Why What We Do Matters

Illinois Nutrition Education Programs makes a difference in the lives of Illinois families and their communities by focusing on increasing access to healthy foods, improving food and activity choices of Illinois families, and helping them save more money.

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.



Impact of EFNEP programming on adults

  • 91% of adults improved nutrition habits
  • 70% of adults improved their physical activity
  • 76% of adults improved food budgeting

Impact of EFNEP programming on youth

  • 82% youth learned more about and can better choose healthy foods
  • 52% youth learned more about physical activity or became more active
  • 57% youth learned more about or can better prepare simple, healthy, affordable foods
Providing education where families learn, live, shop, play, eat, and work

In 2021, Illinois Nutrition Education Programs SNAP-Education partnered with:

  • 703 places where families learn (67% K-12 schools and 15% early childhood sites)
  • 358 places where families live (38% faith-based organizations)
  • 212 places where families shop (86% are food pantries or food banks)
  • 114 places where families play
  • 5 places where families eat
  • 4 places where families work

In addition, at many of these locations, INEP worked with the site to make changes that promote and encourage healthier choices. Changes included lunchroom makeovers, farm-to-school initiatives, healthy snacks and vending machine policies, and more.

Impact of Food Pantry Partnerships

Access to Healthy Food


Using the Nutrition Environment Food Pantry Assessment Tool, SNAP-Ed helped food pantries make changes to their layouts and operations to make healthier choices even more accessible. The NEFPAT is a short environmental assessment tool to use in food pantries. The assessment allows users to easily identify policy, systems and environmental changes, such as distribution practices and healthy marketing strategies. The evidence-based objectives of the tool evaluate food distribution styles, promotion of healthful foods, variety of fruits and vegetables available, access to information about community resources, and meeting the needs of a diverse clientele. 

Illinois SNAP-Ed works with grocery stores, farmers markets, food pantries, and more to help improve the availability of healthy foods to families who may historically have poorer access.

  • When families have access to healthy foods, there is a lower risk of obesity and other chronic diseases. Healthy eating choices can also lead to better health, which can help adults with job performance and youth with school readiness.

Partnerships with food pantries, food banks, stores, and markets

In 2021, we partnered with 212 locations where Illinois families shop for food, with 85% being food pantries and food banks, to nudge families towards healthier choices. 



Partnerships that Promote Change

Community Transformation


Illinois Nutrition Education Program’s SNAP-Education works to create community partnerships that promote change.

In 2019, SNAP-Ed worked with 107 coalitions representing 1,416 total community organizations and community members. These coalitions worked together to enact changes across their communities, allowing healthy changes to reach more families.

In addition, 266 organizations made changes with the assistance of SNAP-Ed. Assistance included completing grant applications and making changes to layout, signage and product promotion to encourage healthier choices. Community partners received $274,300 in grant funds related to applications where SNAP-Ed assisted in completion.


Helping Families Change Behavior

Increased Healthy Choices


Illinois Nutrition Education Programs helps Illinois families make healthier choices through engaging, face-to-face classes and events, online resources, and healthy messaging strategies. By working to reach multiple family members through community programming, INEP makes a greater impact on healthy choices.

Impact of SNAP-Education programming

  • Over 8 in 10 adults who attended SNAP-Ed classes shared they will make a healthy change to their eating habits
  • Children who participate in programming prefer healthier foods and beverages, improve cooking skills, and are more physically active



Helping Families extend their resources farther

Resource Management


By providing education on strategies that work to save money, Illinois Nutrition Education Programs helps Illinois families extend their resources farther.

In SNAP-Ed, our Healthy Cents adult curriculum contains multiple lessons that focus on saving money at the store. In addition, Healthy Cents includes information about community assistance programs that families may be eligible for based on their income.

“Not only does our programming teach how to plan meals and use a shopping list, it allows participants to learn how to compare prices so they’re getting the best buy for their family instead of the first item they see. So many parents were grateful during our program because they were able to cut the amount of time it took for them to shop and they were able to save money. I remember one woman said she was able to use saved money for other bills that were due that month.” SNAP-Ed Team Member


Our Mission

We provide practical healthy eating and physical activity solutions for Illinois families and participate in strategic local, regional, and statewide partnerships to transform the health of Illinois communities.