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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 [...]

USDA Partners with DOD to Fight Childhood Obesity

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 1:00pm
Tackling the child obesity epidemic that holds so many health risks for our nation’s youngest members is an important responsibility.  Fortunately, USDA is not alone in this critical charge. Sound nutrition plays an essential role in all aspects of a child’s life, including their ability to learn, grow and thrive in the classroom.  And since [...]

WIC: The Foundation of Healthy Families Since 1974

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 1:00pm
Forty years ago, WIC was established to improve health outcomes for pregnant women, infants and young children.  Today, the program officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, continues to be one of the nation’s most successful, cost-effective and important nutrition intervention programs. USDA’s new infographic demonstrates why WIC Works [...]

How USDA Celebrated National School Lunch Week

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 1:00pm
Last week, USDA celebrated National School Lunch Week from October 12 -18 with exciting local events across the country.  It was a chance for USDA staff to meet with students and hear what they think of the newer, fresher options in the lunch room.  It was also an opportunity for USDA officials to say “thank [...]

Organic 101: “Organic” in the Brand Name…Organic in the Package

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 9:00pm
This is the nineteenth installment of the Organic 101 series that explores different aspects of the USDA organic regulations. When consumers see the word “organic” on a product package or label, they have expectations about what is inside the package.  The National Organic Program (NOP), part of USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), protects the integrity of the organic label by [...]

Happy Birthday! USDA Celebrates WIC Program Anniversary, Accomplishments

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 1:00pm
Birthdays are truly special occasions, celebrating a milestone of achievement. This week, USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (better known as WIC) celebrates the program’s 40th anniversary, highlighting four decades of helping improve the lives of millions of infants and children across America. Since the first WIC clinic opened in Pineville, [...]

Farm to School: The Taste of Washington State

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:00pm
Students at Conway Elementary School, in Mount Vernon, Wash., learned a few things about carrots last week. First, they don’t start out as “babies” in bags; they grow in the ground and have green tops. And second, as the third grade boys can attest, they’re good for an impromptu sword fight. Bugs Bunny likes them [...]

#AgStrong Innovation in Rural America

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:00pm
It takes a lot of hard work to make a living out of farming, to build a thriving agricultural business and it takes ingenuity. This is especially true in rural America, where dedicated farmers and ranchers rely on each other and the communities around them to fuel innovation and create opportunity. From nutritional research to [...]

Schools Have Accepted the New Hampshire Breakfast Challenge

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 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! By Becca Story, Nutrition Specialist for New England Dairy & Food Council More [...]

Whitefish Public Schools Take Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in Stride

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 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! Whitefish Public Schools Food Service Director Jay Stagg started transitioning to more scratch [...]

USDA Seeks Public Feedback on Policies with School Meals Charges

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 1:00pm
Ensuring access to nutritious food for America’s children is a top USDA priority. Our National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) play vital roles to ensure healthy foods are available to our nation’s schoolchildren.  I have dedicated my career to these programs, and strongly believe in the power of their positive influence [...]

Women are the Past, Present and Future of American Agriculture

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 9:00pm
Cross posted from the White House Rural Council blog: From historic homesteaders to contemporary cattle ranchers, women have been the cornerstone of America’s agriculture heritage. We’ve produced food to feed our families, feed our neighbors and to feed the world. The 2012 Census of Agriculture notes that nearly one million women are working America’s lands. [...]

Farm to School: We Are Here to Help!

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 1:00pm
Since the official start of the USDA Farm to School Program, we’ve focused on making sure schools have the tools they need to bring local products into the lunchroom and teach children where their food comes from. As October is National Farm to School Month, it seems an opportune time to take stock of the [...]

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