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Innovative Approach to Feeding At-Risk Children during Summer Shines in Florida

Thu, 05/15/2014 - 5:35pm
With summer approaching, many of our nation’s students will soon be out of school enjoying their break.  However, too many of these children may miss out on a meal they normally would receive through USDA’s school meals programs.  Thanks to an innovative approach, Florida’s at-risk children can now have meals brought to them through the [...]

Cinco de Mayo Event Offers an Opportunity to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

Wed, 05/14/2014 - 11:25am
In celebration of Cinco de Mayo last week, we here at the Food and Nutrition Service had the chance to participate in the 22nd National Cinco de Mayo Festival® Latinos Living Healthy Feria de Salud, sponsored by the League of Latino American Citizens (LULAC). The exciting event, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., [...]

USDA’s Innovative Technology Streamlines Federal Food Purchasing Logistics

Fri, 05/09/2014 - 5:02pm
Logistics is not just a fancy buzz word; it is the oil that keeps the engine of an interconnected global market running smoothly. For U.S. food purchasing agencies, logistics means ordering, procuring, and delivering nearly 8.5 billion pounds of domestically-produced foods by successfully awarding nearly $3 billion in contracts during the last fiscal year. It [...]

California Food for California Kids, Especially on Thursdays

Wed, 05/07/2014 - 10:48am
I collect aprons like other people collect coins. There are dozens hanging in my kitchen, so many I suspect several have never actually been used. So it was with some self-consciousness that I accepted yet another apron last fall from the Center for Ecoliteracy. The Center was handing out hundreds of aprons to California school [...]

The Heroism of Fostering a Healthier Next Generation

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:46pm
Cross posted from the Huffington Post: As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Nowhere is this more evident than in our nation’s schools. Each day, millions of America’s young people are educated, fed and nurtured in these academic “villages.” A crucial aspect of each child’s education is learning how to [...]

Developing National Dietary Guidance for the Birth to 24 Months Age Group

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:46pm
Good nutrition is vital to optimal infant and toddler growth, development, and health. The importance of this age group has been emphasized by First Lady Michelle Obama, who said that “If our kids get into the habit of getting up and playing, if their palates warm up to veggies at an early age, and if [...]

School Nutrition Professionals – Our Everyday Heroes

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 10:21am
As the school year begins to wind down, let’s take time to acknowledge the unsung heroes in our nation’s school cafeterias.  School nutrition employees contribute greatly to a child’s short- and long-term health and academic success, but their contributions often go without recognition.  Today is School Lunch Hero Day, and next week (May 5-9) is [...]

FNS Uses Research to Protect Taxpayer Dollars

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 10:09am
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine, while ensuring that our program are effective and well managed. For Federal nutrition assistance programs to succeed over the [...]

Expanding Opportunities for Small-Scale Beef Producers

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 4:05pm
Sometimes big things come in small packages.  At USDA, we provide programs and services to producers of all sizes – and now we’re offering even more to small-scale and local beef producers.  Many small-scale producers are contributing to the growth of the grass-fed beef industry.  And, thanks to a new program tailored to meet their [...]

USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Library: Answering Food and Nutrition Questions with Systematic Reviews

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 3:58pm
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine, such as laying the foundation for evidence-based food and nutrition policies and programs by compiling and reviewing the best [...]

How Research Shapes Vital Nutrition Programs

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 9:20pm
During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA researchers are improving the lives of Americans in ways you might never imagine, such as using research to inform policy decisions about our nutrition assistance programs, which reach 1 in 4 Americans. [...]

Experience Earth Day with USDA

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 3:03pm
Earth Day is a reminder that some of our best moments can be spent in the great outdoors. Getting outside is one of the best ways to feel re-invigorated, whether on a short hike to the Crags Trail on Pike National Forest or on a longer exploration of the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail, which winds through [...]

Farm Bill Listening Session: New and Expanding Opportunities for the Organic Industry

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:45pm
Organic agriculture serves as an engine for rural development, representing a $35 billion industry in the United States alone. USDA is committed to protecting the integrity of organic products, and ensuring that all of our agencies work together to help the organic sector continue to grow. Members of the organic community are important partners in [...]

Secretary’s Column: Farm Bill Supports Specialty Crop Growers, Improves Access to Healthy Food

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:45pm
The 2014 Farm Bill has already set in motion and accomplished so much for our country. With historic support for specialty crop producers across the country, the bill will touch every one of our lives through one of the most basic of human needs: food. Specialty crops make up the bulk of what we eat—all [...]

Local Combines with American Grown

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 2:33pm
Quickly assembling tortilla wraps for hungry students is a hard job. I learned this first hand recently at Stone Spring Elementary in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Mary Lou, Ott and Jean, the cafeteria staff responsible for preparing and serving school meals every day, took control of the kitchen, quickly assembling 300 turkey wraps while I clumsily tried [...]

Where Do Kids Eat When School is out in Summer? FNS Partners with the Department of Education to Find Solutions

Fri, 04/11/2014 - 2:06pm
As we approach the summer season, USDA is vigorously preparing to fill the nutrition gap faced by millions of kids across the country. While 21 million of our sons and daughters receive free and reduced-priced lunches during the school year, only a small percentage participate in the summer meals programs, leaving too many of our [...]

Farmers Market Managers: Update or Add Your Listing to the National Directory

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 7:24pm
Located in Virginia’s horse country, just an hour outside of Washington, DC, is the historic town of Middleburg. Deeply embedded in the town’s roots is a vibrant agricultural sector that is the driving force behind this small community’s success. Each Saturday morning from the spring through the fall, you can find a variety of fresh [...]

Secretary’s Column: USDA Science You Can See

Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:44pm
While most people have a mental image of research that involves scientists in lab coats, bubbling test tubes and beakers, and technical language that can seem complex, much of the groundbreaking research conducted by USDA scientists actually ends up on your plate, in your home, or on your back. Their discoveries in the lab truly [...]

Coming Together to Improve Human Nutrition

Tue, 04/01/2014 - 6:28pm
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. During the month of April we will take a closer look at USDA’s Groundbreaking Research for a Revitalized Rural America, highlighting ways USDA [...]

MyPlate On Rutgers Campus

Mon, 03/31/2014 - 6:23pm
The MyPlate On Campus initiative, USDA’s effort to promote healthy eating on college campuses nationwide through peer-to-peer education, launched 1 year ago. In that time, nearly 2,000 students, representing all 50 states, have joined the cause by becoming MyPlate On Campus Ambassadors. It has been exciting to watch it grow and see the creative ways [...]

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