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Secretary’s Column: Celebrating Our Nation’s Agricultural Abundance this Thanksgiving

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 11/26/2014 - 1:00pm
Thanksgiving is a celebration of the harvest and the abundance of food we are able to share with our friends and family. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to thank the farmers and ranchers who make our nation’s agricultural abundance possible. Without them, the safe, abundant and affordable food we’ll put on our tables at Thanksgiving [...]

Thanksgiving Is a Great Time to Start Reducing Food Waste with Friends & Family

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:00pm
Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate all that is good in our lives and to spend it in the company of friends and family while enjoying great food.  It is also a time to reflect on the bounty of our food supply.  Each year, as I put away the leftovers from my Thanksgiving dinner, I [...]

Circle of Nations School Promotes Healthier Lifestyles for Their Children

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:00pm
In November, USDA pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans by observing Native American Heritage Month.  Today, an important part of Native American culture includes working towards a healthier lifestyle for Native American people.  The following guest blog demonstrates the wide range of efforts that tribes are making to support a [...]

Healthy and Happy Students in D.C. Public Schools

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog is part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals who are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country.  We thank them for sharing their stories! To learn more about FNS nutrition assistance efforts, follow us on twitter at [...]

USDA’s What’s Cooking website serves up cost effective, healthy recipes

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 1:00pm
The busy holiday season has begun and families everywhere are starting to plan ahead.  If you’re looking for easy to make, nutritious family meals that you can cook quickly on a tight budget, USDA is here to help with a new web tool, called What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl. As Americans prepare for the annual [...]

The Many Reasons USDA is Celebrating 50 Years of SNAP

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 9:00pm
Half a century ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act of 1964, making the Food Stamp Program (FSP), which at the time was a series of pilot projects, permanent. Despite the post-World War II economic boom felt by many Americans, some rural and urban areas of the country experienced extreme poverty as [...]

Giving Thanks to Local Farmers

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 1:00pm
On Thanksgiving, friends, families and communities come together across America to give thanks and celebrate the autumn harvest.  I love the opportunity to reflect on all that I am grateful for, including the  hard-working farmers and ranchers who provide the delicious and nutritious food for the Thanksgiving table.  I also enjoy making my favorite traditional [...]

Connecting Schoolchildren to Healthy Food Choices

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 11/14/2014 - 1:00pm
Last month, schools all across the nation celebrated National School Lunch Week, honoring the importance of healthy meals to education.  I was able to join in one of these celebrations right here in the national Capital area, and the great things I saw at Takoma Park (Md.) Middle School are still fresh in my mind. [...]

USDA and Partners Build a Healthier Next Generation!

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 9:00pm
As schools continue to move forward with serving healthier meals to tens of millions of our nation’s school children, there is a natural need for a model of sharing best practices. To provide that support, our partner, the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI), will pilot the Team Up For Success Training Initiative in the [...]

Excellence in Taste and Flavor: American Kobe-Style Beef

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 9:00pm
When consumers hear the term Kobe, the first thought that comes to mind is typically not a city in Japan, but rather a juicy steak right off the grill.  Kobe beef is globally renowned for its rich flavor, juiciness, and tenderness or high marbling content.  Kobe beef is cuts of beef from the Tajima strain [...]

Helping Rhode Island Students Fuel Up to Succeed with Breakfast

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog is part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals who are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country.  We thank them for sharing their stories! By Jane Q Vergnani, Nutrition Specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council [...]

Community Eligibility Provision First Step to Universal School Meals in Vermont

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog was submitted by Alida Duncan of the anti-hunger advocacy organization, Hunger Free Vermont. The implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) by many state partners across the country means that more students have access to free healthy meals at school.  This policy can reduce food insecurity for the nearly 16 million [...]

WIC: Improving the Nutrition and Health of Families’ for Forty Years

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 1:00pm
For 40 years, WIC has been improving health outcomes for pregnant women, infants and young children.  Today, we are celebrating this important milestone by visiting the first WIC clinic in America to distribute WIC benefits, officially known as the Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants, and Children.  Check out the video below to meet the [...]

Getting Students Involved in Wellness

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 11/07/2014 - 1:00pm
Today’s Cafeteria Stories contribution comes from Dr. Robert Lewis of the El Monte School District in Southern California.  Dr. Lewis describes the success that his urban school district has had with involving students in wellness.  His district currently has 14 schools with Silver HealthierUS School Challenge awards. Guest post by Dr. Robert S. Lewis, SNS, [...]

Donating Wholesome Unsold Food

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 9:00pm
14.3% of American households found it difficult to put food on the table at some time in 2013, yet 31% of food at the consumer and retail level goes uneaten (USDA ERS).  Of the estimated 133 billion pounds of food that goes uneaten every year, much of it is perfectly safe and nutritious and could [...]

Collier County, Florida, Features Highly Successful Farm to School Program

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 1:00pm
Throughout the Southeast, school districts are coming up with innovative ways to promote farm to school efforts. Farm to school programs engage students, teachers, and communities on the importance of healthier eating habits, local food systems, and provide nutritional education that stimulates the mind and has a lasting effect. Increasing awareness about Farm to School [...]

Meeting to Make a Difference in USDA’s Food Purchasing Programs

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 11/04/2014 - 1:00pm
When you’re a contract specialist with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), you’re part of a Commodity Procurement team that purchases 1.7 billion pounds of commodities a year to support domestic agriculture. You’re part of a network- which also includes the Food and Nutrition Service, the Farm Service Agency, and hundreds of American agricultural producers, processors, [...]

Willow Cove Elementary Brings the Classroom Outside

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog is part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlighting the efforts of hard working school nutrition professionals who are dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice at schools across the country.  We thank them for sharing their stories! “My carrot is burnt!” exclaimed a Willow Cove Elementary student in February, when [...]

New Day, Same Mission: The Evolution of SNAP

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/30/2014 - 1:00pm
This fall, USDA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Food Stamp Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, which made the Food Stamp Program permanent.  In looking back over the past 50 years, there are two notable events in the program’s history that had a significant impact on the transformation [...]

‘Dig In to Local School Meals;’ Maine Celebrates Farm to School with Local Harvest Week Menu Competition

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 10/29/2014 - 1:00pm
Celebratory events in recognition of National Farm to School Month are taking place across the country, and in many forms! Here in the Northeast, the Maine Department of Education chose to develop and execute their first ever Maine Harvest Lunch Week Menu Contest. Schools were invited to submit a menu from a meal that was [...]

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