El Paso County
El Paso County EFNEP
5100 El Paso Drive
El Paso, TX 79905
- Lead Office Assistant:
- Youth Associate:
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
El Paso County Outcome Summary Report
Supporting Texas Families with Greatest Need Since 1969
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) helps young families and youth with limited resources—those most at risk to suffer from hunger, food insecurity and the inability to connect with available support systems. EFNEP offers practical lessons in basic nutrition, food preparation, food budget management and food safety in settings convenient for the participants. EFNEP also includes a walking program for adult participants. Program graduates reflect significant, lasting improvement in eating behaviors and healthy food habits. Texas has a need for EFNEP—2014 data show that 20% of Texas families with children under the age of 18 were living below poverty level, compared to 18% of U.S. families.
EFNEP Reaches Diverse Audiences in El Paso County
In El Paso County, ethnically diverse EFNEP nutrition assistants reach youth and adult groups whose principal language may be English or Spanish.
- 1,240 families enrolled in EFNEP.
- 1,639 youth contacts were made through the EFNEP youth program.
- 49 EFNEP participants were pregnant and/ or nursing.
- 70% of families were at or below 100% of federal poverty level.
- 63% of families enrolled in one or more food assistance programs at entry.
- 92% of EFNEP adult participants were Hispanic/Latino.
- 3% of EFNEP adult participants were White, Not Hispanic/Latino.
Volunteers Strengthen EFNEP
In 2015, 175 adult volunteers donated 2,080 hours of work to EFNEP in El Paso County. At the Texas rate of $24.66/hour, this volunteerism has a minimum dollar value of $51,293. Volunteers make a difference in their own communities, and contribute to EFNEP’s continued success.
EFNEP Makes a Real Difference
Using “hands-on” experiences, EFNEP adult participants complete at least a six-lesson series on stretching food dollars, improving eating habits, and practicing food safety principles. As a result of participation in EFNEP the following food and nutrition behaviors were achieved:
- 98% with positive change in any food group at exit.
- 77% improved in one or more food resource management practices such as using a list for grocery shopping.
- 87% improved in one or more nutrition practices such as using the “Nutrition Facts” on food labels to make food choices.
- 68% improved in one or more food safety practices such as thawing foods safely.
- 33% of program participants reported a positive change in physical activity.
The EFNEP – Youth program is directed toward low-income school-age youth. These students participate in a series of fun and educational lessons on good nutrition and food safety as part of summer programs, classroom and after-school activities.
- 80% improved ability to choose foods according to the Dietary Guidelines.
- 42% improved their safe food handling practices more often.
- 42% improved physical activity practices.
Studies have shown that for every $1 spent of EFNEP, $10 were estimated to be saved in health care costs and $2 saved in food costs by participants. For El Paso County, this is $3.6 million in estimated health care cost savings and almost $718,258 in food costs.
Maria M. was a divorced lady with a one year-old son living in the west side of El Paso. She started to come to the EFNEP class but was very shy and would not smile. She would always bring her son with her to the class. At home, Maria practiced the recipes that were demonstrated in the class, and tried other new recipes. She started to smile and told the teacher how much she was saving by preparing a menu. She was enjoying cooking and was making friends. She even started going to school and is now working for the Department of Human Services. Maria has since graduated from EFNEP. She said that taking EFNEP classes has really changed her life in that she now has a healthier diet. Before EFNEP, Maria would make herself a meal of six servings and eat it all herself. She was also doing 90% of her snacking on the sofa watching TV. Maria now eats a variety of fruits and vegetables daily and has cut down on salt and fat when preparing a meal. She does not deprive herself of foods that she loves, but simply eats smaller portions. When going to a restaurant, she now selects healthy choices. For dessert she chooses fresh fruits, fruit ices, sherbet, angel food cake or fat-free yogurt. Maria is a happier person because of EFNEP.
Last updated: 18 October, 2016
Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.