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Produce at farmers market alongside text explaining NCNECE mission


The North Central Nutrition Education Center of Excellence (NC-NECE) was established to help the USDA meet its program goal of improving low-income Americans’ health through more effective nutrition education. The collaborative team includes an unprecedented level of expertise in nutrition program research, evaluation and SNAP-Ed/EFNEP implementation; including personnel from the North Central 1862 land-grant universities, 1994 land-grant universities and the Michigan Fitness Foundation. The NC-NECE will synthesize existing research findings and seed new research that focuses on how socio-ecological factors affect nutrition education outcomes.

The NC-NECE’s objectives are to:

  1. Create new collaborations among researchers and SNAP-Ed/EFNEP program directors, universities and key stakeholders
  2. Evaluate the long-term effectiveness of nutrition education/obesity-prevention interventions for low-income populations and identify key opportunities for new research
  3. Strengthen the evidence base on effective nutrition education/obesity-prevention programs for low-income populations

The NC-NECE’s signature research program will reflect its unique regional strength, i.e., a focus on community factors that influence the success of SNAP-Ed/EFNEP. The NC-NECE will construct a valuable, much needed regional database to help practitioners better assess community and environmental variables, and will focus on communication to improve the dissemination of best practices, useful tools and resources. Diverse collaborative partners and an affiliate member system will ensure that multiple perspectives and community input help shape the center’s activities. Long term, the NC-NECE will create more effective nutrition programs and ultimately reduce chronic disease among low-income persons.