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A Middle Eastern family sitting on a couch with a child's drawing showed.

Auburn University’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) has been providing nutrition education for Alabama’s families with limited resources since 1964 when EFNEP began as a pilot in only five states across the country. EFNEP, as we know it today, is modeled after those first pilot years in Alabama.

EFNEP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture. AU EFNEP’s mission is to assist families with limited resources and youth in making simple changes in eating behaviors, so over time, healthy choices become healthy habits.

WHO WE SERVE

  • Families
  • Adults with young children
  • Youth in grades 5 –12
  • Pregnant women and teens

CHALLENGES

  • Poverty: Alabama is the 7th poorest state.
  • Food Insecurity: 16.1% of adults and 20.8% of Alabama children live with food insecurity.
  • Infant Mortality: Alabama is 3rd highest in the nation in infant mortality.
  • Inactivity: 29% of Alabamians are physically inactive.

PROGRAM FOCUS AREAS

  • Diet Quality and Physical Activity
  • Food Resource Management
  • Food Safety
  • Food Security

FOCUS ON DIVERSE COMMUNITIES

  • 60%Black or African American
  • 36%White
  • 4% Other

Education that ENGAGES

Today's Mom logoToday’s Mom

Prenatal nutrition curriculum developed by Auburn University. Lessons focus on healthy food choices for mom and baby, including breastfeeding, food safety, appropriate physical activity, menu planning, and budgeting.

Teen Cuisine

Teen CuisineCooking and nutrition curriculum teaches youth essential life skills to promote optimal health now and in the future. Addresses nutrition, cooking, food safety, and physical activity.

Eating Smart Being ActiveEating Smart Being Active

Evidence-based curriculum focuses on physical activity, nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, food preparation, food safety, and food resource management.


Education with IMPACT

EFNEP in Your Community

  • 883 adult participants
  • 292 moms-to-be
  • 2,209 youth participants
  • 34 educators
  • 207 volunteers
  • 154classrooms

Reaching People Where They Are

32% of youth and 59% of adult classes moved to remote or hybrid

Meeting remotely: Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Meet, Facebook Messenger

Meeting where they are: Parks, schools, gas stations, pregnancy resource centers, housing authorities, community centers, medical offices

Adult Successes

  • 97% improved their dietary quality
  • 92% improved their food resource management
  • 81% improved their food safety practices
  • 74% became more active

Youth Successes

  • 90% chose more foods according to Federal Dietary Guidelines
  • 62% used safe food handling practices more often
  • 67% increased their physical activity
  • 52% improved their ability or knowledge of how to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food

EFNEP in Action

It’s About More than Nutrition

A 25-year-old Today’s Mom participant and her partner were living with her in-laws and wanted desperately to purchase their own home. They struggled to manage their food budget and wanted to learn more about making their money stretch to create healthy meals for their family. These parents-to-be looked to their EFNEP educator for guidance on having a healthy pregnancy and managing their food dollars to help them achieve their home-buying goals. They learned to compare prices, use coupons, and plan ahead.

At the conclusion of the series, this participant was excited to share that she and her husband had been working together for three weeks on a food budget. They planned weekly meals, including lunches, and made a grocery list. They even started trying to use coupons. By sticking to their food budget, they saved between $25 and $45 each week.

– LisaJones, EFNEP Educator, Conecuh & Escambia Counties

Reaching the Whole Family

At a local after-school program, the EFNEP educator asked students how many ate healthy regularly, drank water, and were physically active each day. Very few students responded with positive answers.

After completing the Teen Cuisine Encore series, one teenage participant shared that she really enjoyed the class and had learned a lot of information to share with her mom to encourage her to purchase healthy groceries. “Since attending Teen Cuisine classes, I ask my mom to buy more fresh fruit and vegetables to have for snacks.” Before her EFNEP classes, she always chose chips and soda for a snack, but now she enjoys healthier options such as fresh pineapple, carrots, apples, and broccoli with light salad dressing. She also increased her water consumption every day thanks to the fruit infuser water bottle provided by EFNEP.

– Kyondria Timmons, EFNEP Educator, Clarke & Wilcox Counties

Eye-Opening Education

A former cosmetologist joined the EFNEP program through the Eating Smart, Being Active series in hopes of learning more about nutrition. Her career often pushed her into unhealthy eating habits, and due to lack of time and the need for convenience, she had been making poor food choices. She also found herself addicted to juice and strawberry sodas. However, she wanted to make a change.

Throughout this six-session series, the EFNEP educator encouraged participants to count small steps as victories because old habits can be hard to break. During a hands-on demonstration to show how much sugar was present in certain beverages, the participant could not believe the amount of sugar she was consuming. “I wouldn’t open a bag of sugar and pour that much into my mouth!” she said.

After this eye-opening lesson, the participant made steps to increase water in her daily routine. She shared that the standard 12- to 20-ounce bottles made her nervous and feel defeated. The participant purchased a family pack of 6-ounce water bottles to create small steps toward victory. The educator encouraged her to consider this a victory and that even adding this small step would make a BIG difference!

– Cotia Bolton, EFNEP Educator, Jefferson County

 


Theresa Mince, Extension Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Auburn University

New July 2022, #EFNEP Works – 2021 Impact Report, FCS-2671

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