The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) was established nation-wide in 1969 with a commitment to combat hunger, malnutrition, poverty and obesity through hands-on, practical nutrition education. EFNEP Vermont operates through University of Vermont Extension and is a federally funded mandate that works hand-in-hand with local partners to serve limited-income Vermonters.
National EFNEP Mission Statement: The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is designed to assist limited resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sounds diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional well-being.
EFNEP focuses on the following 4 core areas:
- Diet Quality and Physical Activity: Improve diets and nutritional and physical wellbeing through the adoption of federal food and physical activity recommendations.
- Food Resource Management: Increase ability to buy, grow, prepare and store food that meets nutritional needs.
- Food Safety: Improve household food safety and sanitation practices.
- Food Security: Increase ability to have enough healthy food to eat either through purchasing directly or by accessing food assistance programs when necessary.
Participants Learn by Doing EFNEP offers adult and youth programs, typically six sessions long and held in a community or home setting. Adult programs involve a combination of group discussion and hands-on activities designed to inspire participants to make healthier choices for themselves and their families. Children and teen programs work within community groups and schools to create fun, hands-on and age-appropriate nutrition education opportunities. Participants learn to:
- Prepare basic meals and snacks in a fun setting
- Shop smarter on a budget
- Grow and store fresh food
- Follow and modify healthy recipes
- Recognize what ingredients are in the foods they eat
- Understand the importance of food safety
- Appreciate the benefits of being active