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PHHS Health Extension: A solution for communities

Most understand eating healthy is an important factor in lifelong health and well-being, but not everyone has the tools to do so.

The College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ Health Extension puts those tools in the communities hands, and is continually working to make Oregonians healthier through its nutrition outreach.

The Oregon State SNAP-Ed Program, which extends to more than 65,000 people yearly, offers nutrition education and physical activity classes in community centers, schools, churches, public housing, food pantries and more in all 36 Oregon counties and beyond.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) teaches limited resource youth and adults with young children how to eat healthy through educational sessions, food pantry demonstrations, event displays and newsletters. By reaching nearly 12,500 people yearly, the program saves in medical care costs by preventing or delaying the onset of chronic disease.

Food Hero is a social marketing campaign designed to increase the consumption of vegetables and fruits of SNAP-eligible Oregonians. The website, FoodHero.org, features healthy recipes, meal ideas, tips, budgeting tools, shopping and more, and is accessed by around 20,000 people monthly.

While it’s no surprise Oregon leads the nation in fruit and vegetable consumption, CPHHS Health Extension works to continue this trend by being the solution to ensuring no Oregonian is left empty-handed.

“The overall goal is to make Oregonians healthier through healthy eating and physical activity,” says Associate Dean for Outreach and Engagement Roger Rennekamp. “Our Extension efforts are making an impact by providing communities with the tools they need to achieve their goals through information, classes and resources.“

The college’s health Extension efforts also span across campus by working in conjunction with the Moore Family Center for Whole Grain Foods, Nutrition and Preventive Health and other CPHHS programs such as KidSpirit.