U of M Extension cuts nutrition education program by 40 percent


University of Minnesota Extension has made cuts of more than 40 percent in a nutrition education program aimed at helping food stamp recipients.

This month's cuts came after the federal funding that supports the program was trimmed. The Mankato Free Press reports the number of educators was reduced from 109 to 45 in this month's cuts.

Defenders of the education program consider the cuts counterproductive. An assistant dean with the Extension service tells the Free Press a study found that for every dollar spent on education, ten dollars is saved on health care costs related to diabetes and obesity.

While some in Congress have doubted the effectiveness of the program, Amiee Viniard-Weideman also tells the newspaper research nationally and in Minnesota has shown that among those who take the classes fruit and vegetable consumption is up and sugar and soda pop consumption is down.

The Minnesota Daily reports the impact of the cuts will be strongest in rural areas. The university's newspaper says a federal funding formula for Extension programs requires that areas with more population receive more funding.

U of M Extension announced last fall that the cuts would be coming. The Daily says federal cuts to the program came a year ago but Extension officials avoided layoffs until this month.

There's more on U of M Extension health and nutrition programs here.

Next Up

Adam Thielen

Vikings place Adam Thielen on COVID-19/reserve list

Thielen is coming off a two-touchdown game against the Cowboys.

MCF Oak Park Heights

COVID-positive inmate at Oak Park Heights prison dies

He becomes the fourth prison inmate to die from the virus.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 1.08.19 PM

2-ton smoker stolen from Twin Cities chef Thomas Boemer

Boemer is the chef behind restaurants including the popular Revival.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz says relief package is coming for Minnesota small businesses

Walz is prepared to call a special session and pass the package immediately.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz COVID-19 press conference Monday

Walz will be introducing a new app that helps Minnesotans track COVID-19 exposures.