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Oklahoma State University

About CNEP

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Making a Difference
Oklahoma’s statistics on hunger and food insecurity are startling.

  • 624,042 Oklahomans were considered “food insecure” in 2016, which means they didn't have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.
  • In 2016, Oklahomans were more likely to be food-insecure than most Americans with 16.3% of Oklahomans reporting food-insecurity compared to 14.0% of Americans reporting food-insecurity.
  • In 2016, Oklahoma ranked 42nd in the overall poverty rate and 43rd in hunger and food insecurity. 
  • 218,770 children in Oklahoma were food insecure in 2016. 
  • 46.5% of households in Oklahoma receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits have children.
  • 84% of children attending OKC Public Schools and 80% of children attending Tulsa Public Schools received free or reduced cost school meals in the 2016-2017 school year.  

A number of chronic diseases and health conditions tied to food insecurity are more prevalent in Oklahoma, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and being overweight or obese — all diseases or conditions that contribute to the rising healthcare costs. By serving the state’s limited-income populations, CNEP is working to improve the conditions of those most in need.

How is CNEP having an impact?*

As a result of the Fresh Start Adult Program:

  • 80% of participating adults showed improvement in food resource management practices.
  • 94% of participating adults showed improvement in diet quality areas.
  • 78% of participating adults showed improvement in food safety practices.
  • 75% of participating adults showed improvement in physical activity behaviors.

As a result of the Food and Fun for Everyone Youth Program:

  • 75% of participating youth improved their ability to choose healthy foods.
  • 22% of participating youth improved their physical activity practices.

Who are CNEP participants?*

  • CNEP provides nutrition education to limited-resource adults, youth and families within Oklahoma communities.
  • In 2018, CNEP provided nutrition education to 2,982 adults, 55,673 youth, and reached 9,925 family members indirectly affecting the lives of close to 69,000 Oklahomans. 
  • 58% of CNEP participants reported a household income that was at, or below, 50% of the federal poverty level.
  • 43% of CNEP participants are ethnic minorities.

*Fiscal Year 2018 data.

 Why is CNEP so effective?

  • We offer multiple programs with research-based lessons involving hands-on learning experiences. This allows our educators to effectively reach and educate program participants.
  • Our nutrition education assistants (NEAs) coach participants during weekly lessons to build skills that enable them to stretch their family food dollars, plan and prepare more nutritious meals and increase physical activity.
  • Our nutrition lessons are personalized to prioritize the family’s needs.
  • Our NEAs are flexible and can provide lessons to an individual or group.
  • CNEP strives to hire NEAs with a strong understanding of the barriers many limited-income families face in achieving a healthy diet. As paraprofessionals, the NEAs are skilled in using hands-on interactive teaching methods which enable them to influence changes in behavior and impact the lives of those they teach.
  • CNEP works in partnership with WIC, local schools, food stamp offices and emergency food services to help families in need while avoiding duplication of services.

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Impact Reports