FCS Extension Builds Strong, Healthy Kentuckians
In Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension, we help individuals develop the skills they need to improve quality of life for themselves and their families. We offer a variety of educational programs throughout the year, including cooking and nutrition classes, sewing workshops, financial stability talks, and much more. In the past programming year, we reached more than 1.6 million Kentuckians.
These programs have made a meaningful impact across the state. Our Truth and Consequences Program, which focuses on the realities of substance abuse, has changed the lives of young Kentuckians. In a recent survey, more than 400 of them reported that they know of peers who no longer engage in substance abuse because of the program.
Extension offers health-related programs for all age groups that focus on eating healthy and increasing physical activity. Due to these efforts, more than 12,000 Kentuckians made a lifestyle change to improve their health. FCS Extension agents also work closely with local farmers markets to promote fresh produce consumption. By conducting Plate It Up Kentucky Proud food demonstrations and offering recipe cards during the markets, agents increased Kentucky farmers market sales by more than $17,000. Oldham County FCS Agent Chris Duncan partnered with Oldham County Fiscal Court to bring food demonstrations and nutrition tips to Oldham County TV. “Cooking With Chris” can be found online by visiting www.oldhamcounty.net/oldham-county-tv.
Educating low-income families on the benefits of healthier eating and buying fresh foods resulted in redemption of more than $61,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children; or senior benefits at the state’s farmers markets. To help support individuals and families in tough economic times, Oldham County Extension partners with the Dare To Care Food Bank to provide economic cooking and nutrition classes using the foods donated to the mobile pantry. Participants learn about preparing healthy recipes, meal planning, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and other ways to stretch a food budget.
Oldham County Extension also brings nutrition education to inmates in the substance abuse program at Roederer Correctional. Lessons focus on preparing the men for a healthier lifestyle upon returning to their families.
Through various career preparation programs, we spread knowledge that helps Kentuckians attain employment or find a more fulfilling job. In the past year, more than 43,000 people used practical living skills learned through FCS Extension to advance their education or employment.
We are home to a vibrant group of Extension Homemakers. These members engage in numerous outreach projects to better their communities and Kentucky. One such project is the ovarian cancer screening fundraising program. Each year, Extension Homemakers contribute to this UK Markey Cancer Center program, which provides free ovarian cancer screenings to Kentucky women. Since fundraising began 40 years ago, Extension Homemakers have given $1.4 million to that effort. Oldham County Extension Homemakers also contribute to Oldham County Community Scholarships, Oldham County 4-H Camp, Coins for Change, and WaterStep.
For more information on local Family and Consumer Sciences programs, contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service via (502) 222-9453 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us online at oldham.ca.uky.edu.
Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.
Written by Jennifer Hunter, Interim Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, and Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.