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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Impacts

EFNEP Program Impacts in FY16 Highlighting Success in Massachusetts

In FY 2016, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Massachusetts directly reached 1,588 adults and 2,640 youth with nutrition education. A total of 5,598 family members were reached indirectly through our work with adult participants.

Reaching Those in Need

  • 79% of our adult EFNEP participants were from households living at or below the poverty level.
  • 85% of these households were receiving food assistance (such as WIC or SNAP benefits).
  • 8% of adult participants were pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • 36% of adult participants had not completed high school and did not have a GED.

Using Effective Methods

  • EFNEP delivery is focused on the lowest income communities.
  • EFNEP educators are from the communities where they teach.
  • EFNEP uses the research-based adult curriculum CHOICES: Steps Toward Health, which utilizes a learning-by-dialogue approach.
  • Participants’ backgrounds and experiences are respected and valued.
  • 99% of adult and youth participants were reached in a group setting.
  • 78% of adult participants either completed the program or were continuing at the end of the program year.
  • Youth activities are active, hands-on, and provide experiential learning opportunities.

Changing Adult Behaviors

At the completion of the program:

  • 94.2% of participants showed a positive change in consumption for at least one of the food groups.
  • 88% of participants showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices (i.e., plan meals, prepare foods without adding salt, read nutrition labels, or have children eat breakfast).
  • 84% of participants showed improvement in one or more food resource management practices (i.e., plan meals, compare prices, not run out of food, or use grocery lists).
  • 65% of participants showed improvement in one or more food safety practices (i.e., thawing and storing foods properly).
  • 30% of participants reported an increase in physical activity.

Changing Youth Behaviors

Kindergarten to 2nd Grade EFNEP youth participants improved as indicated by the following:

  • 67% of children improved 1 or more knowledge or skill(s) necessary to choose foods consistent with Federal Dietary Guideline recommendations
  • 50% of children improved knowledge or skill related to handling food safely
  • 83% of children in grades K-2 improved in one or more core area

3rd to 5th Grade EFNEP youth participants improved as indicated by the following:

  • 85% of youth improved 1 or more knowledge or skill(s) necessary to choose foods consistent with Federal Dietary Guideline recommendations.
  • 39% of youth improved 1 or more knowledge, skill(s), or behavior necessary to improve their physical activity practices
  • 45% of youth improved 1 or more knowledge, skill(s), or behavior(s) related to handling food safely
  • 92% of youth in grades 3-5 improved in one or more core area.

6th to 8th Grade EFNEP youth participants improved as indicated by the following:

  • 100% of youth adopted and practiced 1 or more food selection behavior(s) consistent with Federal Dietary Guideline recommendations.
  • 86% of youth adopted or improved 1 or more habit(s) or behaviors related to physical activity.
  • 71% of youth adopted and practiced 1 or more behavior(s) necessary to handle food safely
  • 71% of youth adopted or improved 1 or more knowledge or skill(s) necessary to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food.
  • 100% of youth in grades 6-8 improved in one or more core area.

9th to 12th Grade EFNEP youth participants improved as indicated by the following:

  • 91% of youth adopted and practiced 1 or more food selection behavior(s) consistent with Federal Dietary Guideline recommendations.
  • 67% of youth adopted or improved 1 or more habit(s) or behavior(s) related to physical activity.
  • 52% of youth adopted and practiced 1 or more behavior(s) necessary to handle food safely
  • 67% of youth improved knowledge and skills related to being food secure.
  • 100% of youth in grades 9-12 improved in one or more core area.

Summary of Improvement for All Children and Youth

  • 71% of children and youth improved their abilities to choose foods according to Federal Dietary Recommendations or gained knowledge in this area.
  • 49% of children and youth used safe food handling practices more often or gained knowledge in this area.
  • 71% of children and youth improved their ability to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food or gained knowledge in this area.
  • 24% of children and youth improved their physical activity practices or gained knowledge in this area.
  • 67% of youth acquired skills to be food secure or gained knowledge in this area.

Involving the Community

  • 265 volunteers (260 adults and 5 youth) contributed a total of 1.09 FTEs by providing support and administration for programming and/or assisting with nutrition education activities.
  • Staff in our 4 EFNEP sites collaborated with and delivered programs at 140 locations throughout Massachusetts in FY16.