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Updated: 2 hours 56 min ago

What’s Shaking in School Meals?

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 5:00pm
What’s shaking in USDA’s school meals programs?  Delicious and nutritious food, that’s what!  Healthy food does not have to be bland or boring.  There’s more to creating a tasty meal than just dousing food in dressing or layering on salty sauces.  It’s easy to make your dish pop without adding excess sodium.  Many schools around [...]

“Fuel Up to Play 60″ Has Game Plan to Supercharge School Fitness and Nutrition

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 5:00pm
Meet Jack, a sixth-grader who is eager to become a school nutrition and fitness game changer. He is one of nearly 20,000 student ambassadors with Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), a program launched by the National Dairy Council (NDC) and National Football League (NFL) in collaboration with USDA. FUTP 60 empowers youth like [...]

USDA’s National Agricultural Library Launches New Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection

Fri, 08/21/2015 - 5:00pm
USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL) has launched a fascinating online collection of historical diet and nutrition publications issued by the U.S. Government. The Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection (HDGDC) combines more than 900 documents representing over 100 years of history. Through this digital collection, users can explore the evolution of American food, diet and nutrition, [...]

Seminole Sprint Puts the FUN back in Fundraising

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 5:00pm
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 Tom Adam, Physical Education Teacher and Wellness Champion at Spout Springs School of [...]

USDA Wants YOU to Serve on a Board, Committee or Council

Thu, 08/20/2015 - 5:00pm
Why does someone choose to serve on a USDA board?  To find out, we asked several members of one important board that very question. The Peanut Standards Board, which is overseen by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), was created by Congress to establish quality and handling standards for peanuts sold in the marketplace. Peanuts are [...]

School Meals Seasoned with Cultural Flavors

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 5:00pm
The things that make our country so great and special can be found in the diversity of the people, their ideas, and their culture. One of the ways culture is expressed is through the foods we eat. Our nation’s school meals should be no exception. More than 30 million children receive at least one nutritious [...]

USDA Agencies Lead Local Food Discussion in Omaha

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 5:00pm
I was thrilled to join USDA colleagues at the first-of-its-kind “Local Foods for Local Tables” conference in Omaha, Neb., on Friday, Aug. 14, 2015.  USDA Rural Development (RD) State Director Maxine Moul and the office of Congressman Brad Ashford led the effort to bring together groups and community members with the common goal of promoting [...]

Community Eligibility: A Win-Win for Schools and Families in the Fight against Childhood Hunger

Wed, 08/19/2015 - 5:00pm
Every day, millions of students across the U.S. walk into school with stomachs growling because they haven’t had enough to eat either that morning or the night before and eagerly anticipate getting a school breakfast.  Hours later, when the lunch bell rings, the same students jet to the front of the line to make sure [...]

USDA Training Benefits Child Nutrition Program, Increases Access to Healthy Meals

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog highlights the important work of one of our nation’s many hardworking child nutrition professionals.  As a recent participant in USDA’s Team Up for School Nutrition Success Initiative, Thomas J. Smith learned about best practices, strategies and resources to ensure healthy meals are provided to his schools’ most needy students. By Thomas [...]

Blending Up New Ways for Kids to Enjoy School Meals

Tue, 08/18/2015 - 5:00pm
Sometimes the right blend can change your perception. One of our industry research and promotion programs is remixing school meal items to help change students’ preconceptions and get them to eat healthy foods. The Mushroom Council helped out on this front in a number of ways. The Council, which is overseen by our agency – [...]

Back to School, Back to Healthier School Meals

Mon, 08/17/2015 - 5:00pm
It’s hard to believe the start of the school year is right around the corner. It feels like just yesterday the final bell rang, and students exchanged their pens and pencils for swim trunks and sunglasses. But it’s time for students, teachers and other school staff to get ready for the year ahead, and that [...]

Partners Make Access to Meals for Children Possible Year Round in Kentucky

Fri, 08/14/2015 - 5:00pm
Kids in bright summer play clothes come running with smiles and laughter as the white cargo van rolls to a stop near a playground and the rear doors swing open. No, it’s not the ice cream truck. It is something better – the lunch ladies from Kentucky Communities Economic Opportunity Council (KCEOC) Community Action Center [...]

Farm to Preschool Helps Healthy Habits Take Root Early

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 5:00pm
“May I have more kale chips, please?” asked a four-year old preschooler during one of my first site visits as farm to school lead for the Food and Nutrition Service’s Western Region. The preschoolers I was visiting grew and harvested the kale themselves a few feet beyond their classroom door and were enjoying the crisp [...]

Tackling Rural Child Poverty In Southwest Georgia

Thu, 08/13/2015 - 9:00am
In late July, I was thrilled to visit with leaders from across southwest Georgia, including my hometown of Camilla, to discuss how USDA can support their work on the ground tackling issues relating to rural child poverty. In Georgia, the poverty rate is 19 percent, and for children, it’s a staggering 27 percent. In Dougherty [...]

Listening and Learning From Local Food Stakeholders in New Mexico

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:00pm
As part of National Farmers Market Week, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Administrator Anne L. Alonzo and I traveled to New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment. The bustling Santa Fe Farmers Market was the perfect place to kick off the week! While there, we also traveled to the beautiful countryside and met with key local [...]

Farmers Markets and SNAP – A Win-Win for All

Fri, 08/07/2015 - 5:00pm
Farmers markets create the ultimate win-win-win scenario. They provide consumers access to locally grown fruits, vegetables, and other foods, while also giving farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers. Just ask executive director Jerry Lami who manages the West Coast Farmers Market Association. Mr. Lami knows firsthand the positive developments that [...]

Ensuring Program Integrity in the WIC Program

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 5:00pm
For more than 40 years, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has provided supplemental foods and nutrition services vital to the health and nutrition of vulnerable moms, newborns and young children. And throughout those four decades, we’ve had a long-standing history of working with WIC state agencies to ensure program [...]

Healthy Babies Grow Up To Be Healthier Kids

Tue, 08/04/2015 - 5:00pm
WIC works.  But don’t just take it from us.  For more than four decades, WIC has helped produce better pregnancy results, such as increased birth weights and fewer premature births for our nation’s most vulnerable.  And it’s these critical outcomes at the start of life that shape a healthier future for millions of the program’s [...]

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week with the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 5:00pm
Fighting hunger and improving the health of those who receive nutrition assistance can require creative measures.  So as we celebrate USDA’s 16th annual National Farmers Market Week (August 2 -8), it’s important to remember the multitude of benefits farmers markets can offer our nation’s struggling families. These days, low-income mothers can more easily access fresh [...]

WIC Works: Promoting Breastfeeding & Keeping Mothers & Babies Healthy

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 5:00pm
Throughout August, we will be sharing stories and resources on the importance of a healthy start for our children and families. The following guest blog highlights the important work of our partner the American Academy of Pediatrics. The association is dedicated to the health and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. In honor [...]