Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Visit of First Lady to Springfield a Good Reminder of the Nutrition Education She Supports That is Already Taking Place in the City and County

Contact: Terri Fossett
Coordinator of the Family Nutrition Education Program for SW Missouri
Tel: (417) 886-2059
E-mail: fossettt@missouri.edu

When First Lady Michele Obama visits Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 27, employees at a University of Missouri Extension office in the city can boast that she is very familiar with the work they do.

The Family Nutrition Education Program for SW Missouri has a regional headquarters in Greene County. This MU Extension program partners with schools in 16 counties in southwest Missouri and served over 145,000 children during 2011.

“Michele Obama supported the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which calls for healthier school lunches and required nutrition education and physical activity to be provided in schools,” said Terri Fossett, coordinator of MU Extension’s Family Nutrition Education Program in southwest Missouri. “She also helped introduce the latest USDA food guidance icon, MyPlate, which FNEP uses in all of its lessons. Our education helps kids to make healthier choices when those choices are available to them.”

FNEP is funded with SNAP monies which is a part of the USDA.

Nutrition specialists and assistants with MU Extension make a habit of doing their teaching at the place where the need exists.

For example, in Greene County, nutrition assistants, associates and specialists can be found teaching about nutrition in public elementary schools, at the Pregnancy Care Center, the Parenting Life Skills Center, Greene County (WIC) and some area Headstarts. Special outreach efforts are made when opportunities present themselves.

In Greene County alone, the Family Nutrition Education Program made 8,384 direct contacts, plus 2,230 indirect contacts, and an additional 210 family contacts during the months of January and February, 2012.

During that time period, Greene County nutrition assistants presented programs at the following schools and agencies in Greene County: Amazing Kids Day Care; Boys & Girls Club; Carol Jones Recover Center; Central Assembly Food Pantry; The Champion Center; Crosslines Food Pantry; Eastland Farmers Market; Fair Grove Middle School; Hand Extended Food Pantry; The Kitchen; Logan-Rogersville Primary, 1st grade; Pregnancy Care Center; The Rare Breed; Reed Academy; Sherer House; Victory House; Victory Mission Food Pantry; Well of Life Food Pantry; Willard Central Elementary, K and the Willard WIC.

MU Extension nutrition specialists, assistants and associates also presented nutrition education at the following Springfield schools: Bailey Alternative School, Cowden 3rd -5th grades, Holland 3rd -5th grades, Jarrett Middle School, Jeffries K-2nd grades, Mark Twain 3rd -5th grades, McGregor Pre-K -5th grades, Pittman 2nd and 3rd grades, Sequiota K-1st grades, Shady Dell Early Childhood, Sherwood K -5th grades, Study Middle School, Westport K-5th grades.

“Our FNEP program is providing the education that First Lady Michele Obama promotes. I think the media should be linking the coverage of her visit with the education that we provide since it is connected with the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and her mission.”

More information about nutrition programs and efforts by MU Extension can be found online at http://extension.missouri.edu/greene.


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