Date of Award

Spring 5-2-2016

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food Science and Human Nutrition


Mary Ellen Camire

Second Committee Member

Kathryn Yerxa

Third Committee Member

Mona Therrien


The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Eat Well Program, funded federally by the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), targets low-income adults with young children, and low-income youth, with valuable food and nutrition-related educational messages. Effective nutrition education programs are needed for the low-income population because they are at a higher risk for chronic health conditions. These health conditions develop due to the many challenges they face in acquiring healthy foods and adequate nutrition. Long-term program evaluation is needed to assess how effective a program is at sustaining positive behavior change. Until this point, there has not been an evaluation in Maine using long-term data to compare behavior change after participants have graduated from the Eat Well Program. The standard behavior checklist was distributed via mail and telephone to graduates of the Eat Well Program in fiscal year 2013 (n=144) and fiscal year 2014 (n=278). A return of 51 surveys yielded a 12% response rate. Pre-program, post-program, and long-term behavior checklists were compared for significant changes in food resource management practices, food security practices, food safety practices, and nutritional practices. After analysis, significant improvements (p