Rural Health Symposium

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Zac Hackney, EFNEP educator in Pitt County, led an engaging presentation at the Rural Health Symposium at Eastern AHEC in Greenville, NC titled “Fuel for Life: Nutrition Education Outreach for Underserved Youth” on Friday, February 24th.

Zac Hackney presenting at a conference

Zac discussed how his background as a chef made him uniquely qualified to become an EFNEP educator and also how his skills have benefited him during the pilot of the EFNEP Fuel for Life high school curriculum, which is cooking intensive. Zac shared how the recipes in this curriculum are intended to allow for customization and this is exciting for students who have the ability to adapt the recipe in real time during the class. This learning opportunity can also lead students to find out what they don’t like, which was the case when a recent class prepared the Fuel for Life “Breakfast Bowl” option and several students said they liked everything in the dish, except for the main ingredient, grits. Zac talked about how he has learned that it’s important for students to be challenged to think critically about the flavor profiles of recipes, especially as they begin to cook for themselves.

Zac’s presentation was well received by the audience of health professionals, community organizers and leaders. He received many questions from audience members who were excited about EFNEP’s purpose and mission. Great job Zac for representing EFNEP well in the East!

Zac Hackney and Jackie Sugg

-Jackie Sugg, Regional Nutrition Extension Associate