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Taste Fall Flavors with “Simply Soup” at the USDA Farmers Market at Night on Friday, October 16th

USDA FNS Blog - Jue, 10/15/2015 - 5:00pm
There is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup in the fall. Our vendors are serving soups, stews, and chilis from all over the globe at the last USDA Farmers Market at Night this Friday, October 16, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  From spicy Lao rice vermicelli soup to a Scottish soup dish [...]

Top Chef’s Carla Hall Supports a Healthier Next Generation. See How!

USDA FNS Blog - Mié, 10/14/2015 - 3:44pm
Baked parmesan fish, butternut squash with black beans, honey lemon chicken… No, these aren’t items on a high-end restaurant menu.  They’re delicious dishes being offered in America’s school lunchrooms! This National School Lunch Week, we’re celebrating school meal programs around the country and renewed efforts to provide nutritious and appetizing meals featuring more fruits and [...]

During National Farm to School Month, USDA Celebrates Grantees’ Accomplishments and a New Office

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 10/13/2015 - 5:00pm
Along with brilliantly colored hard squash, crisp apples, and hearty greens, October ushers in National Farm to School Month, a time to raise awareness about and celebrate the impact of farm to school programs on children, producers, and communities. Since 2012, I have directed USDA’s Farm to School Program, guiding the work of a small [...]

Celebrate National School Lunch Week 2015

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 10/13/2015 - 5:00pm
The fall season has arrived and with it the National School Lunch Week celebration! During the second week of October, USDA recognizes the important role school meal programs play in providing healthy, appetizing foods to their students. Over the last several weeks, USDA leaders visited schools to experience their meal programs first hand. And they [...]

What’s Growing On, in This Rural Community?

USDA FNS Blog - Vie, 10/09/2015 - 5:00pm
Rural communities are looking for innovative ways to sustain quality of life and build viable food systems that support the health and economic needs of their people.  Working Landscapes is a Warrenton, N.C. nonprofit that creates sustainable food hubs by bridging the gap between local farmers and area consumers.  As a 2015 USDA Farm to [...]

2015 Dietary Guidelines: Giving You the Tools You Need to Make Healthy Choices

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 10/06/2015 - 5:00pm
One of our government’s most important responsibilities is protecting the health of the American public, and that includes empowering them with the tools they need to make educated decisions. Since 1980, families, nutrition and health professionals across the nation have looked to the Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture for science-based dietary guidelines [...]

USDA Grants to Help Farmers, Entrepreneurs and Retailers Market Local Foods

USDA FNS Blog - Vie, 10/02/2015 - 5:00pm
Thanks to a recent grant from USDA, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is now in better position to help get locally grown potatoes, carrots, apples, broccoli, and cheese onto school lunch plates. In Wisconsin, and across the nation, there is a strong interest to supply healthy, local foods to schools while [...]

Service, Partnership Key to Summer Meals Success

USDA FNS Blog - Vie, 10/02/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog highlights the partnership between USDA and the Corporation for National and Community Service, which leverages the service-oriented energy of AmeriCorps summer associates to expand and enhance USDA summer meal sites for children in low-income communities.  USDA summer meals fill the hunger gap for the over 21-million children across the country who [...]

Research Shows that Farm to School Works!

USDA FNS Blog - Vie, 10/02/2015 - 1:00am
Happy National Farm to School Month! Every October, the USDA Farm to School team is overwhelmed with stories of how farm to school programs are affecting kids, producers, and communities. Having now made 221 grants to school districts and other entities across the country to pursue projects that bring more local foods into schools and [...]

Recess Before Lunch – The Secret Ingredient of Montana’s School Lunch Program

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 09/29/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog showcases Montana Team Nutrition and their excellent work implementing their Recess Before Lunch (RBL) program. Through this initiative Montana students enjoy active play right before indulging a nutritious school lunch meal allowing them to return to class ready for academic success. By: Katie Bark, RD, LN, SNS (Project Director Montana Team [...]

NIFA-Funded Obesity Prevention Project Sparks Community-wide Health Changes

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 09/22/2015 - 5:00pm
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. What started as a project to test the effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention methods has turned into a community-wide effort and a new culture [...]

A Special Invitation from Deputy Secretary to Join a Google+ Hangout on Veteran Farmers

USDA FNS Blog - Jue, 09/17/2015 - 5:00pm
On Monday, I had the opportunity to meet with several inspiring Service members and launch an expanded collaboration between USDA and the Department of Defense at a Transition Assistance Program class hosted at the Pentagon. This collaboration will integrate agriculture into the career training and counseling programs Service members receive as they transition out of [...]

No Books Required for Back-to-School Night at USDA Farmers Market on Friday, September 18

USDA FNS Blog - Mié, 09/16/2015 - 5:00pm
It’s “Back-to-School Night” at the USDA Farmers Market on Friday, September 18, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., in Washington, D.C., near the National Mall.  This month’s educational exhibitors and vendors will appeal to students of any age.  Market visitors can learn more about healthy eating, reducing food waste or take a trip down memory lane [...]

Team Nutrition Grant Brings Nutrition Education to More Than 13,000 Kansas Students in School Year 2014-2015

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 09/15/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog highlights the creative and successful Team Nutrition curriculum in Kansas. Thanks to a Team Nutrition training grant, the state has been able to implement the curriculum in many of their school districts. Kansas students are now receiving the nutrition education they need to thrive in school and empower their classmates. By [...]

USDA’s Commitment to Quality Foods

USDA FNS Blog - Vie, 09/11/2015 - 5:00pm
Across the country, schools are back in session. Here at the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), our inspectors and procurement specialists work hard to make sure that quality, domestically-produced foods are delivered to students and other recipients for our federal food purchasing programs. As students are getting used to their new schedules, we would like [...]

Child Nutrition: The Key to Creating the Healthiest Nation

USDA FNS Blog - Jue, 09/10/2015 - 5:00pm
The following guest blog highlights the important work of our partner the American Public Health Association (APHA). The association is a tireless advocate working to create the healthiest nation. APHA strives to reach that goal through science-based research, and education. By Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association As kids across the [...]

Community Eligibility: Flexibility is Key

USDA FNS Blog - Mié, 09/09/2015 - 5:00pm
There’s been a lot of talk over the last several years about the nutrition of school meals – where the ingredients come from, how they’re prepared, what the food tastes like, and how the meal is presented.  These are all important conversations for elevating the quality of school food service and improving the health and [...]

Food Insecurity in U.S. Households Essentially Unchanged from 2013, but Down from 2011 High

USDA FNS Blog - Mié, 09/09/2015 - 5:00pm
USDA’s recently released annual report on the incidence and severity of food insecurity in American households marks 20 years of Federal statistics measuring U.S. food insecurity. This year’s report, presenting 2014 data, shows that 86.0 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year, meaning that all household members had access at all [...]

New York State of Mind: Empowering Women and Creating Local Food Opportunities

USDA FNS Blog - Mié, 09/02/2015 - 5:00pm
The future of agriculture depends on the next generation of farmers and ranchers.  That’s why the Department of Agriculture is committed to creating more opportunities for new and beginning farmers and removing barriers for women and minority farmers. To advance these priorities, I traveled to Syracuse, N.Y., last week, where I was joined by my [...]

School Embraces Nutrition Standards to the Culinary Delight of Its Students

USDA FNS Blog - Mar, 09/01/2015 - 5:00pm
Locally-sourced fish baked in fresh herbs and oil topped with a fresh cilantro slaw…It sounds like a dish from a five star restaurant, but it’s just one of many recipes registered dietitian and director of nutrition services Jenn Gerard offers students for lunch in her California school district. Learn how Monterey Peninsula Schools embraced the [...]