What Is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program?

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The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) started in 1969 as the first Nutrition Education program for low-income families. EFNEP’s mission is to assist low-income families and youth with knowledge and skills in food management, the importance of food safety, improved physical activity, and improved dietary intake. In 2022, EFNEP served 40 counties here in North Carolina. Last year 13,029 youth across the state participated in the 4-H EFNEP program, with 1,629 families participating in EFNEP. EFNEP makes a real difference here in the state of North Carolina, with 97 percent of EFNEP participants improving dietary intake, 53 percent now doing some type of physical activity daily, 96 percent practicing better food resource management, and 86 percent improveing food safety habits.

Here in Robeson County, students get to participate in 4-H EFNEP six-week classes that teach and put their skills to the test weekly. Each grade level (kindergarten through 12) has a curriculum that follows the NC standards. In one example of our curricula, Teen Cuisine, students in grade levels 6–12 participate in learning knife skills, using MyPlate to create and make healthy meals and snack, reading and understanding the Food Nutrition Label, and the importance of a great breakfast to start your day. Along with each lesson, students also get skill builders to help them practice their new skills at home. If you would like to learn more about EFNEP be sure to visit our website (ncefnep.org) for more information about the program, along with tips and recipes. Below you will find an EFNEP recipe that is sure to be a crowd pleaser, and is very affordable to make.

Beef & Double Broccoli

Serves 4


  • 4 cups broccoli, separated and stems intact
  • 1 lemon (or 3 Tbsp lemon juice)
  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed (or 1 Tbsp garlic powder)
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (or 2 tsp ginger powder)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 stalks of scallions, greens and whites, chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Toss half of the broccoli (2 cups) in the lemon juice. Season with half the salt and pepper and drizzle with the vegetable oil.
  3. Bake uncovered on a sheet pan for 15 to 20 minutes until the edges are crispy. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a large skillet, over medium heat, add the ground beef and use a spoon to break the beef apart slightly, keeping large bits intact.
  5. Add the garlic, ginger, the remaining salt and pepper, and the other half of the broccoli.
  6. Cover the pan with a lid and let cook on low heat for about five minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice per package directions, usually 2 parts water for 1 part of rice.
  7. After five minutes, add the soy sauce to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Add the scallions.
  8. Once the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, serve atop steamed brown rice with roasted broccoli.

For more information, contact Joanna Rogers, Extension 4-H Youth EFNEP Assistant, at 910-671-3276, by Email at Joanna_Rogers@ncsu.edu, or visit our website at //robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.