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Last Published: 12/03/2012
  • March 21 2014
    New foodservice equipment makes preparing and serving healthier meals easier and more efficient for hardworking school food service professionals. Each and every school day, over 30 million children participate in USDA’s school meals programs; many of these children consume two or more of their daily meals at school.  There’s no denying that school food plays a critical role in children’s diets, and USDA takes this responsibility very seriously.  We are committed to doing our part to ensure a healthier next generation! Given public concern about our children’s current and future health, USDA...
  • March 21 2014
    The Produce Safety University is a collaborative effort between AMS, FNS, and local schools. The training teaches school foodservice personnel things like how to safely handle, prepare, and store fresh fruits and vegetables. USDA photo by Christopher Purdy. Healthy eating plus physical fitness equals a positive lifestyle. It is a concept that has been talked about for years. Fruits and vegetables are an integral part of the equation and a corner stone for National Nutrition Month. Through a number of services, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) ensures that fresh, high-quality...
  • March 21 2014
    This article was originally posted on ServiceNation.org. Read the original here. As Secretary of Agriculture, I take USDA’s nickname of the “People’s Department”—first coined by President Abraham Lincoln—to heart. Over the past five years, we have worked hard to build upon our tradition of service to the American people, supporting both the farmers and ranchers who grow our food and giving American families confidence that the food they buy at the grocery store is safe, healthy and affordable. We could not accomplish our mission without the contributions of partner organizations and...
  • March 20 2014
    The WIC program helps ensure that every American child has the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong. As National Nutrition Month hits its stride, USDA is excited to announce more evidence that the WIC program is building a healthier future for our nation’s youngest and most vulnerable.  A new USDA study finds that the program continues to serve a high percentage of those who qualify, providing them the nutritional access and resources necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Officially known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, WIC offers an important...
  • March 20 2014
    US Department of Agriculture’s mobile Discovery Zone is a hands-on vehicle that travels the nation educating children and parents about the four main principals of home food safety – clean, separate, cook and chill. For more information see www.fsis.usda.gov/foodsafetymobile/ The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) ensures that America’s meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe and wholesome. Educating the public on proper food handling practices is a core agency mission as well. It’s even more important when one considers the impact safe food handling practices have on...
  • March 19 2014
    USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Audrey Rowe wants to make sure that children and teens have access to healthy meals in and out of school. When school lets out, millions of children look forward to camps, pools, and blockbuster movies.  However, many children will also experience hunger.  When school is in session, low-income students receive free or reduced-price school meals that help families stretch their food budget.  When the school year ends, those school meals are no longer available to those students and some families will struggle to fill this gap. We here at the USDA...
  • March 19 2014
    PSU students interact with a local farmer during one of the program’s field trips. Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children.  To reinforce that value, USDA is constantly working to ensure that kids are only being served safe, high quality meals.   That’s why we launched Produce Safety University (PSU) in 2010, to address the food safety issues related to fresh produce, particularly as it pertains to school food service. A joint venture between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and the Agricultural Marketing Service, PSU conducts five week-long classes each...
  • March 19 2014
    On March 7, 2014, students at J.C. Nalle Elementary School sampled three different kinds of spinach. After the taste test, they cast their vote to decide which type they like best. The winner? Spinach salad! (Photo courtesy of D.C. Central Kitchen) It’s not every day that I get the opportunity to hang out with a group of cool elementary school students.  Which is why I was so excited for the chance to spend a few hours at J.C. Nalle Elementary School in Southeast Washington, D.C. You see, it was “Fresh Feature Friday” and D.C. Central Kitchen was coordinating a taste test to see which type...
  • March 18 2014
    More than 4,200 markets and direct marketing farmers now redeem SNAP benefits across the country. Farmers’ market incentive programs, which couple access to healthy foods with incentives to purchase healthy products while at the market, help SNAP recipients consume a healthy diet. As spring marches closer, farmers markets across the country are ramping up or reopening for the season. In addition to year-round staples like local milk, meat, and grains, the stars of the season—asparagus, onions, new potatoes, lamb, and greens of all varieties—are beginning to make their debuts. In a few...
  • March 18 2014
    About one in every four farmers’ markets across the country reported accepting SNAP benefits in 2013, according to statistics found in ERS’s updated Food Environment Atlas. 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. As economists, we recognize that people respond to incentives, and prices are among the strongest incentives. So as the price of something falls, people will generally purchase more of it. It’s a principle that policymakers and health advocates...

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