Food and nutrition program available here
The North Dakota State University Extension Service offers the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to North Dakota families at risk for food insecurity and is now available in Stutsman County. EFNEP focuses on working with limited resource adults with children in the household and youth from homes with limited resources. I have now taken on this role as the EFNEP educator, in addition to the Family Nutrition Program duties.
Food insecurity is defined as limited or uncertain access to nutritious, safe foods necessary to lead a healthy lifestyle (U.S. Department of Agriculture). According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, the number of households living with low or very low food security was 14.5 percent in 2012. Overall households with children had almost double the rate of food insecurity versus childless households.
Poverty is a key factor in food insecurity; inadequate resources can lead to substandard eating patterns including skewed intake toward cheap, calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods and reduced overall food intake. Poverty also correlates with obesity and associated chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
Adult EFNEP provides a series of free lessons with evidence-based content aimed at cultivating positive nutrition, food safety, physical activity and food resource management practices. After a series of five or more lessons, EFNEP participants are eligible for graduation and complete a food recall and survey to assess their knowledge and behavioral changes.
Youth EFNEP works with local youth groups to provide complementary programming to increase fruit, vegetable and low-fat dairy intake and balance healthy food with physical activity.
In a 2001 multi-state analysis that included North Dakota, the estimated benefit-cost ratio was $8.82 worth of benefits for every $1 spent on EFNEP.
For program year 2013, North Dakota EFNEP had 106 adult graduates and 1,381 youth participants. EFNEP graduates reported improved nutrition, food safety and food resource management behaviors:
* 82 percent improved at least one nutrition practice
* 54 percent improved at least one food safety practice
* 76 percent improved at least one food resource management practice
Open house: Celebrating Extension – 100 years of service
In 2014, we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act. It created the Cooperative Extension Service, a state-by-state network of educators to extend university-based research and knowledge to the people. Although times and technologies have changed, NDSU Extension still is committed to extending knowledge and changing lives now and in the future.
You are invited to the open house of the NDSU Extension Service in Stutsman County from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Stutsman County Extension Office. This would be an opportunity for you to learn about the various programs we offer and meet the staff.
For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, EFNEP/FNP education assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 116 1/2 1st St. E, Jamestown, 252-9030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.