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U of MN Extension Health & Nutrition

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Name of Organization: U of MN Extension Health & Nutrition
Address 1861 E Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744


Phone Number (218) 327-5964


Goal or mission of organization Our nutrition education program, Simply Good Eating, promotes healthy lifestyles for people with limited incomes through researched, evidence-based and best practice curricula. We provide these services at no charge to eligible participants through partner organizations.

Clientele served SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) eligible families, youth and seniors

Geographic area served The northeast region, with an office in Grand Rapids, covers Beltrami, Koochiching, Itasca, St. Louis and Lake counties.

Current state of program We have 9 county-based paraprofessional community nutrition educators who partner with agencies serving limited income families to deliver nutrition education in a series of 6 to 8 lessons. We use facilitated teaching where we ascertain participants' current level of skill, what they want to learn and deliver targeted education to meet their needs.

Capacity for local food work The foundation of our program is the USDA's SNAP-Ed grant to Minnesota's Department of Human Services who sub-contracts with us to deliver the program in 86 of the 87 counties in MN. We divide ourselves into 12 regions with 5-10 counties in each region. USDA funding allows us to teach nutrition education at no cost to partner agencies or participants. The CNEs (community nutrition educators) work directly with participants in each county, Jodi Nordlund, our regional Program Coordinator (direct supervisor of CNEs) has expertise in cooking and commercial food preparation, Betsy Johnson, our regional Extension Educator, has expertise in physical activity, collaboration building and community health education. Betsy & Jodi are available for other projects beyond direct nutrition education.

Name of contact person Betsy Johnson

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