FoodWIse Program

The FoodWise Program is a federally-funded grant program providing educational programming on nutrition, food safety, and fitness to low-income youth and adults of Marathon County. The goal of the FoodWIse Program of Marathon County is to work in partnership with others to provide nutrition education to limited-income individuals that empower them to make healthy choices that are consistent with the food guide pyramid.

2022 FoodWIse Healthy Eating Series

June – Bursting with Berries

July – Keeping Fresh Food Fresh

August – Spice Up Your Life Beyond Salt and Pepper

September – What’s the Best Fruit/Vegetable?

October – Stretching Your Food Dollars

November – Building a Healthy Meal

December – Bring New Life to Leftovers

Youth Education

School Nutrition ProgramsYouth nutrition education for Wausau School district

One of our biggest program areas is with children in the classroom setting. Currently, we are working with two school districts and seven elementary schools. These schools were targeted for our program based on their percentage of free and reduced-price lunch enrollment.

  • Food, Fun & Fitness Program – This program reaches school children in the elementary setting, grades-kindergarten, second and fourth. The overall program is focused around the three main goals of the USDA’s Team Nutrition Project. The goals are aimed at improving the health of children by empowering them to:
    • choose a variety of foods
    • eat more grains, fruits and vegetables
    • eat a diet lower in fat
  • Help Us Grow (HUG) Program – This program was initiated after various studies reflected poorly on the nutritional status of today’s youth. This school nutrition/gardening program has three goals:
    • increase youth consumption of fruits and vegetables
    • build awareness of where food comes from
    • teach youth how to prepare healthy snacks

Goals are accomplished through nutrition lessons, hands-on food preparation, and indoor/outdoor growing activities.

Summer 4-H Clubs

Low-income, urban youth participate in three summer clubs designed to introduce them to the many opportunities available through 4-H.  FoodWIse teaches weekly lessons in food preparation, nutrition, and healthy snacking.

Other presentations occur at the Marathon County youth shelter home, Children’s Festival, after-school programs, and schools not currently included in our school nutrition program.

Adult Education

Adult education is provided in many ways. Older adults can discover how tasty “heart healthy” cooking can be. Marathon County is home to a large population of Southeast Asians. This provides an excellent opportunity to experience cross-cultural exchanges of foods and ideas for all age groups.

Adult education is provided in many ways in our program. Thousands of Marathon County residents benefit annually from nutrition messages found in our “learn while you wait” brochures and displays. “Learn while you wait” sites including Women, Infants, and Children clinics and various food pantries give us an opportunity to educate adults in the county.

The Family Resource Center offers an additional avenue to educate adults in a classroom setting. Parents learn about basic nutrition and feeding guidelines for children as part of their Learning Essentials About Parenting (LEAP) twelve-week program.


If you have any questions regarding WNEP in Marathon County, please contact:

Kelly Hammond
Healthy Communities Coordinator
Clark, Marathon, Portage, and Wood Counties
Phone: 715-343-6227
  • Work in coordination and collaboration with local agencies, food systems partners, and community residents to plan, implement, and evaluate policy, systems, and environmental change interventions to increase healthy food access and physical activity opportunities for individuals with limited income
  • Focus area includes supporting Farmers Markets and FoodShare (EBT) access, food pantries, and coalition building
Ganou XiongGaonou Thao
FoodWIse Educator
Marathon County UW-Extension
212 River Drive, Suite 3
Wausau, WI 54403-5476
Phone:  715-261-1249
Phone:  800-236-0153
Fax:  715-261-1238
  • Food Preparation, Nutrition, and Food Resource Management Classes for Low-Income Audiences
  • Food, Fun and Fitness School Nutrition Program
  • “Learn While You Wait” Short Nutrition Presentations in Waiting Rooms of Local Social Service Agencies


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