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 Sciences
Over a 15-week period, the Fulton Fresh mobile market stopped five times at 18 low-income communities, taught 2,866 adults and gave away 18,483 pounds of produce, of which 6,541 pounds were grown in Georgia. Ninety-two percent of mobile market participants agreed or strongly agreed to plan to make healthy changes. More than half of the participants surveyed planned to eat more fruit (64 percent) and vegetables (62 percent). Additionally, the mobile market reached more than 26,000 people through outreach events, distributing more than 6,000 pounds of fresh produce.
Thirty-eight additional Fulton Fresh programs were offered throughout the year to youth and adults from October 2017 to December 2018, reaching 871 people, with 642 of them between kindergarten and high school. Participants learned the concepts of MyPlate food groups, the parts of a plant, preserving local produce through canning, how to prepare healthy snacks and meals, and the importance of physical activity through yoga.
In total, Fulton Fresh reached 3,737 adult and youth citizens from October 2017 to December 2018 through direct education by teaching the importance of local fruit and vegetable consumption in order to decrease one’s risk for obesity and other chronic diseases.
End-of-life decisions can be both complicated and intimidating. The Fulton County population is aging and one of their top concerns is creating a will or trust. In 2018, Fulton County Cooperative Extension provided eight free estate-planning classes and reached 144 individuals. Topics included last will and testament, trusts, beneficiary designations, titling, gifting, living will and financial power of attorney.
The majority of participants (74 percent) were 55 years and older. Classes were held at libraries and a senior living facility throughout Fulton County. When asked about their level of understanding for specific topics after taking the class, a majority of respondents reported that they learned “some” or “a lot” about wills (89 percent), the durable power of attorney for finances (85 percent), the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare (69 percent), and methods of transferring assets (68 percent).
After attending the estate planning class, 87 percent of participants without a will planned to create one; 86 percent of participants without a financial power of attorney planned to create one; and 85 percent of participants without a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare planned to create one.
4-H Youth Development
The Fulton County 4-H Club hosted its third Fulton Fresh Kids Cooking Competition in May 2018. The contest was held in partnership with the East Point Farmers Market and hosted at the East Point UGA Extension Fulton County office. Twenty youth from across the county participated in the team TV-style cooking competition. Prior to cooking, youth participated in a knife-skills lesson, learned about healthy eating habits and MyPlate guidelines, and were trained in food-safety practices. Youth worked in teams of four to prepare their own take on a healthy grain bowl using farmers market produce and a pantry of common ingredients. The entrees were judged by representatives of the East Point Farmers Market and local producers.
The Kids Cooking Competition is the signature event of Fulton County Extension and Fulton County 4-H’s Fulton Fresh programming for youth. Other 2018 activities included healthy-living programs at libraries, the Fulton Fresh 4-H Gardening Club, youth food preservation workshops, and the second annual Farm to Popsicle Day Camp.