Leading Families On the Path to Better Health

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Libraries are filled with books that can feed the imagination, enrich the soul and supplement the education of the reader. In Cleveland County, library patrons can also check out something that can help feed families, enrich bodies and provide supplement nutrition.

A Steps to Health grant provided an opportunity for Extension to partner with the Cleveland County Library System to develop a seed library, capitalizing on an increased interest in home gardening.

“We will be able to help individuals and families learn more about how plants grow, healthy eating, community resources such as N.C. Cooperative Extension and the Foothills Farmers Market, and involve our volunteer groups in new ways as we enrich our community with the seed library,” said Nancy Abasiekong, Extension FCS agent in Cleveland County.

The seed library kick-off in November hosted nearly 1,000 attendees through a hybrid event involving in-person and digital participants through Facebook.

Steps to Health is NC State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed). The goal is to encourage people to make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles. Steps to Health reached 1,273 participants at 78 sites in 2021.

Follow Steps to Health on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) enrolls low-income school-aged youth and families with children to address economic, health and food insecurity challenges. As peer educators, EFNEP educators teach nutrition classes to help families and youth safely prepare healthy meals, increase physical activity and save on food costs.

EFNEP Educators employed a hybrid model for EFNEP in 2021 to serve people in 42 counties, including 1,233 families that enrolled in one or more food assistance programs and 9,032 youth who participated in 4-H EFNEP.