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USDA Presents Gold Award of Distinction to Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School for Achieving the HealthierUS School Challenge

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today joined the District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley in a special ceremony to present Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School a USDA HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of Distinction. This is the first Gold Award of Distinction in Washington, D.C. and the highest honor in the Challenge.

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USDA Study Shows States Providing Critical Nutrition Benefits to Those in Need

USDA today released the latest report that measures each State's success in reaching children and families eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. While the national SNAP participation rate was 66 percent, Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2008, reports state rates varied from an estimated low of 46 percent to a high of 94 percent.

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USDA Deputy Secretary, Congressman Hoyer Highlight Benefits of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan joined U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) today at George Washington Carver Elementary School in Lexington Park, Md. to highlight the rapid implementation and importance of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, signed into law by President Obama. The legislation reauthorizes USDA's child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs and is already providing benefits to children across the country.

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USDA Announces Nationwide Expansion of At-Risk Afterschool Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

USDA today announced the nationwide expansion of at-risk afterschool meals to promote improvements in health and nutrition in Child Care settings. The expansion is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13, 2010, and one of the first provisions to be implemented. Under the new legislation, eligible children will receive extra nutrition assistance through the Child and Adult Care Food Program as eligibility for afterschool meal reimbursement expands to all 50 states.

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USDA Unveils Critical Upgrades to Nutritional Standards for School Meals

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today published a proposed rule to update the nutrition standards for meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 13, 2010. The new proposed meal requirements will raise standards for the first time in fifteen years and will make critical changes to school meals and help improve the health and nutrition of nearly 32 million kids that participate in school meal programs every school day, an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to solve the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation.

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USDA Revela Mejoras a los Estándares Nutricionales de las Comidas Escolares

El Departamento de Agricultura publicó hoy una propuesta de ley para actualizar los estándares nutricionales de los alimentos servidos en el Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares y el Programa de Desayunos Escolares. La propuesta forma parte de la Ley Saludable de Niños Libres de Hambre 2010 o Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, la cual fue firmada por el Presidente Obama en Diciembre 12, 2010. Los nuevos requisitos propuestos alzan los estándares de las comidas por primera vez en quince años para mejorar la salud y nutrición de casi 32 millones de niños que reciben alimentos escolares todos los días. Esto es una pieza importante de la iniciativa de la Primera Dama "Let’s Move!" la cual está enfocada en resolver el problema de obesidad infantil en una generación.

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Final Days to Submit Entries to the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded teams participating in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition to submit their recipes by 5:00 PM EST on December 30, 2010. Teams across the country are working to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition - part of the First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative - will draw on the talents of chefs, students, school nutrition professionals, and parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods.

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USDA Awards Grant to Texas to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of demonstration grant to Texas to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Missouri Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Missouri to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The $230,650 Missouri grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Connecticut to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Connecticut to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Michigan to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of demonstration grant to Michigan to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Oregon to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Oregon to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Official Visits Denver School to Promote Healthy School Meals

Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today visited the Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy to see firsthand the school's efforts to improve the quality of meals in the National School Lunch Program. The visit, conducted as Congress is considering legislation to pass the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, showcased the local school's efforts to improve meals.

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USDA Requests Applications for Summer Food Service Program Projects that Increase Food Security for Low-Income Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today invited States to develop and test alternative methods of providing food for low-income children in urban and rural areas during the summer. USDA is requesting applications to enhance the current Summer Food Service Program by testing and evaluating home delivery and food backpack programs designed to reduce hunger among children when school is out.

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USDA Announces Wellness Grants in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced Child Care Wellness Grants to 14 states for the improvement of health and wellness in child care settings. More than $7.7 million in funding will support state agencies in implementing initiatives through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Over half of the funds awarded will be distributed to local child care sponsoring organizations and institutions through state agencies.

The Communications Division coordinates public and media communications for the USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services mission area. For media inquiries, please contact FNSpress@usda.gov or 703-305-2281.