What is EFNEP?
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EFNEP, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, is a federally funded educational program conducted through the Cooperative Extension Service in every state and U.S. territory. In North Carolina, EFNEP is administered through NC State University and NC A&T State University. For decades, EFNEP has been helping limited resource youth and families with children learn how to eat healthier meals and snacks, stretch their food dollars and reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. Additionally, in collaboration with many organizations through the Eat Smart and Move More initiative, NC EFNEP aims to reduce the rising tide of obesity by teaching youth and families practical skills resulting in changed behaviors that help them to eat smart, move more and achieve a healthy weight.
EFNEP’s mission is to improve the health of limited resource youth and families with young children through practical lessons on: basic nutrition and healthy lifestyles, resource management and food safety. The program focuses on helping families and youth improve behaviors in the following areas: Dietary Intake as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate, Food Resource Management skills and practices, Nutrition Practices and Food Safety practices. Participants increase their ability to select and buy food that meets the nutritional needs of their families and gain new skills in food preparation, food storage, and food safety. They learn to better manage their food budgets – including the use of Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) and Food Instruments and Cash Value Vouchers.
Research studies listed have been compiled by the Cooperative State, Research, Education and Extension Service, United States Department of Agriculture.
Program Research Links
A recent long term program evaluation study found that positive behavior changes made as a result of the program were maintained one to four years post graduation.
A Virginia study of EFNEP found that for every $1 invested in the program, there was a $10.64 savings in potential health care costs.
A Tennessee study of EFNEP found that for every $1 invested in the program, low-income families saved an average of $2.48 on food expenditures.
Impacts of the program are strongly documented in several research studies extending over a period of time. For a searchable database of other EFNEP studies: