In this issue
EFNEP ... 30 years of success
One day Gail Forristall, a Black Hawk County mother of two, dropped into her neighbor's home unexpectedly and met a woman from Iowa State University Extension who was teaching her neighbor about cooking -- and giving away recipes. She was hooked instantly and enrolled in the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). In Iowa, ISU Extension coordinates this program, federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and implemented nationally 30 years ago to help youth and young, low-resource families develop skills and knowledge about nutrition and managing finances, thus helping them to become more self-sufficient.
Results of a recent benefit-cost analysis indicate that for every $1 spent to implement EFNEP, $10.64 will be saved on future health care costs, according to Connie Betterley, ISU Extension's EFNEP state coordinator.
EFNEP uses paraprofessionals from the local area as trained instructors, neighbors helping neighbors. "The program reaches families with limited resources, multi-cultural audiences and pregnant women in both one-on-one and workshop settings. We also teach school-aged youth in schools, provide material for teachers' use, and do summer camps," according to Betterley.
After "graduating" from EFNEP, Forristall finished her
GED and received training to become a program assistant in
her home county. It's now her turn to share her learned
skills and knowledge -- and her recipes for success.