Beth Kraft has worked for Illinois Extension since 2011. She loves her work in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) because she values making a difference in her participants' lives. She shares her knowledge and gifts with others through her programming and community interactions, contributes ideas and solutions for healthy bodies and living to participants of all ages, and ensures her audiences feel valued and supported. Her engaging and interactive programs make a difference in the health and well-being of Illinois families and communities.
Kraft focuses on empowering healthy communities by building partnerships and collaborating with community partners to connect community members to resources and programs. Her programs can be found in many locations around the community including schools, food pantries, afterschool programs, summer camps, community centers, and public housing communities. Kraft’s programs incorporate interactive and exciting lessons that promote healthy living and facilitate positive behavior change and skill building associated with nutrition and wellness, budgeting, and physical activity for youth, adults, and families. Participants in Kraft’s program take away valuable life skills that will support them throughout their entire lives and help them create a positive impact for themselves, their families, and communities.
Prior to starting her career with Extension, Kraft was a Health Educator with Peoria City/County Health Department from 2006-2010 where she focused her work in communities and schools to promote the Building Better Bones program for osteoporosis education and screening; LifeSkills programming; and education for the Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities initiative. During her time with the Health Department, Kraft was also responsible for grant writing for the Building Better Bones program for osteoporosis and the Illinois Tobacco-Free Communities initiative to establish tobacco prevention and control programs to prevent tobacco use among youth, eliminate exposure to second-hand smoke, and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities.
Kraft earned an Associates in Arts from Heartland Community College; an Associates in Science, Library Tech degree from Illinois Central College; and a Bachelor of Science, Community Health Education degree from Illinois State University. She holds an Illinois Certified Food Protection Manager license. In 2019, she received the Extension Award for Individual Excellence in Outstanding Programming. In 2022, she was nominated for the Ace of Innovation: Excellence in Direct Education via Digital Medium award.