2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or EFNEP.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the program aims to educate limited-resource families on healthy lifestyle behaviors. Personnel from land-grant institutions such as the LSU AgCenter lead local EFNEP programs.
Eva Davis, an AgCenter area nutrition agent in East Baton Rouge Parish, teaches school and community groups about healthy eating, food safety, exercise and other topics through EFNEP.
She said the program is particularly important in Louisiana, which has high rates of obesity and chronic disease.
On a recent day, Davis was at White Hills Elementary School teaching children about germs and handwashing. After the lesson, the students were treated to a healthy snack of homemade trail mix that Davis helped them prepare.
“Working in the community and working in the schools is very rewarding,” Davis said.
She often runs into participants from her EFNEP classes while doing errands around town. They tell her about how they’ve started exercising more or made changes to their cooking and eating habits.
“This is exciting. This is a success,” she said. “This is letting us know that the program that we are presenting is actually making an impact in the community.”
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture