Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Family and Consumer Services (FACS)
The DeKalb County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) program consists of education based on health, food, home, finances and family. FACS provides the Expanded Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), which is an interactive educational series that teaches low-income families how to stretch their food dollars, improve nutrition practices and prevent food-borne illnesses. During the 2020 fiscal year, the DeKalb County Family and Consumer Sciences program provided 24 educational classes, ranging in topics on health and wellness. These programs reached 520 adults and children. Through social media, the FACS program circulated related media to over 6,000 individuals. The DeKalb County EFNEP program provided 801 educational sessions which served 270 adults resulting in 60 graduates and indirectly reaching 1,152 family members. To graduate from the 8-week EFNEP Food Talk program, participants must attend at least 6 of the 8 sessions. Adults who completed our educational series Food Talk reported measurable improvements in health behaviors in diet quality, physical activity, food safety, and food budget.
Fresh on Dek
With funding from the DeKalb County government and the DeKalb County Board of Health and collaboration and partnerships with various departments and community organizations, The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in DeKalb County completed the sixth season of Fresh on DeK (FOD), a mobile farmer’s market created to address food insecurity. According to the Atlanta Community Food Bank, DeKalb County has experienced a 40 percent increase in the number of residents suffering from food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. DeKalb County has also the 4th highest case count of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state of Georgia, and the DeKalb County Board of Health has reported 19,180 COVID-19 cases and 372 deaths. Fresh on DeK reached communities that were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 due to inequalities in income, access to healthcare, and safe and affordable housing. During the 16-week season of Fresh on DeK, 10,181 residents were reached with online nutrition education and digital food demonstrations and 4,319 residents were served free pre-bagged produce.
Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR)
The Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) program is here to serve residents, green industry and agriculture clients in DeKalb County. We reach out to all our clients through informational programs, social media, and in person or virtual guidance. Our programs were always given in person but moved to a virtual format due to Covid-19. With people spending more time at home, we had contact with 1,192 participants in our 31 programs given. These programs range in various subjects such as, turfgrass, vegetables, ornamental plants, community gardens, school gardens, trees, fruits, etc. Social media made a bigger impact with direct engagement with 10,755 individuals through 90 media posts. We also served 2,359 people through e-mail, phone calls and site visits (if necessary) to answer all their questions and give guidance for all ANR areas. Our mission is to serve people in DeKalb and the state of Georgia through research-based information.
4-H Youth Development
The 4-H Youth Development Program in DeKalb serves youth from 9 to 17 years of age helping them to reach their fullest individual potential as emerging adults contributing to society. DeKalb 4-H reaches youth in public and private schools, park and recreation centers, libraries and in a variety of communities in safe environments; virtual, hybrid and in person within appropriate safety environments. In 2020 we served over 750 youth in STEAM programs and provided confidence building public speaking, writing development, workforce preparation, substance abuse awareness and prevention. They also engaged in community service projects, healthy living, leadership, stress and understanding how to manage challenges they may face. Today’s 4-H engages youth in personal growth and guides them to become contributing members of society.