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Extension Snapshots

What I Do and Why It Matters - Kathy Ellis

Picture of SNAP Education Instructor Kathy Ellis with a child

Kathy Ellis

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—Education Instructor

“I teach young children in preschool, kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades about healthy eating and taking care of themselves. Some of my classes are underserved audiences such as Hispanic, hearing impaired, and special needs. I love working with all of the students and seeing them try new healthy foods.”

Kathy began her career with University of Illinois Extension in 2002.  Her work is focused on SNAP-Ed programs in Peoria County. 

A special treat for SNAP-Ed Instructor Kathy Ellis was when she got to teach in her grandson’s preschool class at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center. The majority of Kathy’s nutrition programs are with young children, including classrooms for hearing impaired students and students with special needs. Many of her classes include Hispanic youth.


  •        Illinois Junior Chefs, youth cooking school
  •        EAT.MOVE.SAVE educational booths, food pantries
  •        Lunchroom Tastings
  •        Organwise Guys, K—2 grades
  •        It’s Fun To Be Healthy, Preschools


  • St. John Lutheran Church Food Pantry, Bartonville
  • Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Center, Peoria
  • Dr. Maude A. Sanders Primary School, Peoria
  • Bartonville Grade School, Bartonville
  • Charter Oak Primary School, Peoria
  • Lincoln School, Peoria


Confetti Bean Salsa    


  • 1 can black or red beans (15.5 ounce)
  • 1 can corn (11 ounce) or 1 and 1/4 cup fresh corn, cooked
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Gently rub produce under cool running water.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.
  4. Drain the corn
  5. Combine beans, corn, salsa, jalapeno, and green pepper  in a medium-size bowl and mix.
  6. Serve with corn chips, or as a topping for cooked chicken, pork, or tacos.

Nutrition facts available on



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