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Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Impacts

lots of fruit


EFNEP Makes a Difference

UMass Extension’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a no-cost nutrition education program for low-income families and youth. Through this program, designed to help those struggling to pay bills and put food on the table, participants learn how to make healthier food choices while spending less money. Trained educators from UMass Extension’s Nutrition Education Program provide a series of six to nine lessons that help with challenges faced by low-income families. The lessons not only teach valuable nutrition information; they also build life skills that make a real difference.  

Working together makes a real difference for the clients we serve.

In FY23, we reached 661 adult participants, with a total reach of 2,357 family members. Results from adults after participation:

  • 94% improved their food resource management practices
  • 96% improved their nutrition practices
  • 82% improved their food safety practices
  • 76% improved in one or more physical activity behaviors
  • 44% ate more fruits
  • 49% ate more vegetables

In FY23, we reached 1,035 youth. Results from youth after participation:

  • 73% improved their diet quality
  • 35% improved their physical activity behaviors
  • 49% improved their food safety behaviors

Lesson topics are chosen to meet the needs of the participants, such as:

  • Using strategies to make the most of your food dollars
  • Becoming more physically active
  • Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Choosing foods lower in saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars
  • Keeping your food safe
  • Making healthier food choices when eating out
  • Helping your child eat healthier foods
  • Nurturing a healthy lifestyle for yourself


EFNEP nutrition lessons are interactive, use a “learning by dialogue” approach, and often include a cooking demonstration and a physical activity. Lesson materials are available in English and Spanish, with an additional version designed especially for English language learners. Participants are encouraged to try new foods and practice new skills. Upon completing the lesson series, each participant receives a certificate of completion during a special graduation celebration.


EFNEP has a proven record of accomplishment for changing the lives of those who have graduated from our program.

"I watch what kind of food I eat. I make sure I eat fruits and vegetables."  —Mother of 2 young children


"I liked the entire program. My diet is well balanced, but I was able to improve it more with what I learned. Thank you!" —Mother of an 8-year-old child


"Not only did clients learn the basics of nutrition and make healthy food for their family, I also learned from you how to check ingredients while I buy food at market." —Family Support