Tarrant County


Picture of Tarrant County EFNEP Staff
Tarrant County EFNEP
PO Box 1540
Fort Worth, TX 76101-1540
Phone: 817-212-7501
Fax: 817-212-7502

  • Agent:
    Darlene Myatt
  • Extension Assistant:
    Alba Serrano
  • Lead Office Assistant:
    Linda Chazarreta
  • Assistants:
    Sonnya Gomij
    Melissa Hernandez

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Tarrant 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 Tarrant County

In Tarrant County, ethnically diverse EFNEP nutrition assistants reach youth and adult groups whose principal language may be English or Spanish.

In 2015,

  • 671 families enrolled in EFNEP.
  • 9,353 youth contacts were made through the EFNEP youth program.
  • 69% of families were at or below 100% of federal poverty level.
  • 99% of families enrolled in one or more food assistance programs at entry.
  • 93% of EFNEP adult participants were Hispanic/Latino.
  • 4% of EFNEP adult participants were Black.
  • 2% of EFNEP adult participants were White, Not Hispanic/Latino.

Volunteers Strengthen EFNEP

In 2015, 145 adult volunteers donated 1,435 hours of work to EFNEP in Tarrant County. At the Texas rate of $24.66/hour, this volunteerism has a minimum dollar value of $35,392. Volunteers make a difference in their own communities, and contribute to EFNEP’s continued success.

EFNEP Makes a Real Difference

Adult Program:

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:

  • 97% with positive change in any food group at exit. Specifically, EFNEP participants consumed 0.9 more cups of fruits and vegetables and 0.4 additional cups of milk at completion, compared to entry.
  • 90% improved in one or more food resource management practices such as using a list for grocery shopping.
  • 97% improved in one or more nutrition practices such as using the “Nutrition Facts” on food labels to make food choices.
  • 78% improved in one or more food safety practices such as thawing foods safely.
  • 49% of program participants reported a positive change in physical activity.

Youth Program:

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. The following results show how youth participants’ food behaviors improved after attending EFNEP classes.

  • 92% improved ability to choose foods according to the Dietary Guidelines.
  • 51% improved their safe food handling practices more often.
  • 49% improved physical activity practices.
  • 77% improved ability to prepare simple, nutritious, affordable food.

Cost–Benefits of EFNEP

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 Tarrant County, this is 2 million in estimated health care cost savings and almost $410,460 in food costs.

Success Stories

  • “I am now eating 3 meals a day instead of one, and I am drinking more milk.”
  • “I am eating breakfast every day and encouraging my grandchildren that live with me to eat three regular meals a day.”
  • “I have cut down on fried foods and am buying more fresh fruits and vegetables.”
  • “I am not eating foods with as much salt, eating less fat and sugary items in my diet.”
  • “I am drinking more water; I drink water instead of soda—no more soda!”
  • “I am buying more economically now; am able to have both money and food stamps left over at the end of the month.”
  • “I am reading labels now, and shopping with a budget and a list and comparison shopping.”
  • “I am buying wheat bread and buying foods from all the food groups.”

Changes made in cooking

  • “I have changed the way I cook which is healthier with less fat; draining it off; baking meats instead of frying.”
  • “I am cooking more; using the good recipes; making meals for less cost.”
  • “I have tried the quick recipes for my children to expand their eating habits and giving them more variety in what they eat.”
  • “I am more willing to try new foods.”

What others say about the Program

“Our students and teachers receive a great deal of support in their health instruction from the Expanded Nutrition Program. The information is a great addition to our health program. Knowledge is powerful and our students need as much current information on nutrition and health as they can get.”
— Georgi Roberts, Director of Health & Physical Education, Fort Worth ISD

“You really inspired me…I realized the nutrition information brought to my students wasn’t any different from what I already knew, but wasn’t putting into practice. I needed to set a better example and now I do—and have lost 16 pounds to prove it!!”
— Marcia Nikl, Physical Education Teacher, Washington Heights Elementary

“Thanks so much for sharing wonderful lifetime information with our students…your classroom presentations really do make a difference.”
— Merelene Russell, Physical Education Teacher, South Hi Mount Elementary

“My son Robert has learned a lot from the nutrition classes. Even when I’m cooking, he’s always talking about fat so that I’ll eat better too.”
— Sheila H., Parent

“My mom doesn’t read English, so I show her what to buy and we fix the recipes that we did at school. Now my family makes good choices to be more healthy.”
— Maritza S., 3rd Grade Student


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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.