Skip to main content

AHS March Blog: EFNEP – Improving North Carolinians Health: 55 Years and Counting

The Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences (AHS) publishes a monthly blog written by students, alumni, and faculty sharing important topics and helpful resources related to the fields of agricultural, extension, and human science. In the March blog post, Megan Halbohm, EFNEP technology and training leader and extension associate, highlight the importance of EFNEP during National Nutrition Month.

In order of National Nutrition Month in March, we will be providing an overview of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Considerable changes have occurred since the inauguration of EFNEP in 1969. Still, one element has remained consistent, the commitment of EFNEP to improving the health of limited-resource youth and families with children.

EFNEP offers a series of lessons to North Carolinians at no cost to participants. These lessons provide valuable nutrition information, tips for saving money at the grocery store, strategies for increasing physical activity, food safety tips, and hands-on application of cooking skills. 

In 40 counties across the state, EFNEP educators reached nearly 2,000 families and over 20,000 youth throughout the 2023 program year. Impact reports indicated that 98% of families participating in EFNEP improved their diet quality and 95% practiced better food resource management. 

With the rising cost of groceries, many are looking for ways to cut back on their grocery bill while still providing healthy meals at home for their families. Providing budgeting strategies to save at the grocery store has become increasingly necessary for many families. North Carolina’s own Families Eating Smart and Moving More Curriculum focuses on teaching these budgeting strategies to families. Throughout the series of lessons, but primarily in the Shop: Get the Best for Less and Shop for Value, Check the Facts lessons, participants learn to: 

  • Comparing prices using unit labels
  • Looking for sales at the store 
  • Using coupons wisely 
  • Buying in bulk 
  • Looking for store brands 

Participants of the program share: 

“I have saved more of my money at the grocery store.”

“Putting into practice the information you taught me has contributed to being able to lower my blood sugar levels to normal.”

Angie Lawrence, EFNEP Educator, with group in Brunswick County

To learn more about EFNEP and find a program near you, visit: