Creating healthy habits through nutrition and physical activityDOWNLOAD FILE
July 20, 2020 - Author: Michigan State University Extension
Through MSU Extension’s nutrition and physical activity programming, Michigan adults, families and children gained crucial knowledge about nutrition and healthy foods, increased their physical activity and reduced their food insecurity. Of participants surveyed after completing nutrition and physical activity programming through MSU Extension.
HELPING CHILDREN & ADULTS LEAD HEALTHIER LIVES
Health is important at any age, and no matter how old or young we are, we can always try to learn new healthy habits. That’s why MSU Extension partners with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) to children, teens, adults and seniors across Michigan.
The SNAP-Ed nutrition education program is designed to reduce hunger and food insecurity and promote healthy eating habits for people who are SNAP-eligible. The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that participants will make healthy food choices within their limited budgets and choose physically active lifestyles.
In the 2019 fiscal year, MSU Extension reached more than 22,000 adults and over 47,000 children with SNAP-Ed programming. These programs include Eat Healthy, Be Active, which helps adults reduce their risk of obesity, and Teen Cuisine, a hands-on cooking program that teaches nutrition and other life skills to middle- and high-school aged students.
Beyond classroom and community programming, MSU Extension is also spreading the news of good health using social media. Nutrition and physical activity staff members run social media channels for the MI Health Matters campaign. In 2019, MSU Extension staff members created and shared 50 short-form educational videos on topics such as food budgeting, fruit and vegetable consumption, and cooking tips. Through daily posts to these social media channels, MSU Extension also reached more than 14,000 people with relevant content such as recipes and physical activity tips.
FIGHTING FOOD INSECURITY
Many adults and children in Michigan don’t have reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. For many years, MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers have had a passion for growing and donating fresh produce but may have lacked connections to food donation and social service sites and their clients.
In 2019, MSU Extension SNAP-Ed community nutrition instructors joined forces with their counterparts in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin in a pilot program called “Growing Together” that is designed to reduce food insecurity. As part of the program, MSU Extension provided food gardening supplies for seven community gardens in areas of Michigan with high food insecurity rates: Northeast Lower Michigan (including two Tribal sites), Detroit and the Upper Peninsula.
Fifteen MSU Extension Master Gardener volunteers, 10 MSU Extension SNAP-Ed staff members, 11 community partner agencies and 105 MSU Extension volunteers grew and donated more than 2,500 pounds of produce to 14 Michigan food donation sites.