The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) celebrated its 40th Anniversary by honoring a select group of individuals from across the country. One of those honored was Sandra Harris, EFNEP Assistant from Metcalfe County.
Sandra Harris has been providing EFNEP training in her county for over 25 years. She partners with many local organizations, including Community Action of Southern Kentucky, the local low-income housing provider, the health department, the Department for Community Based Services Food Stamp Program, and the Metcalfe County High School parenting program for pregnant students.
Harris provides outreach to the community in a variety of other ways, including a garden and seed program which incorporates canning and freezing methods. Harris also teaches budgeting classes where participants learn how to better purchase meats and fresh produce, the value of buying food items that are locally grown, and other money-saving habits such as clipping coupons, buying store-brands, and how to utilize dry milk.
On March 9, 2009, USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) recognized Harris as the Southern Region Winner for her integral support of the EFNEP program within the state of Kentucky. The 40th Anniversary Celebration was held at the University of California Washington Center in Washington, D.C.
Harris said the following about her trip:
"My work has been a joy and pleasure for 25 years. I never dreamed about being nominated or even less winning such an honor. Attending the EFNEP 40th anniversary celebration was great, being an award recipient and learning about what some other's are doing in different areas of the U.S. was a wonderful experience. My trip to Washington D.C. was truly a privilege, being my first flight and visit to our Nation's Capitol. There are not enough words to describe the wonderful sights I saw. I feel fortunate and am grateful for the opportunity to have traveled to Washington D.C. for this special 40th EFNEP anniversary celebration."
EFNEP addresses national priorities such as hunger, health, and obesity. Through an experiential learning process, participants learn to make food choices that can improve the nutritional quality of the meals they serve their families. County Extension FCS paraprofessionals like Harris provide outreach in their local communities.