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Freeman is Taylor County's food and nutrition assistant

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In tough times, everyone needs a partner to make living a little easier.  That's where the Cooperative Extension Service's Expanded Food and Nutrition Program comes in.

Taylor County has a new program assistant, Angela Freeman, a lifelong Taylor County resident whose interest in healthy living goes years back.

A former health educator with the district health department and a preschool and physical education teacher, Freeman knows the importance of education on living a healthy lifestyle.

EFNEP is a nutrition education program administered by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and targets limited resource families with children with help in planning nutritious meals on a limited budget, acquiring safe food handling practices, improving food preparation skills and changing behavior necessary to have a healthy lifestyle.

Families are taught skills in meal planning, grocery shopping and price comparison, making healthy choices and practicing food safety.

EFNEP also targets youth groups through various curricula in after-school programs, day camps, classrooms or other group meetings.

Learning to eat a variety of food, increasing knowledge in human nutrition, selecting low-cost, nutritious foods and learning food preparation and food safety are topics for youth programs.

Both adult and youth classes are direct delivery done face to face in community settings.

Community partners such as family resource and youth service centers, head start, childcare providers, adult education and housing authority assist in organizing groups for EFNEP programs.

Freeman uses the USDA's new Choose My Plate concept for nutrition education. My Plate replaces the previous My Pyramid as a simple visual to help people choose a well-rounded nutritional palate.  It advocates filling half a plate with fruits and vegetables, making half grains whole grains and choosing appropriate portions for meat and dairy groups.

It is a simple way to introduce children to good eating and is easy for everyone to understand. Information on My Plate can be found at www.choosemyplate.gov.

An adult nutrition group is meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at Campbellsville Baptist Church. The Feb. 12 meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. in the church's fireside room and is open to families who want to know more about planning better nutrition for their family.

For more information, or to speak with Freeman about EFNEP, call the Taylor County Extension Office at 465-4511.