Research and Outreach Interest Area:
Moving from Hunger to Health Through Knowledge and Skills
Do you know know that in Massachusetts, 701,630 people are struggling with hunger—and 187,290 of them are children?* Hunger affects people in every area of the Commonwealth. Hunger and food insecurity (being hungry or at risk of hunger) is complex and linked to major health problems: diabetes and obesity. For the hungry and food insecure, likely choices are often less expensive foods. Foods with higher calories and fewer nutrients, and an eating pattern that impacts and undermines good health.
Our Center is helping to alleviate the impacts of food insecurity. UMass Extension’s Nutrition Education Program (NEP) works with local organizations and agencies to make a difference by creating programs that not only provide information about healthy food choices but that also develop how-to skills. Skills in stretching food resources, making healthier choices, and being more active. Evaluations show that these new skills translate into changed behaviors: eating more fruits and vegetables and increasing levels of physical activity. Both of which have profound effects in minimizing the impacts of hunger and food insecurity… and leading to better health. Join us, and in the words of an early Massachusetts educator, be ambitious!