Helping Illinois Make Healthy Choices
Illinois Nutrition Education Programs
By providing solutions through in-person lessons and online resources and collaborating with organizations and communities to promote healthier settings and choices, Illinois Nutrition Education Programs makes the healthy choice an easier choice where families eat, learn, live, shop, and play.
Illinois Nutrition Education Programs includes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. We are part of University of Illinois Extension and located in nearly every county in Illinois. We provide free, easy solutions to improve the health of Illinois families and communities through strategic partnerships focused on healthy eating, physical activity, and improving access to healthy foods.
Who We Are
Our nutrition, activity, and food budgeting education programs are based on current research and engage learners in engaging hands-on classes and activities. Collaboration with local, regional, and statewide organizations to promote healthier choices helps us further increase impact.
By focusing on improving food access, increasing the likelihood of healthy choices, and helping families save more money, we are making a difference in the lives of Illinois families and their communities.
What We Do
- Build Skills: For staff members and volunteers, INEP provides professional development opportunities and in-services to promote healthier choices at your organization or school.
- Collaborate with Community Partners: Where people eat, learn, live, and play can make a big difference in the choices they make each day. INEP works closely with community organizations and schools to improve operations, layout, signage, and more to promote healthier choices.
- Connect Resources: Making connections drives our work because we know it makes a difference. INEP connects individuals and families with relevant resources available to assist them with healthy lifestyles on a budget. If you're with an organization or school, INEP can connect you with potential grant opportunities, professional development, and more to better serve the needs of your students or clients.
- Deliver Programs: Making nutrition and activity changes that stick can be hard – especially without the right skills and tools. We help individuals and families succeed by providing engaging, face-to-face nutrition education classes and events, online resources, and healthy messaging strategies.
- Participate in Research: Learn about past and current research from the INEP team.
Why It Matters
When individuals have access to healthier foods, they have a lower risk for obesity and other chronic diseases. Healthier eating choices can lead to better health, bringing improved job performance and lower absenteeism rates. For youth, a healthier lifestyle can help with preparedness and performance at school.
Where We Work
Illinois Nutrition Education Programs team members reach limited-resource families in their communities where they live, eat, play, learn, and work.
Our programming is implemented in a variety of locations, including:
- Emergency food locations, such as food pantries and food banks
- Elementary, middle, and high schools
- Early childhood centers, such as Head Start, preschools, and daycare centers
- Youth centers
- Community centers and agencies serving adults and families, such as WIC, public health districts, and park districts
- Grocery stores and farmers markets