Vulnerable populations across the state of Rhode Island will be reached through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Rhode Island/URI Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program. This population will be reached through face to face nutrition education in the community (workshops, demonstrations), distance
information transfer (newsletters, newspaper, home mailings, radio and other mass media), and through state-wide social marketing campaigns in nutrition.

Situation and priorities

The poverty rate in RI is 12.0% for adults and 16.9% for children and Providence is the 3rd poorest city in the U.S. Six percent of working families had incomes below the federal poverty level, giving RI the second highest rate of poverty in New England. Not surprisingly, the number of food stamp recipients has increased to over 100,000.The need for nutrition education targeting economically disadvantaged families and older adults is greater than ever. It is the priority of the URI-RI Food Stamp Nutrition Education Initiative to assist households with limited resources in enhancing overall health through improved diet quality, resource management practices, shopping/budgeting skills and food safety practices. Intake of fruit and vegetables is markedly lower than Dietary Guideline recommendations and intakes are particularly low in the economically disadvantaged, those who live in urban areas and older adults (65+ years of age). Poor families have many disadvantages that lead to sub-optimal food choices and limited access to physical activity. RI EFNEP data suggest that only 2.8% of targeted populations consume a diet consistent with the Dietary Guidelines. The plan for EFNEP in the new Plan of Work is to reconfigure nutrition education delivery systems by introducing a vertical team model which includes traditional community para-professionals paired with graduate students from the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, and EFNEP  Community Nutrition professionals and faculty.

Goals of this Program

To improve the diet quality, food security, food resource management and food safety practices of low-income Rhode Islanders and decrease health risk vulnerability.

Activities

• Assess the diet quality of targeted low-income, vulnerable populations.
• Assess the food security status of targeted low-income, vulnerable populations.
• Assess the food resource management and food safety practices of the target audience.
• Develop and implement assessment tools, curriculum, print materials and social marketing campaigns.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and materials related to behavior change.
• Facilitate and strengthen community partnerships.
• Seek external funds to support program goals.

Contact
Linda Sebelia
CELS-FSN/NFS
80 Washington Street , Room 30
Providence RI 02903
sebelia@uri.edu