Food Smart Families program addresses food insecurity and obesity through healthy living programming

Aug 2, 2017

UnitedHealthcare and National 4-H Council’s Food Smart Families program focuses on food insecurity as well as obesity.

Alberto Cervantes, Outreach Specialist for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Nebraska, says the two organizations joined forces in 2011. 

Cervantes says eating healthy is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

He says the current goal for Food Smart Families is to reach 30,000 Nebraska youth and their families with healthy living programs. 

He says they want to educate families and offer a resource for those that are living in areas with food insecurity.  Cervantes says they will offer the educational piece as a course, six to eight weeks in length.

"So it’s a commitment from the family themselves to really educate themselves on the types of foods that are out there.  It’s a grassroots level type of course for them.  So it’s really going out and looking at foods that are healthy, looking at ingredients, creating recipes and presenting and cooking together within that course itself.”

In addition to the courses, 4-H is recruiting teens to become teen health ambassadors.  Cervantes says they also hope to distribute bags of food so that participating families may apply their new education and provide referrals to food safety-net programs to help alleviate hunger.

For more information, the website is