May 2021
Aging Smart Program and Food for a Long Life Mini-grants Available
We are pleased to share that we are able to offer complimentary access to three modules of the Aging Smart program for up to 120 users. This program offers accessible, online learning suitable for older adults, families, and care partners. Some of the topics included are Nutrition Needs for Health Aging, Cooking for One or Two, and Universal Design: Housing Solutions for All Ages and Abilities. You may view the flyer here.  This is made possible thanks to funding from the USDA-CYFAR Food For a Long Life project. 
Also available is an opportunity for community partners to apply for a mini-grant. The goal of the program is to provide support healthy food access, consumption, and knowledge among young children (birth – age 5), older adults (age 60+), and their families in the Near East Side of Columbus (zip codes 43203 & 43205). Examples include but are not limited to programs supporting home vegetable gardens, community gardening, and education about healthy food for families, older adults, and/or young children in zip codes 43203 & 43205. You may read more about applying for a mini-grant here.   
Coffee with the Master Gardeners
Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers invite you to start your weekend off with coffee and gardening education. These monthly sessions are $15 each and most will feature hands-on activities or sessions in the garden. May's session will focus on growing herbs. You may view the event flier here.
Project Green Teacher is Coming Back
We are pleased to be able to host another session of Project Green Teacher. The series will be held virtually June 7 - 11, 2021. If you're not familiar, 4-H Project Green Teacher is a school garden educational program for afterschool personnel, educators and others who are engaged in, or would like to learn more about gardening as a context for learning. You may view the complete series brochure here. Ready to register then click here.
OSU Student Food Recovery Network Visit
We recently had the honor to host 15 students from five colleges. The students are all members of the OSU Student Food Recovery Network. The group work towards food security by picking up food and getting it into the hands of the emergency food system or for composting without waste. Their visit included a walking tour of Waterman and a year-end celebration on our front porch.
Virtual Learning is Working
Suad Hirsi, EFNEP Program Assistant
Last year in March of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic created a lot of uncertainty and we all had to adapt quickly to the new normal. One of the first hurdles I had to overcome was to do outreach and recruitment via a virtual platform. This was especially difficult with new organizations which I did not have existing relationships. Building relationships with organizations and connecting with the community I serve is a critical process in recruiting participants for our program.
Since the shift to virtual learning, I started programming with the Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS). The organization serves refugees and immigrant population in Central Ohio in order to improve their lives, facilitate their integration through education/training, and to increase awareness of their culture and heritage in the community. ETSS has been a great partner to EFNEP over the past five years, and I have taught many participants at their center about how to prepare healthy food choices, to stay active through physical activities, to follow food safety guidelines, and to plan, shop & save when buying food at the grocery store.
When first told about teaching nutrition education lessons via Live Zoom, I was worried about being able to make a positive impact on the immigrant population without in-person cooking demonstrations, physical activities, discussions, and hands-on learning. Most of them are English Language Learners (ELL) with limited to no experience with virtual learning. However, even
with these limitations, they quickly learned how to adapt in this virtual environment. As I was working with a Somali Women’s group, I had two that were not familiar with Zoom and felt intimidated. Fortunately, I was able to help each one after just two sessions through the phone to ensure they could participate with the rest of the group. One of the ladies said, “I can’t believe I’m using Zoom; this is a great accomplishment for me.” These ladies enjoyed taking the Live Zoom EFNEP nutrition classes because they felt it was very convenient for them. They liked being able to participate in their own home without the worry of finding child-care or transportation to attend in-person nutrition classes. During the pandemic, virtual learning has given participants easy access to our nutrition education program while still allowing me the opportunity to build relationships and a healthier community in Franklin County. 
Growing, Harvesting, and Cooking
Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Tim McDermott, and Jenny Lobb, Family Consumer Sciences Educator have been busy in the garden and in kitchen. The duo harvested spinach from one of the Franklin County Extension gardens and prepared a delicious healthy spinach salad. You may watch the video here. Tim also worked with Nora Hesse, EFNEP Program Assistant, to create a Spanish version of the popular grilling sweet corn video. Check it out here. If you missed April's Update in the Community Garden, no worries because you can watch it here.
Upcoming Events
May 1: Coffee with the Master Gardeners Workshop
May 1: Ask a Master Gardener Booth - Gahanna Herb Festival
May 1: Money Management Virtual Workshop
May 1: Home Buyer Education Virtual Workshop
May 2: Families First Webinar Series
May 4: CARTEENS Class
May 4: Food Preservation Basics Webinar Series (Jars & Lids)
May 4: May Update in the Community Garden Virtual Classs
May 6: Urban Farmers Workshop: USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
May 8: Ask a Master Gardener Booth - Gantz Farms Herb Sale
May 8: Money Management Virtual Workshop
May 9: Families First Webinar Series
May 10: Start Here: Investing 101 Virtual Workshop
May 11: MGV Leadership Team Meeting
May 11: Taking Control of Student Loan Debt Virtual Workshop
May 12: Wellness Wednesday Series: Make Your Salad Fresh Again!
May 14: Ask a Master Gardener Booth - Chadwick Plant Sale
May 15: Ask a Master Gardener Booth - Chadwick Plant Sale
May 16: Families First Webinar Series
May 18: Food Preservation Basics Webinar Series (Water Bath Canning)
May 20: Essential Oils 101 Webinar
May 20: Intersectionality of Change Session 4: Reporting Out, Moving Forward Webinar
May 23: Families First Webinar Series
May 26: Reducing Food Waste at Home Webinar
May 26: Wellness Wednesday Series: Gluten Free Eating
May 30: Families First Webinar Series

Be sure to check out for the most up-to-date list of event.