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Dallas Schools Look to Source School Meals within the State of Texas

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/24/2013 - 3:44pm
This post was written by USDA Farm to School Grantee Dallas Independent School District (ISD). Last November, the district became one of a cohort of 32 schools and districts across the country using USDA funds to spend a year planning a robust farm to school program, embedding best practices from the very start, and learning [...]

Lower-fat French Fries? You Bet!

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:57pm
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 USDA’s rich science and research portfolio. Americans love, love, love their spuds:  In 2010, per capita consumption of potatoes in the U.S. hit almost 114 pounds, according to USDA’s Economic [...]

Nationwide Census on Farm to School Activities Shows Promising Results

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 10/22/2013 - 2:57pm
When students have experiences such as tending a school garden or visiting a farm they’ll be more likely to make healthy choices in the cafeteria. And when schools invest their food dollars in their local communities, all of agriculture benefits, including local farmers, ranchers, fishermen, food processors and manufacturers. Good news: these healthy habits are taking [...]

Taste “Tests” at School Introduce Kids to Healthy Choices

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 10/18/2013 - 1:33pm
I don’t know how many times I’ve told my children, “Go on, give it a try,” or, “Try it, you might like it.” Tired as those two phrases might be, they’re true. How do you know if you like something if you’ve never tried it? And when it comes to leafy green vegetables and third [...]

Cheney Public Schools Puts USDA Planning Grant to Work

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 10/17/2013 - 7:15pm
Cheney Public Schools (CPS) is a 7-school district in rural eastern Washington State. Of the 4,135 students who attend CPS, more than 2,000 are eligible for free and reduced price school lunch, and more than 30 percent are obese. Several years ago, realizing the need to improve child nutrition, the district began to take some [...]

USDA’s Iftar Dinner Reflects a Common Calling – Rebuilding and Strengthening Communities in Need

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 09/30/2013 - 1:03pm
As Hunger Action Month comes to a close, I am reminded of an employee event we held last month in honor of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. For many followers of the Islamic faith, the month of Ramadan – known as a time of fasting and sacrifice – is also a time of reflection.  [...]

When Schools Improve Meals, Positive Results Follow

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 09/30/2013 - 1:03pm
The last few years have seen significant improvements to the health of the school environment.  Schools across the country are increasing their efforts to prevent childhood obesity by serving healthier school meals providing more time for physical activity, and helping kids learn about proper nutrition.  It’s clear that the new, healthier school meals implemented last [...]

Organic International – Opening New Markets for American Organic Producers

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 09/26/2013 - 5:41pm
Today, we celebrate a historical announcement in the global organic community – beginning in 2014 organic products certified in Japan or in the U.S. may be sold as organic in either country. The United States has trade arrangements with several nations to facilitate the global exchange of organic products. This particular partnership will streamline access [...]

Food Safety and Chicken Served in the National School Lunch Program

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:24pm
In response to a recent report about chicken served in the National School Lunch Program, I wanted to provide some clarification.  Food safety is one of our highest priorities, and USDA is committed to ensuring that food served through the National School Lunch Program is both healthy and safe. Schools that participate in the National [...]

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with MiPlato

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:12am
Para la versión en español de este blog, por favor visite: National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated annually from September 15th to October 15th, pays tribute to the history, culture and traditions of Americans with Hispanic ancestry. To celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month and increase awareness about MiPlato – the Spanish complement to MyPlate – [...]

Celebre el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana con MiPlato

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 09/25/2013 - 11:12am
For an English version of this blog, please click here: Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, se celebra cada año del 15 setiembre al 15 de octubre, para rendir tributo a la historia, cultura y tradiciones de los Estado Unidenses de origen Hispano. El USDA a través del Centro de Políticas y Promoción de [...]

Now That’s Special: USDA Program Fuels Economic Development

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 09/24/2013 - 4:55pm
“Specialty crops”—the label may sound like exotic foods or something reserved for a special occasion, but this area of agriculture represents more than half the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Defined as fruits and veggies, tree nuts, herbs, dried fruit, decorative plants and flowers, these crops are not only a key component of [...]

Healthy School Meals in Their Own Words

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 09/13/2013 - 2:43pm
Schools across the country are telling us that they are successfully serving healthy, delicious breakfasts and lunches to students. But how do the students and staff feel about the changes? We interviewed students and staff at Bondurant-Farrar School District outside of Des Moines, Iowa to get their take on the new meals. Lexi Atzen, a senior at [...]

New Campaign – Water: You Are What You Drink

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 09/12/2013 - 8:40pm
Today the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) along with their Honorary Chair, First Lady Michelle Obama, launched a campaign encouraging Americans to drink more water more often. The ‘Water: You Are What You Drink’ campaign is a collaboration between PHA and stakeholders across the public and private sectors. The initiative brings together leaders from [...]

Hunger Knows No Season

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 09/10/2013 - 2:20pm
There is no “off-season” for the nearly 15% of people in this country facing hunger. Although demand remains high all year round, many of the nation’s food banks experience a major decline in donations during the summer months. USDA programs, however, work year-round to help those affected by hunger. Through The Emergency Food Assistance Program [...]

Our Nation’s Schools are Trending toward a Healthier School Day

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 09/09/2013 - 8:17pm
Schools, teachers and school nutrition professionals across the nation are working hard to make the school day healthier. According to a new study by the CDC, schools across the nation are embracing healthier policies, such as increased physical education, reducing kids’ exposure to tobacco, and of course, improving the nutrition environment at schools.   Children who [...]

Partnering with Cooperative Extension to Support Farm to School

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 09/05/2013 - 1:47pm
Kids are headed back to school and so are county Extension agents. As schools continue to teach kids where their food comes from and bring local and regional products into the school cafeteria, one group they may want to partner with on their farm to school activities is their local or regional Cooperative Extension office. [...]

Calling All Ag Supporters: Tell us What’s at Stake Without #MyFarmBill

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 09/04/2013 - 7:44pm
At USDA, we remain committed to sharing with all Americans the need for a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill to keep up momentum in American agriculture, grow the rural economy and create jobs.  And today, we launched Instagram, @USDAgov, to highlight photos and videos from around the country that bring into your home the [...]

Reach Your Goals: Start with a Healthy Breakfast

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 08/29/2013 - 7:12pm
At a very early age, I learned about the value of healthy eating. By the time I was 11 years old and training daily as a gymnast, I knew that eating right would help me achieve my goals. The goals I had for health, athletics, and academic performance were all tied to eating nutritious foods, [...]

Celebrate Labor Day with a MyPlate Picnic

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 08/29/2013 - 1:10pm
A picnic is an easy and relaxing holiday activity. USDA’s MyPlate resources can help take the “labor” out of your Labor Day picnic. You can enjoy an easy, healthy meal by following this simple MyPlate formula: 5 food groups + family and friends = fun! When planning your picnic, be sure to include more healthful [...]