Tag Archives: leatta byrd

Nutrition and financial education partnership: Money Smart Week

To promote personal financial management for everyday consumers, the Federal Reserve Bank created Money Smart Week. During this week, organizations collaborate together to offer free educational programming for people no matter their incomes or demographics. This year, between April 20 and April 28, the MSU Extension Kalamazoo County team of Leatta Byrd, Krystal Avila, Stonia Hunter and Cathy Drew partnered with various organizations such as the Kalamazoo Probation Enhancement Program (KPEP), Ministry with Community, Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency, the Salvation Army and Borgess Medical Center.

Last month, financial educators partnered with the nutrition instructors in Kalamazoo to provide education on how to make a healthy lifestyle affordable for everyone. Along with the pros of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, participants were taught the tools of budgeting and price tracking. They were given recommendations to lower food costs. Some events were offered in both English and Spanish.

Stonia Hunter taught nine participants nutrition and food budgeting at the KPEP on April 28. Krystal Avila reached eight participants with Eat Healthy, Be Active at Ministry with Community on April 20. Later that evening, Krystal presented Healthy Foods, Healthy Families in English and Spanish to nine participants at the Salvation Army. Leatta Byrd taught four participants through Eat Smart‒Spend Less April 26 at the Borgess Medical Center.

MSU Extension nutrition education programs aim to improve the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior of how individuals view nutrition. Through promotion, planning and delivery, staff members work with diverse audiences at a local, county and state level to help implement everyday changes to individuals and family diets for an increased nutritional well-being.

Making improvements in your financial situation can be time consuming and difficult. If you have questions or you would like to ask an expert, Michigan State University Extension has access to many resources. Visit the MiMoneyHealth page for more information and answers to your questions.

Comments Off on Nutrition and financial education partnership: Money Smart Week

Filed under Financial education, Uncategorized

MSU Extension educator takes part in White House round table discussion

At first, Leatta Byrd thought the email invitation with the White House seal on it from the United States Department of Agriculture was a joke. It took the Michigan State University Extension educator a couple of days and some phone calls to realize that the invitation inviting her to a White House Community round table discussion June 20 at the Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes Emergency Food Pantry in Kalamazoo was authentic.

The discussion featured Kevin Concannon USDA undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services. Mr. Concannon oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and has principal responsibilities and funding authority for Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). Alan Shannon, director of the USDA FNS Midwest Regional Public Affairs Office also contributed.

Leatta, supervising SNAP-Ed educator in District 13, joined in the closed 90-minute discussion with about 25 other invitees who work to provide nutritional services to populations in need. Discussion touched on the challenges and successes of reaching people who are underserved, seniors, people recently unemployed and the Hispanic community.

It wasn’t a one-sided conversation. The undersecretary listened to input from attendees on, among other things, how SNAP services could be improved.

Mr. Concannon noted that nationally 63 million people receive SNAP benefits and one-half of those are children.

With public schools not in session during the summer and the economy struggling “child hunger spikes up in the summer time,” said Mr. Shannon.

Leatta Byrd & USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon

Leatta Byrd, MSU Extension educator, (left) and Kevin Concannon, USDA under secretary for food, nutrition and consumer services, at the White House Community Round Table Discussion June 20, 2012, at Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Leatta said, “Most people know that during the school year, children who attend free-breakfast and reduced-lunch schools can receive a free breakfast and lunch but during the summer, many children go hungry because they may be unaware of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) feeding programs. That’s why it’s so important that we promote the SFSP summer lunch program so low-income children can have an opportunity to have a nutritious lunch during the summer.”

Through MSU Extension and the SNAP-Ed program, Leatta provides education in several sites, teaching children about healthy snacks and making good food choices this summer. Kalamazoo County has a strong SFSP summer feeding program sponsored by the USDA. It’s given her an opportunity to go out and work with children this summer, providing nutrition education to the children who attend these summer feeding sites.

Leatta says that not only is it important to outreach and market the SNAP-Ed to eligible families, but we also need to promote nutrition to seniors who sometimes have to make the choice between buying their medication or buying food. In addition, newly unemployed or underemployed people often don’t know how to access SNAP benefits. Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Senior Project Fresh Programs are another great way of marketing SNAP-Ed programming to underserved audiences.

MSU Extension, the Health and Nutrition Institute and SNAP-Ed are addressing and providing outreach and services to those specific populations that Mr. Concannon spoke about in the round table discussion.

Comments Off on MSU Extension educator takes part in White House round table discussion

Filed under Nutrition

MSUE Kalamazoo County’s BFI program awarded grant

Michigan State University Extension educator Leatta Byrd, M.A., R.D., recently submitted a grant proposal on behalf of the Kalamazoo County Breastfeeding Initiative (BFI) Program to Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Non-profit Leadership Program, WMU Students4Giving, which is part of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, American Humanities program. A $3,000 grant was awarded to Kalamazoo County’s BFI to purchase breast pumps for the BFI breast pump loan program for participating mothers. MSUE folks are notorious for finding opportunities to bring resources to support our programs – Leatta’s continued the tradition. Thanks, Leatta!

Leatta Byrd holds grant check to Kalamazoo County MSUE

Comments Off on MSUE Kalamazoo County’s BFI program awarded grant

Filed under grants