EFNEP Works for Montana 2020

Montana State University Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

The Challenge

  • 72% of Montana youth do not participate in enough aerobic activity to meet guidelines
  • 63% of Montana adults are overweight or obese
  • 92% of Montana adults do not meet the vegetable intake recommendations
  • 72% of American Indian adults are overweight or obese
  • 26% of Montana children in grades 9-12 are overweight or obese
  • 1 in 10 Montanans face hunger/food insecurity

The EFNEP Solution

  •  Help
    • low-income families improve their health through a series interactive lessons offered online & in-person to improve food and physical activity behaviors
  • Collaborate
    • with community partners to support an improved food and physical environment for low-income populations, and work to meet new needs related to COVID-19
  • Contribute
    • to the reduction of health disparities associated with those who have limited financial resources

The Results

Graduates from nutrition classes improved their healthy habits.

  • Adults
    • 49% ate veggies more often
    • 57% ate fruit more often
    • 72% were more physically active
    • 74% improved food management practices
    • 77% improved food safety practices
  • Youth
    • 46% improved physical activity behaviors
    • 54% improved food safety practices
    • 86% made healthier food choices

After a series of nine nutrition and physical activity lessons at a treatment program, a mother of three was excited to use her newly acquired skills and knowledge to help her keep her family healthy. She shared her excitement to use the graduation cookbook with healthy recipes to plan meals each week, to regularly make a shopping list, purchase more seasonal fruits and veggies, and to read the Nutrition Facts label when shopping. Additionally, she looks forward to increasing her family's physical activity by letting each family member choose the physical activity one day a week that the whole family can participate in.

EFNEP By the Numbers

  • 6,382 visits to buyeatlivebetter.org in 2020
  • 34,711 Pinterest post views 
  • 25,635 Facebook post views
  • 316 adults participated in an Eating Smart Being Active series
  • 1,273 youth participated in a Youth Understanding MyPlate series
  • 609 nutrition and physical activity classes held
  • 914 adult and youth graduates from nutrition & physical activity series

Program Impacts

EFNEP helps families in need by partnering with a community resource organization. The EFNEP program teaches a nine-week series of cooking and nutrition classes in the partner organization's new teaching kitchen. The organization provides a free bag of food, with the ingredients of the item that was prepared in class, to participants. In the last class series, a retired grandmother raising two teenage grandchildren attended the classes. During the classes she learned that she could sign up for a bi-monthly food box. The bag of ingredients provided after each class and the food boxes helped stretch her food dollars and feed her grandchildren.

EFNEP contributes to statewide projects to promote fruit and vegetables at farmers' markets. Montana State University Extension's Nutrition Education Program is a program partner with several statewide organizations working to offer and promote the use of Double SNAP Dollars at farmers' markets across the state. Through the statewide partnership, local EFNEP programs provide education on use of farmers' markets, and are able to offer coupons for free fruits and vegetables to adult EFNEP participants who want to use their EBT cards at a local market. Through this partnership, EFNEP is helping participants stretch their limited food dollars and increase their access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

EFNEP helps a mother of five who attended a nine-week series of cooking and nutrition classes in central Montana prepare healthy meals for her family. After learning about MyPlate, she started adding more fruits and vegetables to her family's dinners. The children enjoyed the change and commented that their meals are so fun and colorful now. Additionally, this mother has begun to have her two oldest children help to prepare dinner while she supervises. She knows her children are learning important skills that will help them plan and prepare healthier foods for the family while she goes back to college to finish her degree.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Montana State University and Montana State University Extension prohibit discrimination in all of their programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital and family status. Issued in furtherance of cooperative extension work in agriculture and home economics, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cody Stone, Director of Extension, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717.