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   w improve their diets

   w understand nutrition

   w shop wisely

   w prepare and preserve food safety

   w learn about good nutrition and health practices

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provides nutrition instruction to low-income families, especially those with young children. The instruction is done in a group setting and consist of 7-one hour classes. Participants who attend all class sessions will "graduate" and receive a certificate of participation from the University of California. Direct instruction covers shopping skills, the basic principles of nutrition and food preparation, and methods for safe food handling and preservation.

Paraprofessionals, trained by the University of California, provide instruction for small groups. Federal guidelines for participation in the program require that family's income be below a certain level or that they be receiving benefits from other federally assistant programs.

Since 1969 California has assisted more than 450,000 low-income families. More than 12,000 new families are reached each year. Those who complete the program are able to use their EFNEP knowledge and skills to provide more economical and nutritious food for their families. Evaluations of participants' diets show significant and continued improvements in their daily eating habits, especially in the consumption of milk, fruits, and vegetables.

The Cooperative Extension office in Kern County offers the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program to community agencies and organizations, at no cost to qualifying participants.