What Participants LearnProgram Goals
How Do I Participate?


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The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) reaches families with incomes at or below the poverty threshold, or families that qualify for federal food assistance programs (WIC, Electronic Benefits Transfer, TANF, Head Start, free or reduced school lunches) when these families have school-age or younger children living in the home. Pregnant women who qualify for WIC also qualify for EFNEP.

What Participants Learn

EFNEP helps adult participants learn skills and strategies to feed their family nutritious meals on a limited budget and improve their overall health. The skills learned also help families learn how to change behaviors that place them at risk for overweight and the diseases associated with being overweight.

Participants learn to:

  • Save money at the grocery store;
  • Eat more meals at home;
  • Prepare healthy and tasty meals for their families;
  • Control portion sizes;
  • Improve the diets of family members;
  • Keep food safe, reducing waste and food-borne illness;
  • Use leftovers;
  • Move more everyday;
  • Move more and watch less; and
  • Replace sugary beverages with healthy options.

As a result of their EFNEP experience adults:

  • Become better food resource managers;
  • Improve decision-making skills;
  • Maintain healthy weight;
  • Increase their daily physical activity; and
  • Become more self-reliant.


Program Goals

  1. Improve the diet and health of the total family, including young children (infants and preschoolers), school-age children and teenagers, and pregnant women.
  2. Increase knowledge of the essentials of human nutrition and physical activity and their relationship to overall health.
  3. Increase ability to select and buy food that satisfies nutritional needs of the family.
  4. Increase ability to prepare and serve low-cost, nutritious foods that are safe to eat.
  5. Improve practices in food storage, safety and sanitation.
  6. Increase ability to manage resources that relate to food, including Electronic Benefits Transfer.
  7. Connect participants with additional resources that can help provide for their family's needs.
  8. Encourage personal development of participants.

How Do I Participate?

Contact your local Cooperative Extension to learn more about EFNEP in your county. Participation is free and is offered at a variety of sites convenient to you. EFNEP is taught in collaboration with many local WIC clinics, Head Start Centers, Family Resource Centers, Job Clubs, and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. If you wish, EFNEP may also be offered to you individually in your home.

You will participate in on-going classes designed specifically for you or the group you join. Typical classes are taught once a week for one hour. You are expected to attend a minimum of nine lessons and can participate in as many as 22 lessons.

When you sign up for the program, some information will be collected from you to help your Program Assistant select the best series of classes to meet your needs and interest. Your Program Assistant will share with you a summary of your current dietary intake and help you set goals for eating smart and moving more.

During the classes, you will have a chance to try new recipes. You will practice skills that will help you save money on your grocery bill and you will learn how to make meals at home in a short amount of time. What's more, you'll have fun. Learning a new activity to help you move more will increase your energy and physical fitness and you will have the support of a well-trained Program Assistant to encourage you to reach your goals throughout the series of classes.



When you graduate from EFNEP, you will receive:

  • A certificate of completion from NC EFNEP, NC State University and NC A & T State University;
  • A cookbook of quick and healthy recipes full of valuable tips to help you save money and prepare food safely; and
  • Skills that help you feed your family better for less.


The Adult component of the program utilizes a curricula developed collaboratively with the Division of Public Health, Nutrition Services Branch and Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch and NC State University called, EFNEP's Families Eating Smart and Moving More (FESMM). The curriculum consists of 21 lessons under five major headings:

Introduction to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program

  • Introduction to EFNEP

Moving More, Every Day, Everywhere, Watching Less

  • Choosing to Move More Throughout the Day
  • Choose, Plan, Do for a Healthier You
  • Limit TV

Eating Smart at Home

  • Plan: Know What's for Dinner
  • Shop: Get the Best for Less
  • Fix it Fast, Eat at Home
  • Shop for Value, Check the Facts
  • Fix it Safe
  • Choosing More Fruits and Vegetables
  • Smart-size Your Portions and Right-size You

Eating Smart on the Run

  • Making Smart Breakfast Choices
  • Making Smart Lunch Choices
  • Making Smart Choices When Eating Fast Food
  • Making Smart Choices When Eating Out
  • Making Smart Drink Choices

Eating Smart Throughout the Lifecycle

  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Infants
  • Children
  • MyPyramid: Steps to a Healthier You

EFNEP's Families Eating Smart and Moving More uses both hands-on food preparation activities and incorporates physical activities into each lesson. Participants are challenged to make positive changes to achieve good nutrition and health, increase physical activity, control portion sizes, practice food resource management skills, practice food safety in preparation and practice safe storage and handling of food.

View a sample lesson PowerPoint, script, and handout from EFNEP's FESMM

View all handouts from EFNEP's FESMM

EFNEP's Families Eating Smart and Moving More Order Form

NC FESMM Cookbook Order Form

North Carolina State University        CALS         NCCE