Simply Good Eating Program Overview
Partners in Healthful Living
Simply Good Eating is University of Minnesota Extension’s nutrition education program. Each year, more than 80,000 individuals and their families learn how to optimize their Food Support dollars and other food resources through our delivery of USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
Simply Good Eating draws on evidence-based strategies and best practices to bring real solutions to families. Program services build essential independent living skills and empower individuals and families to make healthy food and physical activity choices in several ways:
- Provide information and ideas for fresh, flavorful, low-cost meals
- Teach participants how to plan and shop for healthy foods
- Demonstrate quick, easy, fun ways to prepare great-tasting and healthful meals
- Connect families and schools to local foods
- Identify active lifestyle choices for people of all ages
The multi-session courses we offer include Simply Good Eating, Simply Good Cooking (378 K PDF), and Cooking Matters® Minnesota. We provide these services at no charge to eligible participants and ask only in-kind contributions from partner organizations. Interested in partnering? Fill out a contact form: Contact Health and Nutrition.
Food is about more than nutrients. Our Simply Good Eating programs meet your clients’ needs. We are here to help you meet your program goals by assisting participants to:
- Improve independent living skills such as meal planning, cooking, food budgeting and shopping
- Prepare three healthful meals a day
- Build social networks and decrease isolation
- Remain independent by providing food safety and nutrition information to seniors
- Plan for family meal times and fun family activities
Community-Based Program Delivery
Extension’s trained regional educators provide personalized programs to individuals and groups in a compassionate and engaging way. We live and work in the communities we serve. As trusted friends and neighbors, we share an understanding of local issues and have the tools and expertise to address them. We deliver practical, hands-on programming through a series of group sessions, brief educational demonstrations to specific audiences, and in-home visits.
Community settings include:
- Food shelves
- WIC clinics
- Day-care centers
- Head Start
- Low-income housing
- Senior citizen centers
- Migrant centers
- Adult Basic Education
- Job training programs*
- WorkForce Centers*
- Community Action Agencies
- County Human Services offices
- Grocery stores
*Nutrition education counts as a core activity for MFIP participants.
Locate your county on our regional map to contact a local Simply Good Eating regional coordinator.
Simply Good Outcomes
Cost benefit studies of health and nutrition programs have found that every dollar spent on nutrition education:
- Saves $10.64 in long-term public healthcare costs
- Yields an average of $2.48 per household available for food
- Generates $1 in federal funds
That’s the dollars and cents of it, but the most meaningful outcomes of Extension nutrition education programs are reflected in the experiences of our participants:
“I’ve learned how to stretch my money for food. I’ve also learned how to cook quick and good tasting meals. I learned to eat some foods from each of the food groups...I know that it’s better to eat food that is colorful and has variety from each group. I really enjoy these classes and had a lot of my questions answered.” — Isanti County mother
“I thought it was going to be a chore but really enjoyed and learned a lot. AWESOME!” — Young mother from St. Louis County, a self-described picky eater. She started purchasing more broccoli and carrots to add to macaroni and cheese.
“The three-way collaboration of our program was a win-win for all involved.” — Winona County Food shelf director commenting on their collaboration with Simply Good Eating and WIC for an 8-week series on how to cook, store, and preserve fresh produce from the farmers market.
Simply Good Eating 2012 Fact Sheet (751 K PDF) — Evaluation facts and figures on who was served and how behaviors changed.
Partnering for Excellence
To enhance our impact with families, we partner with more than 1,200 agencies yearly. We go where the participants are and customize programming to meet the needs of agencies and the people they serve. Our program evaluations demonstrate positive outcomes for Minnesota families. We welcome new partnership opportunities. Interested in partnering? Fill out a contact form: Contact Health and Nutrition.