County AU EFNEP educator Lemetress Patton offered virtual classes to accommodate her busy schedule.
After completing the program, this participant prepared healthy recipes for the youth in her care as well as her own family. She also started an on-site garden program so children could learn to grow their own fruits and vegetables, which were then used in lunch recipes. She makes her own sanitizing solution to clean surfaces in the kitchen. Several days
a week, she also took the physical activity lessons to heart by utilizing the stretch bands and exercise videos that had been provided.
AU EFNEP made a lasting impression on this childcare provider and on every family that steps through her door.
– Lemetress Patton, EFNEP Educator, Butler County
Theresa Mince, Extension Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Auburn University
New March 2023, EFNEP 2022 Impact Report, FCS-2730
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