Food Smart Families

Food Smart Families targets families eligible for or receiving SNAP and/or WIC benefits and teaches them how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget. Programming culminates in a family celebration where participants receive a bag of groceries to take home and practice their new skills.

Impact of 4‑H Food Smart Families

4‑H Food Smart Families creates more food secure homes by teaching families with limited resources how to shop for and cook nutritious meals on a budget. Using a variety of commonly available foods, instructors teach participants cooking skills and basic nutrition facts.

  • Launched in 2014 with 5 pilot states reaching more than 13,200 youth and impacting more than 49,000 family members: Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska and Washington
  • Expanding in 2015 to 13 states to include: Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee and Texas
  • More than 400 youth trained to be Teens as Teachers, serving as role models and mentors
  • Positive changes in youth behavior as a result of 4‑H Food Smart families
    • 90 percent of youth participants now think being active is fun and good for fitness
    • 89 percent now encourage their families to eat meals together
    • 87 percent said their families have purchased healthier foods
    • 86 percent now eat fruit for a snack over unhealthier options.

In 2016, the program will target other high-poverty states with the ultimate goal of reaching 250,000 kids and 650,000 family members by 2020.

Read how 4‑H youth met with President Obama to discuss how they’re fighting childhood hunger and rural poverty in their communities.  Read now. 

Food Smart Families Resources & Curriculum


Purchase the Food Smart Families curriculum, education kits and kitchen supplies from the 4‑H Mall.

Visit Online