What is FoodWIse

FoodWIse, previously called Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program (WNEP), is a major educational program within UW-Extension. FoodWIse helps limited-resource families and individuals choose healthful diets, purchase and safely prepare healthful food, and become more food secure by spending their food dollars wisely. The Dane County UW-Extension FoodWIse program responds to community needs with research-based education and partnerships that support Wisconsin families and communities.

FoodWIse Programming

Who we teach:

We teach all ages, from children to parents to senior citizens. FoodWIse programming is always free and targets people within established income guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who are eligible for:

  • QUEST Card (Food Stamps/FoodShare)
  • Free or Reduced School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs
  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
  • Wisconsin Works (W2)
  • Social Security or Social Security Disability Income
  • Healthy Start or Head Start
  • Medical Assistance or Badger Care

To find out more about FoodShare and other Nutrition, Health, and Childcare programs go to: access.wisconsin.gov

What we teach:

  • Buying and making healthful, affordable meals and snacks.
  • Balancing food intake and physical activity.
  • Keeping food safe to eat.
  • Making spending and saving plans to become more food secure.
  • Exercising and making healthy lifestyle choices
  • See our list of FoodWIse Programs

How we teach:

  • One-time & multi-session groups, with curriculum chosen to match our audience
  • Partnering with schools, local agencies & community sites to run lessons for their students / clients / community members
  • Mini lessons at food pantries & clinics while clients are waiting for services
  • Free materials about nutrition information, recipes, money saving ideas, and other tips.
  • Programs available in English, Spanish and Hmong.

FoodWIse Funding

Two federal grants fund the Dane County FoodWIse program:

SNAP/FoodShare helps families buy the food they need for good health. FoodWIse does not administer FoodShare, but participants in FoodShare are the target audience for FoodWIse programming. Visit access.wi.gov or call (608) 741-3400 to learn how to apply for food assistance.

FoodWIse Testimonials

“Students in my class will now discuss the different food groups they eat in a day. They often refer back to the foods they tried during the lessons. The students discuss what food gives us energy and ask if different foods are healthy.”

Youth Programs, Elementary Classroom Teacher

“Students throughout the week would ask me when “the cooking people” were coming and were excited to have them in the class. Afterwards they would share their experiences with other staff members that would attend.”

Youth Program Highschool Classroom Teacher

“This course helped me a lot as it has helped me to take care of my diet and to be able to read and interpret product logos. And it motivated me to exercise and not consume products that harm my health. I liked the course too much as we can cook in a nutritious and delicious way.”

A participant in Eating Smart, Being Active (translated from Spanish)

“I have suffered from depression/anxiety my entire life. I went downhill during the pandemic. My neighbor asked me to join StrongBodies and it helped me get back on my feet again. My legs have become very weak and 2 months of StrongBodies is not enough to make them strong, but it’s a start.”

A participant in StrongBodies

“I really enjoyed learning about new foods. The kitchen skills we learned here have helped me a lot.  I have learned so much.”

A participant in Eating Smart, Being Active
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