Fresh Conversations is a nutrition education program for Maryland's older adults. In Maryland, the program is administered by the University of Maryland Extension faculty and Fresh Conversations Certified Trainers. Maryland older adults receiving services from the local senior centers or sites where they congregate under Area Agencies on Aging are eligible to participate in the program. The Iowa Department of Public Health created Fresh Conversations in partnership with Iowa’s Department of Human Services and Department on Aging. Original funding for the program came from USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Program or SNAP.

This monthly program offers an array of nutrition, wellness, and health-related topics to older adults at senior centers and sites where they congregate. The sessions are filled with interactive activities, lively discussions, tasting opportunities, and physical activity demonstrations. Each month, participants will receive a vibrantly colored newsletter featuring relevant research-based health information, physical activity tips, mind-stimulating games, easy low-cost recipes, and an area to write down and track goals.

University of Maryland Extension (UME) Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) is a unit within University of Maryland Extension that focuses on strengthening families, farms, communities, and the economy by translating the latest research into non-formal, community-based education. Family & Consumer Sciences faculty serve as the vital link in connecting the expertise and resources of University of Maryland to residents in all 23 Maryland counties and Baltimore City. We work collaboratively, internally and externally, to address critical and important issues facing Marylanders as they cope with social, economic, environmental, and technological changes. The focus of our work centers on healthy living and economic success.

2021 Program Topics
  • Healthy Foods, Healthy Brain 
  • Inflammation
  • Cancer: Preventable, Not Inevitable
  • Macular Degeneration: Sight-Saving Strategies
  • Are Healthy Bones Important?
  • Fuel Your Independence with Protein
  • Fresh Herbs: Don’t Miss Out on Summer Flavor
  • Summer Check-Up  

Fresh Conversations Program Impacts

2019 Fresh Conversations Program Impact

In 2019, the UME-FCS team facilitated Fresh Conversations at 44 senior centers and other senior serving sites. The program was implemented in 19 counties and Baltimore City in Maryland. Educators facilitated a total of 288 sessions and made 2,836 educational contacts. 


2020 Fresh Conversations Program Impact

In 2020, the UME-FCS team facilitated 57 online sessions with 619 older adults in attendance using the Zoom platform. 


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