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 strategies for choosing and preparing nutritious foods while saving money. It also helps these families 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 they 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 2002-2003 more than 3,436 low-income families (a 25 percent increase in family participation from the previous year) and 10,895 youth attended EFNEP classes in Arizona. Of the 575 volunteers who assisted with family nutrition education, 71 percent were 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 were valued at $91,825

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