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Last Published: 12/03/2012
  • July 24 2014
    School meals play a major role in shaping the diets and health of young people. FNS photo. With nearly 31 million students now participating in the National School Lunch Program each day, sound nutrition at school plays an essential role in supporting a healthier next generation.  But when the new standards were developed by pediatricians and other child nutrition experts, USDA was also looking for students to enjoy the healthier offerings they receive. And according to a new report, the majority of our nation’s children are accepting these new school meals.  This great news is part of a...
  • July 18 2014
    AMS Commodity Procurement Program Director Dave Tuckwiller and FNS Food Distribution Division Director Laura Castro talked to conference attendees at the SNA Convention. The convention gave them a chance to get feedback from school foodservice operators, vendors, and industry organizations. I love it when business travel doesn’t feel so much like a commitment as it does an adventure. That’s the feeling I had this year (and every year) as I packed my bag and headed to the School Nutrition Association’s Annual National Convention (SNA-ANC) in Boston, MA. I was eager and anticipated a week...
  • July 16 2014
    Through the CIA Healthy Kids initiative, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) works to provide culinary strategies and resources to school foodservice professionals, to help them continue serving tasty, appealing, nutritious food to our nation's children. Credit: The Culinary Institute of America. In today’s post, Amy Myrdal Miller describes an array of activities being implemented by the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), as part of their broad commitment to child nutrition.  I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the CIA’s school nutrition events over the past few years...
  • July 15 2014
    Cross-posted from the Huffington Post: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled the U.S Department of Agriculture to make historic changes to the meals served in our nation’s schools. Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks sold during the school day are now more nutritious than ever, with less fat and sodium and more whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. For many kids, the meals they get at school may be the only nutritious meals they receive that day — and when children receive proper nourishment, they are not only healthier, but they also have better...
  • July 15 2014
    Next week, I, along with dozens of staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have the pleasure of joining thousands of school nutrition professionals, members of the public health community, and food industry representatives in Boston at the 68th Annual National Conference of the School Nutrition Association (SNA).  This annual event provides an opportunity for stakeholders in the school nutrition community to network, gain ideas, and learn from one another. As a past president of SNA myself, I look forward to this meeting each year.  Being surrounded by dedicated nutrition...
  • July 15 2014
    This summer, USDA is highlighting partnerships to invest in the future of rural America. Our partners work with us year after year to leverage resources and grow economic opportunities. They are the key to ensuring our rural communities thrive. Follow more of our stories on Twitter at @USDA or using the hashtag #RuralPartners. In the battle for our children’s future, one of the most powerful things we can do to protect them is to ensure they get the nutrition they need to learn and grow. Nationwide, 16 million children live in households that have trouble putting food on the table at...
  • July 15 2014
    Cross-posted from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network blog: When you think about organizations engaged in the War on Cancer, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may not be the first that comes to mind. Yet, we are on the front lines of the battle to reduce obesity, a known risk factor for many types of cancer, each and every day. The impact of obesity on future health outlooks is shocking. The American Society of Clinical Oncology estimates that one in three cancer deaths in 2012 were related to obesity, poor nutrition or physical inactivity. In the next...
  • July 10 2014
    Today’s guest post comes from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, an organization that aptly describes itself as “a catalyst for children’s health.” While the Alliance has been active in many settings, we at USDA particularly appreciate the dedication they have shown to improving school nutrition.  In this post, Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO, describes some of the successes that his team has witnessed in school cafeterias. Howell Wechsler, EdD, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Our nation’s students, some of whom consume up to half of their daily calories...
  • July 9 2014
    From left to right: Nevada NRCS employee Consuelo Navar, Supply Clerk, helps preschoolers from One World Children’s Academy plant seeds in the People’s Garden, along with a parent helper. Photo by One World Children’s Academy. It’s never too early to start cultivating a “green thumb,” and a People’s Garden in Reno, Nev. is doing just that. Employees of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently created a new People’s Garden at their office in partnership with One World Children’s Academy, a preschool across the street from the office. NRCS and...
  • July 8 2014
    Rowe with kids and the Power Panther at the PowerHouse Ministries site in Marshall, MO. This spring I had the opportunity to visit several summer feeding sites to witness the efforts of local organizations and states agencies so instrumental in the success of USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.  I had the chance to join our essential partners during summer meals kick-off events throughout the state of Missouri.  It was especially gratifying to meet so many members of highly-engaged communities and the children and teens that benefit from their support. During my May visit, I was honored to...

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