EFNEP classes offer simple tips to improve your family's health

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Do you want to improve the quality of your family's diet? If you said, "yes" join an adult Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) class. EFNEP classes are free and offer simple solutions to help families eat smart and move more.

During a recent EFNEP class in Blytheville, Saundra Sovick Harms, EFNEP program assistant, set up a blind taste test of a store brand of canned pineapple versus a can of brand name pineapple.

"One lady said she can save money because the less expensive store brand pineapple is as good as any other," Harms said.

Each EFNEP lesson usually includes tasting something, a cooking demonstration or hands-on preparation of healthy and easy-to-prepare foods. Some of the lessons also include free enhancement items such as measuring cups, food thermometers and cookbooks.

Harms said the EFNEP curriculum, Eating Smart-Being Active, can help families learn to eat healthier and save money. EFNEP classes include learning strategies to help people save money such as making grocery shopping lists.

"I'm excited to share this important information with Mississippi County families," Harms said.

A new adult EFNEP class is forming. This class will meet one Tuesday per month for eight months. The first lesson is 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17. The class will meet in the conference room at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension Service Mississippi County office, 217 Chickasawba, Blytheville. The classes are free and pre-registration is strongly encouraged.

EFNEP classes are designed for people who have lower incomes and specifically, for families who earn less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that equals an annual income of $36,130, or $43,567 for a family of four and $51,004 for families with five members. Families who participate in assistance programs such as SNAP, TANF and WIC are also encouraged to participate in EFNEP Classes.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information about this class, to pre-register or to inquire about alternative class times and locations, contact Saundra Sovick Harms at the Cooperative Extension Service at (870)762-2075 or by email at sharms@uaex.edu.

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