Curry wins NIFA Excellence in Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program Award
Martina Curry

URBANA, Ill. - Martina Curry, a community worker with University of Illinois Extension, has received the Excellence in Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Award from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Curry was presented the award during the program’s 50th year celebration on March 12, in Crystal City, Virginia.

Curry has committed over 35 years to nutrition education programming while working with families in Cook County.

Throughout her career, Curry has reached diverse populations in Cook County, adapting her teaching style to provide information and skills families can use to provide healthy meals. Her engaging teaching style helps her communicate across groups that may include as many as six languages. Families who attend EFNEP programming consistently report improvements in nutrition and food safety practices, along with increases in fruit and vegetable intake. Throughout her tenure with EFNEP, Curry has reached approximately 6,000 families.

“EFNEP represents always putting my knowledge to work together with the parents. This program is a two-way street where we learn from each other. I represent the bridge from the [University of Illinois] to the community,” Curry said.

Jennifer McCaffrey, assistant dean of family and consumer sciences with Illinois Extension said of Curry, “It is a pleasure to see Martina earn this distinction. She always makes the families who attend our classes feel at home. Martina has a gift for making information relevant and easy for families to apply to their everyday lives in a way that influences their nutrition and health.”

EFNEP helps limited-resource families gain knowledge and skills needed to make necessary behavior changes for healthy diets and active lifestyles. Peer educators teach the programs in their communities. Educators are trained, passionate, and dedicated to affecting a diverse population through nutrition education.

Currently in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six U.S. territories, EFNEP receives funding from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. In Illinois, EFNEP is part of U of I Extension’s Illinois Nutrition Education Programs. U of I Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Media contact: Beth Peralta, 217-244-7405,