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Luna County Extension offering ICAN classes in May

The Luna County Extension Office is serving up a series of classes in May to help limited-resource residents say ICAN.



Luna County Extension nutrition educator Sandra Saenz teaches students how to learn to buy and prepare tasty, nutritious foods and to stretch their food dollars and food benefits further, thus reducing household food insecurity. (NMSU photo by Alduin Jimenez)

The Ideas for Cooking and Nutrition program (ICAN) is a service of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service that provides hands-on, needs-based education in the areas of healthy food choices, food preparation, food safety and food resource management. ICAN is the umbrella name used in New Mexico to refer to both the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nutrition educators teach one-time workshops and lesson series to individuals and groups.

Sandra Saenz, Luna County nutrition educator, teaches both ICAN classes and kIdsCAN classes for children. She will be teaching a four-part series of ICAN classes from 5 to 6 p.m., in both English and Spanish, on Thursdays throughout May (May 6, 13, 20 and 27). Classes will be held at the Luna County Extension Office, 210 B Poplar Street in Deming. Participants will learn to buy and prepare tasty, nutritious foods and to stretch their food dollars and food benefits further, thus reducing household food insecurity.

"It's cheaper to buy fast food than it is to buy nutritious ingredients for a nutritious meal. Many people feel it's both time-consuming and costly to eat healthy," said Saenz. "In my classes, participants will learn simple changes they can make to save money at the grocery store and eat better."

Classes are designed to assist limited-resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to the personal development and improvement of the total family diet and nutritional well-being.

"With the obesity and diabetes rates in this area what they are, we can't afford to wait?we need to make changes now," said Saenz. "ICAN is a great program that will give participants ideas of how to make those changes, with useful tips for everyone."

For more information or to register for the classes, contact Saenz at the Luna County Extension Office at (575) 546-8806.