University of Minnesota cuts Extension nutrition educators

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, November 19, 2013

MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Minnesota is cutting staff in a federally funded program that teaches low-income Minnesotans about healthy eating.

The university said Monday that the program will lose 67 of its 152 employees early next year as a result of federal budget cuts.

University of Minnesota Extension Dan Bev Durgan said until now, the program has sent nutrition educators to virtually every county in Minnesota to work in schools, food shelves and senior citizen centers.

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But the cutbacks mean only 45 educators will be left to cover Minnesota’s 87 counties.

Durgan said the program will have fewer people “to serve the needs of the state.”

Under the changes, the program will shed just over 40 percent of its positions, including supervisors and support staff.