Better Nutrition Through EFNEP

Improve the Nation's Nutrition and Health
Research Year: 

EFNEP, the Extension Food and Nutrition Education Program, addresses the needs of low-income, minority families and youth nationwide. The goal is to teach families with children to stretch their limited food dollars, plan and prepare nutritious foods and make informed choices about food and other lifestyle issues that support family health and well-being. Funded nationally by the USDA, EFNEP is staffed locally in each state and the U.S. territories by Extension-trained nutrition educators.

Description of Action: 

Arizona's EFNEP program is offered in 5 of the state's 15 counties. The EFNEP curriculum includes methods of meal planning, food shopping and budget management skills, handling food properly, food storage and sanitation as well as improving family nutrition and health. By the time parents graduate from the program, participants have learned how to use government-issued commodity foods, compare food labels, and choose a healthy diet while still cutting expenses.


In 2003-2004 more than 4,083 low-income families which included 15,828 family members and 4,693 youth attended EFNEP classes in Arizona; 409 volunteers assisted with family nutrition education. The Arizona EFNEP program included 77 percent minorities (Hispanic, black, Asian and American Indian). As a result of the program, nearly 94 percent reported positive changes in choosing healthy items for meals. About 80 percent improved their general nutrition overall, and 65 percent improved their food safety practices. Although it ranked 7th in overall behavior change compared with 10 other states in its funding range, Arizona ranked first in actual dietary improvement from entry to exit from the program.

Funding Agencies: 

Smith-Lever 3(d) e.g., EFNEP; In-kind agency as well as cash donations

Conact Name: 
Scottie Misner
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Address: 

The University of Arizona, Department of Nutritional Sciences

Shantz Bldg., Room 309

Tucson, AZ 85721-0038

Telephone: (520) 621-7123 FAX: (520) 621-9446