5 min read
Teen Cuisine-Linda Fluker

Auburn University’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provides nutrition education for Alabama’s most vulnerable families.

  • Peer-to-Peer Education
  • Lesson Reinforcements
  • Recipe Demonstrations
  • Hands-on Learning

Federal Appropriation: $2,015,125

Local Donations: $8,180

Peer Educators: 34

Volunteers: 215

Alabama Counties Served: 30

Delivery Sites: 385

Community Partnerships: 292

Indirect Contacts: 119,399

ESBA-Lisa JonesEFNEP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. EFNEP reaches limited-resource families with young children, pregnant teens and women, and school-age young people through a series of lessons. Nutrition educators work closely with community volunteers and agency partners to obtain referrals and help participants make wise food choices, increase daily physical activity, manage food resources, and practice food safety. EFNEP federal funds, along with state and local resources, support quality nutrition education for Alabama’s most vulnerable families.

Auburn University EFNEP Reaches a Diverse Adult Audience

  • 31% or 419 White
  • 66% or 882 Black or African American
  • 1% or 8 American Indian or Alaskan Native

  • 94% or 1,253 Not Hispanic/Latino
  • 3% or 39 Hispanic or Latino
  • 3% or 41 Not Provided

  • 86% or 1,153 of Participants Enrolled in One or More Food Assistance Programs

  • 1,182 Females
  • 151 Males

Auburn University EFNEP Reaches a Diverse Youth Audience

  • 35% or 1,556 White
  • 56% or 2,515 Black or African American
  • 1% or 65 American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 6% or 276 Reporting Multiple Races

  • 95% or 4,256 Not Hispanic/Latino
  • 5% or 209 Hispanic or Latino

  • 2,311 Females
  • 2,154 Males

EFNEP Reaches Participants During COVID-19

Remote Delivery - Jovita LewisCOVID-19 deepened Alabama’s hunger crisis. At the onset of the pandemic, EFNEP responded quickly to ensure that struggling households had access to the nutrition education they needed, which by September 30, 2020, resulted in 553 families receiving education using videoconferences, video chats, telephone calls, and prerecorded lessons. Through a combination of 13,310 views and 306 shares, educators posted 19 social media videos on timely topics to help Alabamians cope during the pandemic. As the effects of the pandemic continue to unfold, EFNEP will continue to be a part of the solution by supporting Alabama’s most vulnerable families.

Youth Phase

  • 210 Youth Groups
  • 4,465 Youth Enrolled
  • 3,554 Youth Graduated
  • 1,322 Youth Participating in 4-H

Curricula:
Teen Cuisine and Teen Cuisine Encore

Teen Cuisine Summary Statement

To combat childhood obesity, 3,554 Alabama children, grades 5 through 8, completed Teen Cuisine. In 60 Alabama schools and through 899 educational hours, 91 percent improved their ability to choose foods according to the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

As a result of participating in EFNEP:

  • Dietary Quality: 91% of youth improved their ability to choose healthy food.
  • Food Resource Management: 55% of youth improved their ability to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food.
  • Food Safety: 62% of youth used safe food handling practices more often.
  • Physical Activity: 67% of youth improved their physical activity practices.

“91% of youth improved their ability to choose healthy food.”

Program Impact

The EFNEP educator calls it “sneaky” nutrition! She enters into a den of 7th and 8th graders who are not thinking about nutrition. That’s where the “sneaky” part comes in. Initially, the students show little to no excitement for sitting through six weeks of nutrition education. However, once the preassessment is complete, it’s time for hands-on activities. The MyPlate Activity always piques the interest of Teen Cuisine participants. Using glue, scissors, Styrofoam plates, and grocery store advertisements, students create their own “perfect plates”. One by one, excitement grows over each newly-formed creation as it is compared to the recommendations of USDA’s MyPlate. Upon completion, it is time to share. Each participant stands and presents his or her new “plate creation” to the class. In that moment, during this activity, the “nutrition fog” lifts and newfound information begins to sink in. This “sneaky” nutrition is a creative way to enhance learning in Teen Cuisine. By the last session of Teen Cuisine, youth have tasted veggies they have never tasted before, drunk more water than they ever thought possible, and discovered new ways to incorporate physical activity into their day with a little less screen time. Throughout the lesson series, they do not realize they are developing healthy lifestyle habits in the midst of fun learning.

– Chambers County

Adult Phase

  • 1,333 Adults Enrolled
  • 879 Adults Graduated
  • 436 Adults or 50% Graduated Remotely
  • 4,968 Family Members Reached Indirectly

Curricula:

Eating Smart Being Active and Today’s Mom

Today’s Mom

Auburn University EFNEP is committed to reducing the infant mortality rate. One way to guard against the death of a baby before his or her first birthday is to collaborate with community partners such as the health department, doctor’s offices, and other health care providers to help impoverished moms-to-be maintain healthy diets and weight during pregnancy. At program exit, 98 percent of Today’s Mom graduates (n=297) showed a positive change in at least one food group. Maintaining a healthy diet and weight increases the likelihood of successful birth outcomes.

Eating Smart Being Active

Peer educators in 30 Alabama counties taught heads of households how to choose foods with the most nutrition at the lowest cost and how to better use food resources (WIC, SNAP benefits, dollars, gardens) to not run out of money for food before the end of the month. Menu planning, food budgeting, MyPlate, and grocery store lists helped 57 percent of EFNEP graduates plan meals more often before shopping.

“94% of adults improved their ability to choose healthy food.”

As a result of participating in EFNEP:

  • Dietary Quality: 94% of adults improved their ability to choose healthy food.
  • Food Resource Management: 83% improved their ability to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food.
  • Food Safety: 82% use safe food handling practices more often.
  • Physical Activity: 82% improved their physical activity practices.

Program Impact

A six-week collaboration between the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Power to Prevent Program led to better eating habits and increased physical activity among limited-resource participants. The focus of both programs was consumption of more fruits and vegetables, appropriate serving sizes, and more physical activity. Participants were also empowered to create their own personal family policies. Examples of family policies included serving two or more fruits and vegetables at each meal, having fruit as a choice for dessert, and providing access to healthy snacks for the entire family. Gamification, including bingo, was used during the series of lessons. For bingo, each participant was asked to bring two different colors of fruits and/ or vegetables and place them in a large basket. Bingo winners were given an opportunity to choose a fruit or vegetables from the basket as a prize. In addition, a recipe from the Eating Smart Being Active cookbook was prepared and sampled by participants weekly. Participants demonstrated how to be more physically active by walking, using stretch bands, walking CDs, and their treadmills.

– Choctaw County

EFNEP County-Based Team

  • Angela Ajayi
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Barbour County
  • Ashley Butler
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Chambers & Randolph Counties
  • Ashley Lawrence
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Etowah County
  • Anna Wells
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Houston County
  • Brandy Peeples
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Coffee County
  • Cotia Bolton
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Jefferson County
  • Jennifer Blackerby
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Coosa & Talladega Counties
  • Jennifer Pinkard
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Montgomery County
  • Kristi Baggett
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Fayette & Lamar Counties
  • Kyondria Timmons
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Wilcox & Clarke Counties
  • Linda Fluker
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Choctaw County
  • Lisa B. Jones
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Conecuh & Escambia Counties
  • Lynetta Williams
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Mobile County
  • Mary Ann Henley
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Greene County
  • Melissa Crawford
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Tuscaloosa County
  • Sheronda Armstrong
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Dallas County
  • Syreeta Clay
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Montgomery County
  • Tamekia Gooden
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Calhoun County
  • Tara Ramer
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Covington County
  • Terri Fritts
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Perry County
  • Willie Braggs
    • Nutrition Educator
    • Hale County

EFNEP State Staff Team

  • Jovita Lewis, MEd
    • EFNEP Coordinator
    • Hale County
  • Sondra Parmer, PhD
    • Program Leader, Nutrition Programs
    • Auburn University
  • Amy Gilmore, AA
    • Administrative Support Specialist
    • Covington County
  • Stephanie Helms, MS
    • Evaluation & Curriculum Specialist
    • Covington County
  • Barb Struempler, PhD
    • Assistant Director, Human Sciences Extension
    • Auburn University

Certifications

  • All nutrition educators gained national nutrition certification through Utah State University Extension in 2020.

EFNEP Honors and Awards

  • National Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences, Mary W. Wells Diversity Award, State Affiliate Winner, EFNEP Professional Development Conference, 2020
  • National Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences, Communications: Educational Publications Award, Where Does the Weight Go?, State Affiliate Winner, Second Place Regional Winner, Third Place National Winner, 2020

EFNEP Presentations

  • National EFNEP Coordinator’s Conference, Presentation, “Under Nutrition Construction: Middle School Youth”, March 2020, Washington, D.C.
  • National EFNEP Coordinator’s Conference, Poster Session, “Building Together For Rural Families and Their Communities,” March 2020, Washington, D.C.
  • National Extension Association Family and Consumer Sciences, Presentation, Today’s Mom, September 2020, Virtual Annual Session.

New July 2021, EFNEP Annual Report 2019–2020, FCS-2507

Download this article as a PDF

Did you find this helpful?