College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Nutrition & Food Science

NFSC Faculty Member Director of EFNEP

Dr. Mira Mheta director of Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Mira Mehta, PhD- Current Director of EFNEP

EFNEP stands for Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.  EFNEP is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture and the University of Maryland Extension.  The major goals of EFNEP are to help limited-income families and youth acquire knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior changes necessary to promote health/wellness and reduce chronic risk. For more information about EFNEP contact Dr. Mira Mehta.

In 2010-2011 EFNEP Educators reached 2,486 individuals, 9,566 families and 7,757 youth in after school and school based programs and other community based programs. EFNEP families are taught in small groups or individually by EFNEP educators. The majority of participants complete the EFNEP workshop series in less than 12 months.

EFNEP Youth are taught in summer or year-round programs. Since 1994 EFNEP has reached more than 100,000 youth ages 5-15 years with their healthy eating, wellness and food safety workshops.  The main focus of EFNEP youth programs is to empower them and enhance self efficacy relating to:

  • selecting healthy snacks
  • eating more fruits and vegetables as part of meals, snacks
  • selecting healthy beverages
  • eating breakfast 
  • Select healthy foods for their family at home and when eating out
  • Make healthy food choices during pregnancy and while breast-feeding

What Does EFNEP Do?

EFNEP teaches its participants to:

  • Choose nutritious snacks/beverages for children
  • Plan and prepare healthy meals
  • Handle and store foods safely
  • Prepare new foods and recipes
  • Compare prices and save on their food bill
  • Become physically active
  • Lose weight sensibly

EFNEP Participant Profiles 2010 - 2011 

  • 43% have children under six years old

  • 18% have incomes less than half the poverty level

  • 43% receive food stamps (snap benefits)

  • 44% receive WIC benefits

  • 12% receive TANF assistance

Race/Ethnicity of EFNEP Participants in 2010-2011

  • 44% African American
  • 37% Caucasion
  • 27% Hispanic/Latino (of any race)

Over 270 Collaborators  including:

  • WIC programs
  • Food Stamp (SNAP) offices
  • The Head Start Program
  • GED Programs
  • Health and recreation centers
  • Public Housing Projects
  • Family Support Groups
  • School Parent Groups
  • Schools for Teenage Mothers
  • Centers for Recovering Addicts
  • Transitional Housing Groups
  • Churches and other Faithbased Organizations
  • The Salvation Army
  • The American Cancer Society

What Does EFNEP Do?

EFNEP's primary target is low-income families with children who are participating or are eligible for participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP).

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