EFNEP - Program Impact

Heli J. Roy  |  3/18/2005 9:56:31 PM

Impact of the Program:

The mission of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is to empower limited-resource families and youth to improve their health, to have a better quality of life through improved diets and to make a better selection when buying foods by managing their food budgets and related resources.

Scope of impact:

In 2008-2009, the LSU AgCenter’s EFNEP program was supervised by nine agents in 11 parishes and reached 1,097enrolled program families and 7,254 youth. The program registered 275 volunteers equaling to 5.1 FTEs. An estimated 54 FTEs were spent on EFNEP for about $4,327,344. Thirty EFNEP nutrition educators conducted a special nutrition education program for low-income families with young children. The program consisted of a 12-lesson curriculum and was used by nutrition educators to educate the enrolled participants in either individual or small group settings. To graduate from the program, participants completed a minimum of 10 of the 12 lessons. Seventy percent of the 1,097enrollees completed the program. Through EFNEP, families learned about healthy eating, making nutritious choices and extending limited resources when shopping for food. EFNEP also worked cooperatively with other food-assistance programs such as food stamp, WIC and commodity foods.

 Food Recalls:

In 2007-2008 there were paired entry and exit food recalls taken on 1,097clients enrolled in the EFNEP program. Results are as follows:

At entry, 57 percent of homemakers consumed no fruit, and only 9.9 percent consumed the recommended number of 2 or more servings of fruit a day! However, at exit 62.7 percent consumed 1 or more fruits daily with 29.1 percent consuming 2 or more servings of fruit per day.

Upon program initiation 14.6 percent of clients consumed no vegetables, and only 19 percent consumed the recommended 3 or more servings per day. By program completion, 26.9 percent were consuming the recommended daily intake of 3 or more vegetables servings per day with 93 percent of all clients consuming at least 1 vegetable per day.

Dairy intake increased from 70.5 percent to 79 percent. Two or more servings of milk were consumed by only 26.2 percent at program entry, increasing to 35.2 percent by program exit.

Meat consumption of 5.5 ounces increased from 58.8 percent to 70.5 percent.

The consumption of breads and cereals (6-11 ounces) increased from 51.9 percent to 63 percent from program entry to exit.

At Program Exit:

  • 54 percent more often planned meals in advance.
  • 54 percent made healthy food choices when deciding what to feed their family.
  • 43 percent more often prepared food without adding salt.
  • 70 percent more often read labels
  • 40 percent reported that their children ate breakfast more often.

The EFNEP homemakers increased the nutritional value of their diets:

  • Nutrient >99% RDA Graduates at Program Entry Graduates at Program Exit

  • Protein

  • Iron

  • Calcium

  • Vitamin A

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin B6

Nutrition practices of EFNEP participants improved as indicated by the following:

  • 31 percent removed skin from chicken before eating.
  • 42 percent were less worried about food at the end of the month.
  • 40 percent chose lower-fat milk.
  • 26 percent ate some kind of vegetables (other than potatoes) every day
  • 40 percent chose whole-wheat bread.

Food safety practices of EFNEP participants improved as indicated by the following:

76% more often followed the recommended practices of not allowing meat and dairy foods to sit out for more than two hours. Furthermore, 37% always follow the recommended practices.

52% more often followed the recommended practice of not thawing foods at room temperature.

EFNEP Youth:

There were 7,254 EFNEP youth enrolled during FY07-08.

Of these, 52% were females, and 48% were males. Most were between 9 and 13 years of age. Of the total youth, 82% lived in central cities over 50,000, and 10% resided in towns under 10,000 and rural non-farm areas.

Two methods are used to reach EFNEP youth. Youth are taught nutrition lessons in group meetings each month by the nutrition aides or they are taught directly by volunteer leaders. Volunteer leaders are recruited and trained by professional EFNEP home economists. A predetermined EFNEP nutrition curriculum is taught. Each month all youth are taught the same lesson. Meetings are conducted in homes, churches, community centers and schools. Each lesson includes the objective, nutrition subject matter and learning experiences youth participate in to accomplish the objective and a show-and-tell. All youth are given a take-home fact sheet monthly that includes the main points of the nutrition lesson. In addition to the monthly youth meetings, each parish conducts summer day camps or other special youth events.

EFNEP Volunteers:

There were 389 volunteer leaders who assisted in EFNEP. They performed instructional, advisory committee, educational service, support service and middle-manager roles. Most function in support service and instructional roles. About 10% of the volunteer leaders were current or former EFNEP participants.

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