Calls to Conversation - Nutrition Education Programming in America

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NIFA is committed to improving health and reducing hunger and poverty in America through nutrition education programming. Low-income families develop healthy habits in eating, physical activity, food handling, and food storage through peer educator-led training using credible, research-based nutrition information. NIFA and its predecessor agencies have provided nearly 50 years of federal leadership in nutrition education programming through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). We need to ensure that such programming is commensurate with demographic, social, and technological change.

The main question that the Nutrition Education Programming in America Call to Conversation addressed was: Given that EFNEP reaches about 500,000 adults and youth annually, how might we most efficiently and effectively scale up the program to expand the program's reach while also maintaining its high rate of return, i.e., program impact? Roughly 47 million people are below the poverty level in the U.S., which includes 18 percent of families with children and 19 percent of children — ages 0 to 17. The conversation was framed by a "Point of Departure" document that outlined the meeting's objective, program background, and questions to be addressed. After the conversation, additional input was received via email and a report was prepared that summarized these findings. An executive summary of this report is also available.