RNECE Final Report

RNECE final report graphic

The Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) National Coordination Center at the University of Kentucky released their final RNECE report recently.  This report includes the RNECE recommendations for future work in nutrition education for limited resource families in the United States.  Each regional center also has a report provided.  Please visit the RNECE Final Report for the complete report. 

RNECE Update from National Coordination Center

RNECE funding infographic
This infographic indicates locations where direct-ed, PSE and both direct-ed and PSE funded projects can be found.


USDA’s Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence National Coordination Center Points the Way to Good Nutrition for Low-Income Americans

The Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) are pointing the way to good nutrition for low-income and disadvantaged Americans by strengthening USDA- funded nutrition education and health promotion programs across the country. Their work will equip SNAP-Ed and EFNEP program implementing agencies to create a culture of wellness where program participants can benefit from improvements in their health, nutrition and increased level of physical activity. To make this culture shift, RNECE is strengthening current evidence-based programs, evaluating program effectiveness, identifying research opportunities and building collaboration around research. The National Coordination Center advances this work by coordinating communication among regional centers, disseminating research findings, combining national data and conducting site reviews as well as an planning the annual directors’ meeting with the RNECEs.

The National Coordination Center has been working to:

  • Coordinate the establishment of advisory groups to develop tools for implementing agencies
    The Centers have worked collaboratively to establish advisory groups that are tasked with developing a Research Translation and Training Program; Affiliate Registry of Implementers and Researchers; a Direct Education Toolkit; and a Policy, Systems and Environmental Change Toolkit.
  • Organize the reporting of program activities among RNECEs
    The National Coordination Center recently held a face-to-face meeting with all RNECE principal investigators and select team members, providing an opportunity for the group to meet with Dr. Helen Chipman, National Program Leader from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). During this meeting, the group collaborated on project direction, marketing, evaluation planning and reporting. 
  • Conduct site visits with each RNECE
    Team members from the National Coordination Center – along with NIFA and FNS – completed site visits to each RNECE, enhancing communication and partnership on project initiatives and cultivating ideas and solutions. During the meeting, the group discussed benefits and challenges of multi-site, cross-agency, regional and national collaborative work.
  • Communicate ongoing evaluation activities among RNECEs
    The Evaluation Specialist at the National Coordination Center conducts quarterly conference calls with each regional evaluation specialist, creating a clear understanding of regional work that gives way to a national evaluation strategy that demonstrates a coordinated effort among Centers that will demonstrate trends in program activities at the national level.

As a result of the ongoing work from the National Coordination Center and the RNECEs, SNAP-Ed and EFNEP implementing agencies will have the resources and support to effectively build wellness cultures that encourage and promote healthy behavior changes through integrated community and public health strategies, including nutrition education, nutrition marketing promotion, in addition to policy, systems and environmental changes.

Regional Centers of Excellence in Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention – National Coordination Center located at the University of Kentucky

RNECE logo


In fiscal year 2014, the USDA established the Regional Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Centers of Excellence (RNECE) to demonstrate the effectiveness of the SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs and to identify changes to improve both programs.  The RNECE will supplement and enhance ongoing program monitoring efforts and evaluation activities to strengthen the evidence-base of SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs by assuring their effectiveness, innovation, replicability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. 

The collaboration between NIFA and FNS has provided funding for one National Coordination Center and four Regional Centers.

AFRI recently released a request for funding that plans to support an additional Regional Center and one Signature Research Project. 

The overarching goal of the RNECE is to improve the health of low-income Americans by fostering a culture of health through multiple strategies, including nutrition education and complementary public health approaches implemented at each level of the socio-ecological framework through policy, systems and environmental changes. 

The work of the RNECE will build the evidence-base for nutrition education and obesity prevention strategies and interventions that produce measurable improvements in health, obesity, nutrition, and physical activity-related outcomes; and develop effective education, extension, environmental, systems and policy translational activities that promote health and prevent/reduce obesity in disadvantaged low-income families and children.  Findings from RNECE will be communicated to all EFNEP and SNAP-Ed implementing agencies, the scientific community and the general public.  Please visit our website to learn more about the work of the Centers of Excellence:  www.rnece-ncc.org.