The Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is a USDA grant funded program operated through Nebraska Extension across the state. NEP’s main goal is to help families on a limited budget make healthier food and lifestyle choices. NEP accomplishes this goal through both direct education and policy, system and environmental (PSE) strategies that impact communities in the sectors where people live, work and play.
A new population NEP is focusing on is faith-based communities. We recognize that faith communities play an important role in supporting Lincoln’s health and decreasing its health disparities. Our new program, called Faithful Families, Thriving Communities (based on a evidence-based program from North Carolina Extension) builds on the connection between health and faith through individuals, social supports, and faith-based organizational policies, practices, and environments. An exciting goal of Faithful Families, Thriving Communities is to empower the faith-based community to impact the broader community, including making policy and environmental changes, to collectively drive communities toward healthy living.
NEP also serves specific Senior populations in Lincoln through a collaboration of grant funds from Lincoln Housing Authority (LHA) and Lancaster County. Through this partnership, NEP is able to offer educational classes in addition to a Senior Holiday Feast each November to the residents of Burke Plaza, Crossroads House and Mahoney Manor. Residents of these Senior housing properties are able to attend monthly nutrition education classes at each site throughout the year. They learn valuable nutrition and healthy lifestyle information from our NEP classes such as meal planning and shopping for one, how to safely incorporate physical activity for their age group and cooking healthy recipes based upon MyPlate recommendations. Participants from the nutrition classes are invited to attend the Holiday Feast and are awarded for the number of times they’ve attended the classes with a certificate and incentive item while everyone enjoys a healthy holiday meal.