PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio State University Extension Office is providing free nutrition classes through their Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.
Renee Storey is one of the nutrition educators for the OSU Extension Office who holds the workshops in the program.
“The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is a grant-funded that we have in the county which comes from the Federal Government. We go to families up to 185 percent of the poverty level who have children under the age of 18 in their homes,” Storey said.
According to Storey, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program was first implemented in Scioto County six years ago, but goes back as far as the 1960s. Storey has been teaching the workshops for two years.
“It first started in the 1960s, and was only in urban areas for a long time. Scioto County was integrated as a pilot program along with other some other counties in southern Ohio such as Jackson, Athens, and Lawrence and Ross Counties,” Storey said.
Storey said the purpose of the workshops is to inspire people to make healthy food choices.
“What we try to do is get out and talk to families and invite them to come to a series of eight classes that we give. In these classes we teach them about incorporating healthy movement into their lives, making good food choices themselves, and their children, food safety practices, and saving money at the grocery store,” Storey said.
Storey said the money concepts, which are taught in a series of the eight classes, empower people with strategies to make their money last until the end of each month.
“While we teach the adults to change some of their bad eating habits, but we really emphasize that if you don’t raise your children with bad habits then, your children will grow up healthier,” Storey said.
While the workshops that Storey teaches are designated for families with children, Storey said there are workshops that are available for families that do not have children.
“Lisa Kempler is another person that does nutrition education in the county. Lisa goes to places like senior centers,” Storey said.
Another nutrition education course the OSU Extension Center offers is “Dining with Diabetes” taught by Monadine Mattey, who is also an OSU Extension Center nutrition educator.
“Our director here, Treva Williams, is going to hold a workshop soon to learn more about canning, and preserving foods, so that if people want to learn about that, we will be able to make that information available,” Storey said.
Storey said the issue of embracing healthy eating habits is critical for our nation.
“It matters to the entire nation. If we teach each generation of children to eat healthier, then in 30 or 40 years, we will have healthier people to contribute to society,” Storey said.
Storey is currently teaching a class at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at the Wheelersburg Library.
After the eight workshops are completed, participants will receive a certificate of graduation showing their completion of the course.
To learn more about the free Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or to schedule a series of workshops for a local group, call the OSU Extension Center at 740-354-7879.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @ PortiaWillPDT.