Family Nutrition Program (FNP)

 

The Family Nutrition Program (FNP) is the Florida component of the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). It is a partnership between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Florida Department of Children and Families, University of Florida/ IFAS (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences), and local Florida County Extension Offices.
The goal of FNP is to provide residents (children, families and adults) of the various participating counties practical educational programs to make healthful food choices, balance food and physical activity, keep food safe to eat, and shop food on a budget. Programs can be conducted in either English or Spanish and there is no cost involve.

Structure of the Family Nutrition Program


Florida FNP Extension staff provides leadership and coordination to the Family Nutrition Program at the county level. FNP Extension staff in Osceola County office is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program based on the community needs identified by the overall advisory county Extension committee. The paraprofessional model, based on hiring local individuals to teach participants, is used by the FNP counties.
The FNP Coordinator hire, train and supervise the program assistants, deliver education programs, and complete program and budget reports.

Audience

The Family Nutrition Program target audience varies from county to county, it is based on priority needs and identified community resources. FNP works with families and children, teen parents, school-aged children, Head Start children and parents, the homeless, battered women, and anyone else who receives or is eligible for SNAP benefits.

FNP in Osceola County


Unhealthy eating choices and following a sedentary lifestyle are two primary causes of obesity, which increase the risk of many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients and/ or those who are eligible can learn  by participating in FNP how to make healthier food choices to reduce their risk of chronic diseases, health complications, and foodborne illnesses. Participants can also ascertain how to stretch food dollars or food resources.

Obesity relates among children and adults are escalating bringing with it, absenteeism and poor academic performance, health problems and increased medical cost. According to the Florida Community Health Assessment Recourse Tool Set (CHARTS) in 2009 the obesity rate in Florida’s was 25.2% while in Osceola County 38.1% of adults were overweight and 24.4 % were obese. Based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC 2002), the State-Level Estimated Annual Medical Costs of Obesity of Florida is $3,987,000. 29% of Osceola County residents have no health insurance meaning no preventative health care.

Every FNP educational program utilizes a research based curricula. Examples of these are; “Youth Understanding MyPlate” – Y.U.M., “Show Me Nutrition”, and “Xtreme Cuisine” for children and “Eating Smart Being Active”, “Cooking Matters in Your Community”, and “Eat Healthy Be Active” for adults. Teaching strategies include direct teaching, group discussions, games, videos, handouts, posters and occasional food sampling.

In addition, FNP works closely with the Osceola County Extension Horticulture Program to provide a combined Nutrition and Gardening educational program focusing in nutrition concepts and skills such as growing, harvesting and composting. Children and adults learn about school or community gardening using one of these curricula; “The Great Garden Adventure”, “Eating from the Garden” or “Dig In”. To carry this specific combined program, a brief work plan and written commitment letter is required by the school and/ or organization that wants to do it. FNP funding is occasionally available to help schools and/or community organizations/programs purchase gardening tools, soil and/or seedlings to get them started on a raised bed vegetable garden.

Teachers and Educators


County District Schools with a student population of 51% or more who receive free and/or reduced lunches, adults and families who are low to moderate income, food stamp eligible or food stamp recipients can participate.
For children/youth from Kindergarten to 8th grade (5 years to 14 years of age) the educational programs consist of a 6 lesson series. Lessons identify and reinforce Florida Standards in different subject areas such as Science, Math, Health, English Language Arts and Physical Education. A pre and post survey is conducted with participants and teachers and parents are encouraged to complete a survey. There is no cost involved for the program, schedule is flexible and it first come first serve.

Contact Information

Call Grisel Negron, FNP Coordinator at (321) 697-3000 or email gnegron@ufl.edu to find out more information and/or to schedule an educational program at a school and/or a community based organization, faith based organization or community setting.

Choose MyPlate


Grisel Negrón

Grisel Negrón

Family Nutrition
Program Coordinator
E-mail: gnegron@ufl.edu

Esther Oyola

FNP Program Assistant
E-mail: eoyola@ufl.edu

Evelyn Muñiz

FNP Program Assistant
E-mail: evelynmuniz@ufl.edu

Ashley Avant

FNP Program Assistant
E-mail: aavant@ufl.edu

Mirian Nuñez

FNP Program Assistant
E-mail: mnunez38@ufl.edu


Useful Links/Resources
Resources for
Teachers and Educators