It has been almost two months since I participated in the SNAP Challenge, and since then, I’ve been asked a couple of times whether that experience has had an impact on how I shop for food. Yes, I look at prices a little closer and everything, but I’m also more conscious of the choices low-income families are forced to make. I can splurge on good coffee every once in a while or order takeout from my favorite Chinese restaurant if I don’t feel up to cooking, but not everyone is so lucky.
I recently received a press release from Elkhart County’s Purdue Extension Office about three local family nutrition program assistants. It has some helpful information, so feel free to pass this along:
The Family Nutrition Program (FNP) is a hands-on program that works with limited resource individuals and families to utilize their food dollars and food stamps appropriately and provide a safe meal environment. Through free, informal, and easily accessible educational programs in the home and community, participants can develop knowledge and skills related to:
- nutrition and meal planning
- food purchasing and preparation
- food safety
- resource management
Elkhart County has three 20-hours a week FNP assistants: Cynthia Herms (firstname.lastname@example.org) who works with our Spanish-speaking adult clients and Michelle Joy (email@example.com) and Julie Miers (firstname.lastname@example.org) who work with our English-speaking adult clients. Programs for limited income individuals or groups can be scheduled by contacting the Purdue Elkhart County Extension Office at 574-533-0554.
FNP assistants deliver foods and nutrition programs to participants in their homes and communities, helping individuals and families to select nutritious foods that fit within their budget. Through hands-on activities, participants learn how to:
- invest food dollars into the best nutritious food choices
- stretch food dollars to last the whole month
- make healthy choices when eating out
- protect their family from food-borne illnesses
- plan meals that their family will love
The Family Nutrition Program works in collaboration with many community agencies and organizations such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants and Children (WIC); IMPACT; Head Start; food pantries; soup kitchens; and senior nutrition programs. A statewide initiative, the program is funded by Purdue University Elkhart County Extension Service in partnership with Indiana Family and Social Services and the United States Department of Agriculture.