Tara Conn, a mother of three elementary-age children in Warsaw, Ind., credits Purdue Extension and the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) for her family’s healthier diet. “They taught me about the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables, and how to cook safely,” she says.
More than 780,000 people in Indiana like Conn receive food stamps. Forty-six percent of students in the state’s public schools qualify for free and reduced-price meals, and a larger-than-average percentage of these students is obese. The Family Nutrition Program, in partnership with Purdue Extension, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, helps these low-income Hoosiers learn to make healthy food choices on a limited budget.
Conn also credits the program with teaching her to stretch her food dollars. “I would run out of food stamps before the end of the month before. Now I have enough to make it through.”
Because the FNP program works in partnership with other organizations, it reached low-income families in 90 counties in Indiana. In 2011, FNP directly helped more than 193,700 people and indirectly reached another 580,000.