Fresno County Residents Learn Valuable Nutrition Lessons Fresno
County has the highest pocket of concentrated poverty in the nation. One-fourth of the population—over 220,000 people—are eligible for CalFresh benefits (formerly food stamps.) The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education program collaborates and leverages UC Cooperative Extension resources to positively impact the nutrition, physical activity, and food buying behaviors of low-income CalFresh-eligible families in Fresno County through direct education and applied research.
CalFresh-eligible youth receive experiential lessons and taste testing designed to introduce them to a variety of healthy foods. In the 2011-12 school year, educators participating in the program reported that compared to the beginning of the year, approximately 96% of students try new foods offered at school more often. CalFresh-eligible adults participate in class-series and workshops centered on meal planning, “stretching” food dollars and feeding their families nutritious meals. Of participants evaluated, 42% of adults reported increasing their variety of fruits consumed. The UC CalFresh Nutrition Education program partners with 29 school districts, private preschools and community agencies to meet the extensive need for nutrition education in Fresno County. Through collaboration with our dedicated partners and educators, we are growing healthy families and communities.