Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

In Indiana, EFNEP works with three limited resource audiences:

  • Adults: Men or women living in rural or urban areas who are responsible for planning and preparing the family's food. EFNEP targets households with children birth to age 12.
  • Youth: 4H-age youth living in rural or urban areas.
  • Pregnant teens and adults: Reached through the Have A Healthy Baby program.

Who teaches EFNEP?

EFNEP is taught by specially trained paraprofessionals called family nutrition advisers (FNAs); EFNEP in Indiana currently supports 26 FNA positions. These caring individuals usually live in the areas and neighborhoods in which they work. The FNAs are trained in food safety and basic nutrition in order to teach the program.

Where is EFNEP taught?

In Indiana, EFNEP is currently taught in Lake and Marion counties. The FNAs teach in homes of participants, as well as groups in clinics or community sites.

What topics are covered?

Core lessons include the following topics:

  • making the most of limited food resources
  • planning meals and shopping
  • current USDA dietary guidance.
  • physical activity
  • nutrition facts label
  • food safety
  • importance of breakfast
  • snacks
  • feeding young children
  • "Have A Healthy Baby" lessons are taught to pregnant participants

With whom does EFNEP collaborate?

EFNEP refers participants to community assistance programs such as WIC, Food Stamps, Housing, Healthy Families and Division of Family and Children. Referrals are made to EFNEP by these agencies as well. The Indiana WIC program counts EFNEP instruction as a second nutrition education contact. Other partners include Head Start, Early Head Start, Step Ahead, food pantries, schools, and other local community agencies.

Within the Purdue Extension Service, all disciplines of Health and Human Sciences are incorporated as they relate to food and nutrition. Partnerships also occur with 4-H Youth, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Community Development.

Is EFNEP successful?

In 2013 1,058 families including 4,301 women and children participated in EFNEP in Indiana.  The program taught 288 youth groups, including 6,368 school aged youth.

Of graduates:

  • 63% of adult clients planned meals in advance more often
  • 74% of adult clients used the Nutrition Facts label to make food choices more often
  • 71% showed improvement in 2 or more food resource management practices (i.e. shopping with a list)
  • On average, familes reported saving $65.07 per month on food costs post program participation

Participant Comments:

  • "I always make a list before grocery shoppiong now, it saves time and money."
  • "My husband can't believe how much money we're saving!"
  • "I read labels because I know how to now and understand them better."