SAINT CLOUD, Minn. — “Living Well” is the focus of University of Minnesota Family & Consumer Science Extension Educators across Minnesota. Extension educational programs focus on raising kids, healthy and safe food and spending smart to living well. The Living Well Campaign is celebrated in March and promoted by the Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, both at the national level and here in Minnesota. “The Minnesota Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences works through the University of Minnesota Extension program to offer education and resources to help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle to live well,” says St. Cloud Extension military families educator, Anita Harris Hering, current president of the Minnesota Affiliate. “Whether you are trying to manage your diabetes through meal planning and exercise, make decisions about health care and insurance, or get tips on effective parenting techniques, Extension has a research-based answer,” she added. Here are some of the ways Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Minnesota Extension educators are helping Minnesotans live well.
- Megan Hruby, Crookston Extension SNAP-Educator (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program Education) offers the Forks Well Fed Program in NW Minnesota. The program offers a mobile “trolley” or mobile farmer’s market to increase access to local produce. Megan educated 65 consumers how to incorporate fresh produce in their meal planning. 100% of the participants reported they increased their families ‘daily intake of produce. One participant shared how the Well Fed program helped her family, “We learned how to properly freeze veggies, so our extra veggies didn’t go to waste. This program has open doors for me and my family by allowing me to buy more fresh veggies and introduce them to my children that I otherwise could not afford in my food budget.”
- Antonio Alba Meraz, Mankato Extension family resource management educator’s Healthy People in Healthy Homes program reached 172 home owners in twelve rural Minnesota counties. The program was taught in Spanish to Latino families. Participants learned how to identify, prevent and correct risky health conditions in their homes. Greatest increase in knowledge included radon testing and allergen reduction.
- Cloquet Extension family resource management educator, Becky Hagen Jokela and team, teaches financial education to American Indian youth audiences. The educators partnered with Fond du Lac Ojibwe School. Fond du Lac Tribal Community College, and the Carlton School to create lessons incorporating the Ojibwe language and storytelling through legends. As a result, 90% of the 40 students indicated a goal of saving money to achieve financial goals.
- Homemade food from cupcakes to pickles sold in Minnesota are safer because of Extension’s food safety training. Extension food safety educators, Kathy Brandt (Marshall) and Suzanne Driessen (St. Cloud) developed the Cottage Food Producer Food Safety Education program–available online and in-person. 86% of 250 participants improved food safety practices to reduce foodborne illness or food allergic reactions with homemade cottage food products.
Visit the University of Minnesota Extension website to find these and other programs to help you live well. http://www.extension.umn.edu/.
— University of Minnesota Extension
For more news from Minnesota, click here.