University of Illinois Extension
Urban Programs Resource Network

Family Nutrition Program in Chicago

UIENEP The Family Nutrition Program (FNP) teaches people about the importance of making healthier food choices and how to manage their resources to best provide for their families when resources are limited. The program helps people eligible for food stamps to be better educated about nutrition, food safety, and food budgeting. FNP information and workshops are available at public aid offices, WIC sites, Head Start Program sites, food pantries, grocery stores, commodity food sites, libraries, social service agencies, housing authorities, homelesss shelters, churches, senior citizen centers, Extension offices and even schools.

The Chicago Family Nutrition Program works with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service's School Meals Initiative for Healthy Children Program to bring nutrition education to inner city children.

FNP's major goal is to help people raise their level of awareness that their diets are linked directly to their health. Chronic disease often begins in childhood. FNP focuses on encouraging healthier eating habits early in a child's life so that these habits are firmly established by the age of twelve.

The Family Nutrition Program's staff members provide hands-on learning activities for children assisted by their classroom teachers. The curriculum includes lesson activities designed to be creative, innovative, and keep the interest of preschool, elementary, and junior high children.

In spring 1995, the Family Nutrition Program participated in the "Taste of Chicago School Lunch" at Ogden Elementary School. The event was part of a national initiative called "USDA Great Nutrition Adventure," a week of similar events across the country between April 24 and 28 that linked prominent local chefs with schools in their communities. Several displays at Ogden Elementary focused on the importance of nutrition and health for young people. There were booths from the University of Illinois Extension Service/FNP, displays from the Food and Drug Administration, a fitness program from the American Heart Association's Heath Health station, and a USDA Food and Nutrition Service parents' station (with "Healthy Kids" materials).

The Family Nutrition Program is funded with the Food Stamp Administrative funds by the Food and Consumer Service of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information, please contact:
Willene Buffett
Director, Cook County Extension
Cook County Unit
Headquarters Office
4801 Southwick Drive
Suite 100
Matteson, IL 60443
Phone 708-481-0111
Fax 708-481-4151

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