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EFNEP celebrates 50 years of service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A nationwide community program that helps limited-resource families learn how to eat healthy and live an active life is celebrating 50 years of nutrition education to Mississippians in 2019.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program -- or EFNEP -- is a federal program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
In Mississippi, EFNEP is offered through the Mississippi State University Extension Service, which delivers current science-based food and physical activity recommendations that provide the foundation for free, hands-on nutrition education classes.
There are 22 EFNEP educators located in 19 Mississippi counties who provide tailored classes to meet the specific needs of program participants. Participants learn to prepare healthy food, plan meals, stretch food dollars and increase physical activity.
Local 50th anniversary events and government proclamations are planned this summer to recognize past, present and future partners, participants, volunteers and educators in communities the program serves.
EFNEP helps families acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to change behaviors and improve lives. Taught by peer educators, these lessons aim to increase the number of healthy children, young people and families. Peer educators also cultivate a sense of personal success, which motivates participants to finish high school, pursue a GED or training program, and find employment.