Expanded Food & Nutrition Program
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), is one of the best kept secrets in Hillsborough County – we're working hard to change that! EFNEP is a free program for limited resource families funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and managed by America’s land-grant universities – in Florida those schools are the University of Florida and Florida A&M University.
Our program teaches adults to make nutritious food choices for their families and to spend their food dollars wisely by teaching basic nutrition education, meal planning, shopping skills, cooking skills, and food safety. EFNEP participants are taught in small group settings by nutrition educators, generally in a series of six sessions. Upon completion of the EFNEP series, graduates receive a certificate from the University of Florida.
Am I in the target audience?
If you receive any of the following services, you qualify!
- FOOD STAMPS
- HEAD START
- FREE/REDUCED LUNCH
- CASH ASSISTANCE
During the 1960s, there was recognition of the link between poverty and malnutrition and the fact many Americans were not only poor but were suffering from hunger and malnutrition. USDA was aware that available educational programs and resources were not reaching segments of the population, including low-income groups. Pilot studies in several states helped identify effective approaches for contacting, teaching and maintaining education programs with people who lived in poverty. Recommendations based on results of these pilot studies were the basis for initiating EFNEP in 1969.
Three basic concepts arose from the pilots and served as guidelines for implementing EFNEP:
- An existing home economics program could be modified to effectively reach low-income audiences.
- Professional home economists can teach and supervise paraprofessionals who, in turn teach low-income homemakers.
- A nutrition education program tailored to the needs, interests, competencies, and economical and educational levels of low-income families, and delivered by paraprofessionals who are indigenous to the target audience, can change participants' eating habits.
- EFNEP’s primary purpose is to give adults the skills they need to make nutritious choices for their families and ultimately improve their overall health.
- Series of lessons, group format
- Research based information – not internet based or personal opinion
- Certificate from University of Florida upon completion
- 24 Hour Food Recall and Food Behavior Checklist at entry and exit
- Approximately 80% improvement in both knowledge and practice – i.e. reduced sodium usage, properly thawing food, meal planning, shopping with a list
- Basic Nutrition (Nutrients, Choose My Plate, Reading Food Labels)
- Healthy Eating for Pregnant Moms, Infants, Children
- Meal Planning
- Saving Money on Food
- Food Safety
Another component of the series of lessons is hands on – tasting! Of course most participants love this part! The goal is to get them to try something new or to simply prepare food differently – recipes to try at home
We teach classes at parent-focused organizations like:
- Hillsborough Kids Inc
- Healthy Start / Reach Up
- Alpha House
- Headstart parents
We also work with GED and ESOL Classes, Family Support Resource Centers, Churches / Faith Based Organizations, and Drug Treatment Centers.
- 4-H EFNEP is the youth component of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, which provides education to young people age 5 - 18 with a practical, hands-on approach to nutrition and food preparation.
- Learning by Doing concept
- Locations – Schools, after school programs, parks, summer camps
Contact us to schedule a class!