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Butte County Cluster’s EFNEP and UC CalFresh collaborate to help farm labor families achieve success

The Issue

Migrant and seasonal farm labor workers are a vital component of the United States agricultural industry. Despite their important contributions, they are known to be a marginalized population who live in poverty, have limited access to health care services, are often malnourished, and have poor health indicators. UCCE CalFresh and EFNEP Specialists and Advisors from the Butte County Cluster, which includes Butte, Colusa, Sutter, Glenn, and Yuba Counties, had the resources to provide valuable information to this marginalized population.

What Has ANR Done?

Butte County Cluster’s two nutrition programs, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) and the UC CalFresh Nutrition Education Program partnered to deliver a dual series-based presentation of curricula over an 8-week period. This collaborative lesson delivery approach took place in the heat of the summer at a 100-unit Migrant Farm Housing facility in Williams, CA. The participants were families (specifically mothers and their children) living at the Migrant Farm Housing. EFNEP staff facilitated adult lessons using the Eating Smart, Being Active curriculum and UC CalFresh staff facilitated the youth lessons using the Happy Healthy Me curriculum. The two programs collaborated to make it their goal during lesson delivery for both the parent and the child to be introduced to the same terminology and concepts so that they could have a common language at home. With less than ideal circumstances (hottest time of the day, limited access to facilities, and participants had already spent their day working out in the fields prior to attending these lessons in a facility without air conditioning), staff from the two programs wondered how successful their 8-week course would be, but against all odds, the program flourished and participants excelled.

The Payoff

Nutrition education leads to migrant farm workers making healthier food choices

After facilitating lessons over an 8-week period, 92% of the adult participants graduated from EFNEP. Of these graduates, 78% reported eating more fruits, 22% reported eating more vegetables, and 44% reported increases in their physical activity levels. One EFNEP educator also reported that with every week that went by, she received the greatest number of comments from the participants about their incremental changes than she has ever witnessed before in her work. These changes included; increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, decreasing the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, and checking the nutrition facts labels on prepackaged foods.

Clientele Testimonial

“Since the class started, I compare prices and I have bought healthier food like fruits and vegetables, eat less fast food, and prep foods with less salt, sugar, and oils.” – Luz Nalley Can Guiterrez - EFNEP Graduate


UCCE Butte County Cluster, Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP)
Chelsey L. Slattery, NFCS Advisor, cslattery@ucanr.edu
Jona M. Pressman, EFNEP Program Manager, jmpressman@ucanr.edu
Sonia Rodriquez, Community Education Specialist, scrodriquez@ucanr.edu
Alba Miranda, Community Education Specialist, aamiranda@ucanr.edu