- Author: Christine Davidson
- Author: Chutima Ganthavorn
- Contributor: Roxana Puentes
EFNEP and Ventanilla de Salud partnership reaches Latinx and farmworker clients through UCCE Connects to You! Zoom series. Forty-three percent improve food security indicators, contributing to UC ANR's public value of sufficient, safe, and healthy food for all Californians.
The Ventanilla de Salud (Window on Health) is a program that is implemented through 50 Mexican consulates in the United States. The goal of Ventanilla de Salud (VdS) of San Bernardino is to promote health literacy and healthy lifestyle choices, conduct health screenings, and increase access to health care for Latinxs who visit the Mexican Consulate in San Bernardino. According to UCLA's Community Health Interview Survey, almost half (46.9%) of Latinxs in San Bernardino County are not able to afford enough food in 2019. VdS engages families by holding a variety of in-person classes and one-time workshops while they wait for appointments. Due to shelter-in-place orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, VdS started providing virtual training and partnered with EFNEP to fulfill the needs for workshops focusing on a healthy diet and physical activity on virtual platforms.
How UC Delivers:
EFNEP Educator, Roxana Puentes, collaborated with VdS by holding a Facebook Live event to entice over 1000 VdS followers with a glimpse of the healthy recipes, physical activities and nutrition information they would learn if they enroll in EFNEP. The viewers made positive comments and liked the presentation. VdS helped EFNEP schedule and enroll interested participants in the series of four live group Zoom sessions. The participants received a total of 8 lessons, two lessons at a time, sent via mail or email. The lesson topics included physical activity, fruits and vegetables, reading the food label, saving money, managing food resources, food safety, and healthy recipes. Each Zoom session included a 5-minute physical activity break where participants walked, stretched or learned simple resistance exercises using items in their homes. Exercise breaks reinforced concepts learned about the importance of physical activity and gave them ideas to do on their own time. The Zoom sessions provided opportunities for participants to interact and share successes and challenges they were facing feeding children, such as picky eaters, difficulty finding time to cook, unsure what healthier items to choose at the grocery store, and making physical activity a priority. Although over 50 VdS participants participated in the Zoom session each time, 14 people attended the whole series and graduated. At the end of the series, graduates received a certificate and cookbook by mail.
EFNEP serves limited resource families, making food security and food resource management important aspects of the program. According to research in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, food resource management education has been shown to improve food security. At the beginning of EFNEP classes, 43% of class participants said they always lacked money or another way to get enough food for the family during the past month, and 57% said that they ate less so there was more food for the family. After participation in EFNEP, 43% of graduates showed improvement in one or more food security indicators, and 64% showed improvement in food management practices including compare food prices, plan meals, and looking in refrigerator or cupboard and make a list before shopping, which in turn saves money and stretches the food dollar. Additionally, 79% of graduates showed improvement in one or more diet quality indicators such as eating fruits and vegetables more often. About half of the participants reported making small changes to be more active. Overall, EFNEP helped improve living conditions for participants from VdS and contributes to the UCANR public value of promoting healthy people and communities.
“Thank you very much for this wonderful workshop. I learn a lot. Grateful.”, EFNEP Participant from Ventanilla de Salud/h3>/h3>/h3>