The Nutrition Education Program is funded in part by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Education Program (SNAP-Ed) in Nebraska. SNAP-Ed is a federal program that helps people lead healthier lives through information about good nutrition and how to make money for food go further.
The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) has various subsets. The adult and senior direct education teaches nutritional basics, preparing food budgets, planning meals, reading food labels, and eating balanced diets using USDA MyPlate guidelines. Youth receive direct education, like the School Enrichment Kits and Kids in the Kitchen, where they learn about hand washing, food safety, healthy snacks and beverages, MyPlate, physical activity, food prep and kitchen safety. The program also works with childcare centers in association with Team Nutrition and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Childcare Centers (NAP SACC) to ensure childcare centers are incorporating the best nutrition and physical activity practices. Lastly, Cultivating Health Our Way (CHOW) utilizes community gardens to donate fresh and nutritional foods to community outreach programs. CHOW continues to grow, with 3,179 pounds of produce (worth $4,034) donated in 2016, 15,758 pounds (worth $19,054) donated in 2017, and 29,126 pounds worth $32,364 donated in 2018.
MERC provides evaluation support, as needed, for these projects, helping plan evaluation activities, designing surveys, conducting analyses, and writing reports. Related projects are listed separately, such as Growing Healthy Kids, EatPlayGrow, and Team Nutrition. NEP is administered through the Nebraska Extension office of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at UNL.
More information about NEP can be found https://food.unl.edu/nutrition-education-program-nep
More information about SNAP-Ed can be found https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-education-snap-ed