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Farmers Markets and SNAP – A Win-Win for All

USDA FNS Blog - 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

USDA FNS Blog - 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

USDA FNS Blog - 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

USDA FNS Blog - 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

USDA FNS Blog - 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 [...]

Building a Better Future for our Children

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 08/03/2015 - 5:00pm
We know that making sure our children have access to a good education and nutritious food helps put them on a path to success. Building a strong foundation for our nation’s youth means ensuring they have all the tools in place to grow up healthy and strong. However, too many American children live in households [...]

On the Road in Santa Fe – Saluting Farmers Markets All the Way

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 07/31/2015 - 5:00pm
Greetings from New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment!  I’m here at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, where local farmers and ranchers have come together to sell their goods to the community for more than 50 years.  This popular farmers market started with just a handful of growers and now has more than 100 vendors, more [...]

Celebrating the Blueberry’s 100th Birthday

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 5:00pm
They often say big things come in small packages. That is the case for the highbush blueberry, a fruit that is only small in stature. July is National Blueberry Month and people all over the world are busy enjoying blueberry-inspired fruit salads, smoothies, and other refreshing foods. In addition to this month-long celebration, blueberry fans [...]

#USDARoadTrip: USDA Innovates to Meet Your Needs

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 5:00pm
USDA is in the solutions business. And now more than ever, we’re committed to working beside farmers, ranchers, rural businesses and partners to find innovative and collaborative solutions that meet the ever-evolving interests of the American people. This week, as part of our USDA summer road trip, we’ll take you through a few of our [...]

Reach Your Goal Weight Your Way with the NIH Body Weight Planner and USDA’s SuperTracker

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 07/20/2015 - 5:00pm
Many people want to do a better job managing their weight but aren’t sure how. Whether you’re trying to maintain your weight, lose weight, or gain weight it can be challenging to figure out how to get started. USDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) teamed up to bring you a simple new tool [...]

Kids’ “State Dinner”: Celebrating Healthy Cooking at the White House

USDA FNS Blog - Fri, 07/17/2015 - 5:00pm
Don’t let the name fool you; attending the Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House is an exciting experience for both kids and adults alike.  As a nutritionist with the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, I had the privilege of being both a judge and an attendee for the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a [...]

“Hot & Cold” Music, Food and Fun on the Menu for July 17th USDA Farmers Market at Night

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 5:00pm
If you’re in the Washington, DC-area on Friday, July 17, join us between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. outside USDA Headquarters at 12th and Independence Avenue, S.W., near the Smithsonian Metro stop.  Bring your dancing shoes, friends and appetite.  We’ll be holding the third in a series of 6 monthly USDA Farmers Market at Night. [...]

Second Morrill Act Redux: America’s 1890s Land Grant Universities Academic Excellence

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 07/15/2015 - 5:00pm
Booker T. Washington.  George Washington Carver.  Educators par excellence.  Pioneers in food and agricultural scientific research. Dedicated their lives to helping “lift the veil of ignorance” by bringing knowledge to African-Americans and others with limited resources. For 125 years, since passage of the Second Morrill Act on Aug. 30, 1890, which created a “broader education [...]

Reducing Sodium, Boosting Health for our Nation’s Schoolchildren

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 5:00pm
Reducing sodium in school meals is an important part of a broader effort to scale back sodium intake for all Americans.  To that end, our nation’s school nutrition professionals are actively working to lower the sodium content in our children’s meals during the school day.  Many schools have already achieved USDA’s sodium targets, thanks to [...]

New Resource Provides A Key to Unlock Tips on Healthy Aging

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 07/13/2015 - 5:00pm
Just in time for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health,  are co-publishing a new resource, “Choosing Healthy Meals as You Get Older: 10 Healthy Eating Tips for People Age 65+” to provide practical advice [...]

A Case Study in Wellness at PS 145 – Supporting Schools and Supporting Nutrition Standards

USDA FNS Blog - Thu, 07/09/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog, part of our Cafeteria Stories series, highlights the work of Wellness in the Schools, a non-profit organization working on school nutrition in New York City.  Organizations such as this can be a great resource for teachers and students in creating healthier school environments. By Chef Greg Silverman, Managing Director, Wellness in [...]

Tapping into the Economic Potential of Local Food Through Local Foods, Local Places

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 9:00pm
Cross-posted from the White House Rural Council blog: At USDA, we understand the enormous market potential of local food. Industry estimates suggest that local food sales in America have nearly doubled in recent years, jumping from $5 billion in 2008 to $11.7 billion in 2014. We’ve invested more than $800 million in 29,100 local and [...]

New Web Application Helps Families Find Summer Meals in Their Communities

USDA FNS Blog - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 1:00pm
USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, a federally-funded, state-administered program, last year served more than 187 million meals to children in low-income areas to ensure that they continued to receive proper nutrition throughout the summer when schools were closed. But that number represents just a small fraction of the children who are eligible to receive summer [...]

Urban Garden Tackles Hunger, Boosts Nutrition

USDA FNS Blog - Tue, 06/30/2015 - 1:00pm
One high tunnel can’t feed the world, but it can make a world of difference in providing fresh fruits and vegetables to those with limited access to healthy foods. These plastic covered structures use natural sunlight to create more favorable conditions for vegetables and specialty crops. And for the 31st Street Baptist Church in Richmond, Va., [...]

Team Up for School Nutrition Success

USDA FNS Blog - Mon, 06/29/2015 - 1:00pm
The following guest blog highlights the important work of our partner the American Heart Association. The association is a tireless advocate for supporting nutritious options in all environments, including the workplace, grocery stores, restaurants, and schools.  AHA recently participated in USDA’s Team Up for School Nutrition Success initiative, connecting them with school nutrition professionals and [...]