Five Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program assistants and a program coordinator carry out a series of interactive presentations to both youth and adult participants to help them to make nutritious, budget-friendly food choices. Locations for these lessons include 11 area schools, three Head Start programs, eight community after-school programs, a summer food service program, four summer youth programs, two sites serving adults with disabilities, a domestic violence prevention center, an Ohio Means Jobs site, and a senior citizen housing site. In 2016, there were 25,976 total participants attending all 1,644 classes taught by Extension’s SNAP-Ed program. Youth increased eating healthy snacks by 10.5 percent. Teens showed a 13.2 percent increase in planning meals ahead of time and increased making meals using whole ingredients by 7.9 percent. Adults increased using food labels by 13.3 percent and increased fruit and vegetable consumption of different colors by 10 percent.
Obesity, poor nutrition, and physical activity disproportionately affect minority and low-income citizens. Of the estimated 163,204 residents living in Greene County, 8.5 percent are living in poverty. In an effort to reduce this disparity and improve the health and well-being of Ohioans, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) teaches an eight-lesson nutrition education series to low-income families with children. In 2015, a total of 153 families were impacted by EFNEP. The 98 graduates significantly increased knowledge and improved behaviors in diet quality (92 percent), food resource management (80 percent), and food safety (54 percent), resulting in Greene County residents making healthier choices. Chronic diseases are largely preventable through a healthy lifestyle involving a balanced diet and regular physical activity. More than half of graduates increased their physical activity levels and fruit and vegetable consumption upon completing EFNEP.
The OSU Extension – Greene County Master Gardener Volunteers participated in the state Master Gardener Food Challenge of 2016. Greene County Master Gardener Volunteers donated 7,365 pounds of fresh produce to numerous food pantries in the county boosting the availability of fresh produce to low-income families.
Food and nutrition classes were offered 21 times to 153 participants. Participants answering a survey on a five-point scale (Never-Always) after a food preservation program increased by 4.4 points, on average, to now acidify tomato products.
Financial wellness classes were offered 41 times to 274 participants aged teens to adults. There was a 4 percent increase in the number of participants over 2015, who completed all five different sessions and received a certificate allowing them to move up on the Greene County Metropolitan Housing list.
Dermascan screening was conducted for 23 seniors at a local health fair.
Real Money. Real World. hosted 190 youth who increased their understanding about the real-life cost of living. Youth also learned more about the relationship between education, career choice and salary. Of the attendees, 87 percent indicated that they will make positive changes based on their financial decisions for the future.
The 60 Greene County Junior Fair Board members volunteered nearly 1,500 hours to prepare programs and junior fair exhibitors.
This year, 106 youth in grades three to nine attended camp at 4-H Camp Clifton, along with 28 older youth who served as camp counselors. The Dayton Foundation awarded $5,000 on behalf of the Harmony Family Campership Fund, lending support for 50 youth to attend camp. A total of 21 youth attended Cloverbud Day Camp.
In all, 28 teens served as 4-H camp counselors, completing training and utilizing life skills that they developed both during camp and afterward. Counselors developed leadership and social skills, emergency preparedness, and organizational skills to provide younger youth with better learning experiences. All eligible counselors submitted applications to return for next year based on their experience at camp.
A total of 38 teachers addressed science standards for 1,066 youth in Greene County through 4-H ChickQuest.
In 2016, 687 4-H members were enrolled in 1,386 4-H projects through 41 chartered 4-H clubs. A total of 113 kindergarten through second graders were in Cloverbuds.
This year, 36 youth participated in a weeklong STEM Camp at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, thanks to a grant funded by the Ohio 4-H Foundation.
This year, 197 camp counselors and volunteers were trained in Ohio State Policy 1.50, Activities and Programs with Minor Participants. This was to ensure all camp counselors, volunteers, and youth would continue to be safe.
Extension agriculture and natural resources and the Dayton Foodbank have created a relationship to begin food education programming for urban populations in the Greene County region for winter of 2016.
Four programs provided by OSU Extension – Greene County drew an attendance more than 150 people, including one with statewide attention during Farm Science Review that focused on sustainable indoor home food production, have created rising interest in Greene County on the importance of sustainability and the local food economy.
Food preservation classes were taught two times to 79 participants, and 17 pressure canning gauges were tested.
Building relationships with caring adults is one of the measures of effectiveness of positive youth development programs. One sixty nine adult volunteers served as organizational leaders by mentoring, caring for and leading youth in projects. The value of these volunteer hours is estimated at $467,860.
In cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Juvenile Court, a team of eight 4-H teens provided instruction to 348 first-time juvenile traffic offenders in Greene County through 4-H CARTEENS. Youth are reminded of safe driving techniques. The surveys indicated that after attending CARTEENS their behavior will change because the youth will think about their responsibility as a safe driver and will make adjustments in distractions before driving a car.
Monthly 4-H programming was conducted at Wright Patterson Air Force Base along with 4-H STEM Day Camp. This is funded by an USDA grant through Kansas State University and the Ohio 4-H Foundation. Average attendance at the monthly program was 65. This year, 25 youth participated in the 4-H STEM Day Camp.
The OSU Extension – Greene County Master Gardener Volunteers, at the end of 2016, have volunteered a total of 10,585.35 hours. The value of the work these specialized volunteers contribute to the community is equivalent to a grand total of $233,512.00.
More than 359 4-H members learned how to ensure animal and food safety by attending one quality assurance training session taught by OSU Extension and certified Greene County junior fair volunteers. Through hands-on activities, participants learned the importance of maintaining medication and treatment records, proper administration techniques, and appropriate feed processor procedures and feed tag recommendations.
OSU Extension – Greene County agriculture and natural resources recertified 50 producers on pesticide and fertilizer use and management in accordance with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, furthering OSU Extension’s commitment to environmental stewardship.