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Moreno Valley Unified Community Wellness Center Welcomed EFNEP

The Issue

The Moreno Valley Unified School District (MVUSD) wanted to create a place to eliminate learning barriers by providing students with a school-based program that promotes health, safety, and resources through community partnerships. The new Community Wellness Center was finally opened in January 2018. The District Wellness Liaison, Ms. Connie Edwards, dreamed of this day for many years. The new center now provides care and services to homeless students and youth in temporary homes, and distributes basic needs items such as clothing, shoes, and food. In addition, the Center offers classes in self-efficacy, literacy, health, and nutrition to the District’s parents. Moreno Valley has higher than average poverty rate (16.8% below poverty level as compared with 15.1% for California; factfinder.census.gov). The obesity rates are also higher (30.6% for adults and 39.7% for teens in Moreno Valley as compared with 24.8% for adults and 32.4% for teens in California; shaperivco.org).

What Has ANR Done?

It was through a community networking event that EFNEP Educator Myriam Acevedo met Ms. Connie Edwards, and the meeting blossomed into a partnership that brought the EFNEP program to MVUSD families. In 2018, Myriam conducted two series of Eating Smart Being Active curriculum (ESBA) at MVUSD Community Wellness Center, reaching a total of 28 participants. ESBA is a series of eight nutrition classes that teach participants to be physically active, use MyPlate as a guide for healthy eating, gain skills in food resource management, and prevent foodborne illness by keeping food safe. The EFNEP participants consisted of parents and grandparents who sought to improve the health and diet of their families.

The Payoff

88% of EFNEP participants showed improvement in one or more diet quality indicators

Using new skills and knowledge learned from EFNEP, the participants made improvement in several areas. More than half of the participants are now eating more fruits (50%) and vegetables (54%) more often, particularly red, orange, and dark green vegetables (58%). About a third increased their frequency of planning meals and making a list before they go grocery shopping. Many of the participants shared that food planning and preparation has become a family affair. Since program participation was consistent and there was high interest in nutrition, the Center has decided to sponsor the EFNEP classes several times a year. Myriam is proud that they have entrusted EFNEP with this task. The center staff is supportive of every parent participating in EFNEP program and has positive comments of our services overall.

Clientele Testimonial

"I have been adding more fruits and vegetables to my family's plate. I have been looking more at the labels, and changed the products that I am buying. This class has been amazing! Thank you so much.” Allison, EFNEP participant at the Center


Supporting Unit: Riverside County

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
Myriam Acevedo, EFNEP Educator, macevedo@ucanr.edu
Christine Davidson, EFNEP Program Supervisor, cdavidson@ucanr.edu
Chutima Ganthavorn, NFCS Advisor, cganthavorn@ucanr.edu