Being poor in Escambia County often means being hungry or malnourished. Low income, minority, and educationally disadvantaged people are most at risk for diet-related diseases. Poor nutrition from the lack of sufficient quantity and/or quality of food and lack of sufficient physical activity have been identified as two of the top risk factors for serious health issues. Many of these families in poverty lack the knowledge and skills to select and prepare more nutritious diets, manage their limited food budget, and increase physical activity.
By using nutrition educators in local community group settings, Adult EFNEP aids limited-resource families in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and behaviors necessary to improve their diets and overall well-being.
Of the 40,000 plus students in the Escambia County Public School System, many living in poverty have nutritionally deficient diets and are poor achievers with low self-esteem lacking the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy to make nutritiously sound food choices. Nutritional deficiencies are linked with increased risk of overweight and obesity, one of the leading causes of chronic disease. It is difficult to practice good nutrition habits when funds for food are limited. This negatively influences children’s readiness to learn and their overall achievement.
Education is provided to limited-resource young people age 5-18 with a practical, hands-on approach to nutrition and food preparation using the “Learn -by-Doing” concept.
EFNEP offers adult programs, typically nine sessions long and held in a community setting.
Adult programs incorporate relevant nutrition information to help families eat better food for less money. Small group sizes allow EFNEP educators to tailor each class for their audience. Participants connect with one another in hands-on activities and group discussion.
All EFNEP classes include interactive food demonstrations of easy and delicious recipes. Also, each lesson comes with a lesson enhancement and a tool designed to help participants adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Youth programs include children 5-18 years and pregnant teens at eligible community sites.
Wendy has been with EFNEP since 2013. She has worked as a Nutrition Educator at the UF/IFAS Extension in Escambia County, teaching adults and families on a limited budget how to eat better and move more. Wendy is now the Extension Program Manager where she leads a team of youth and adult EFNEP Nutrition Educators. Wendy has an Associate of Applied Science and a graduate of the University of Kentucky's Dental Hygiene Program. She is a Registered Dental Hygienist and holds a current Florida Substitute Teacher's Certificate. Wendy is passionate about leading a successful team and helping others become healthier through good nutrition and exercise.