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USDA Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Irma

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses impacted Hurricane Irma that USDA has programs that provide assistance in the wake of disasters. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices that stand ready and eager to help.

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USDA Eases Program Rules to Aid Florida, Other Irma-Stricken Areas

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue today outlined steps the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken to help the people of Florida and other states and U.S. territories ravaged by Hurricane Irma, underscoring the Department’s commitment to feeding all those in need in times of disaster.

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USDA Makes It Easy for Hurricane-Hit Texas Schools to Feed Students

Schools reopening in hurricane-stricken areas of Texas will be allowed to provide meals through the National School Lunch Program to all students free of charge through Sept. 30.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has also granted these schools flexibilities with regard to what they serve and when they serve it, making it easier for them to feed students in hurricane-affected areas. 

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USDA and THHSC Announce Approval of D-SNAP for Texas Disaster Areas

Texans recovering from Hurricane Harvey could be eligible for disaster food benefits from the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program through the availability of Disaster SNAP (D-SNAP) announced today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

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USDA, TDA: More Food Help on the Way for Households Hit by Harvey

Families affected by Hurricane Harvey will soon be able to receive food packages containing nutritious, high-quality foods--100 percent grown and produced on farms in the U.S.--known as USDA Foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Texas Department of Agriculture announced today.

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USDA Eases WIC Food Package Rules for Texas Participants Affected by Harvey

Families participating in USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children in hurricane-stricken Texas will have an easier time finding WIC-approved foods for mothers and their children thanks to food-package flexibilities approved Sunday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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USDA Helps Hurricane Harvey Evacuees to Obtain Expedited Nutrition Assistance

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has issued special procedures that give all states flexibility in providing expedited Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to families who have evacuated their homes and moved outside the State of Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

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USDA, Texas Take Immediate Action, Launch Long Term Plans to Feed Hurricane-Stricken Areas

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) today announced a number of immediate actions as well as long-term plans for ensuring Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey have access to food through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP).

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Secretary Perdue Announces New Leadership for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today named three individuals to take on leadership roles within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). Brandon Lipps will serve as the Administrator of the Food and Nutrition Service, and also as Acting Deputy Under Secretary of FNCS until the Senate confirms a permanent presidentially-nominated appointee.  In addition, Maggie Lyons will serve as Chief of Staff and senior advisor to the Under Secretary, while Kailee Tkacz will serve as policy advisor. 

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USDA Announces Summer EBT Grants; Includes New States, Rural Communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the award of $31.5 million in Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) Grants to explore ways to alleviate hunger among low-income children during the summer, including new projects in Texas and Tennessee. Rigorous evaluations of continuing projects have found that Summer EBT can significantly reduce very low food security among children, the most severe form of food insecurity, by one-third.

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Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide greater flexibility in nutrition requirements for school meal programs in order to make food choices both healthful and appealing to students.  Perdue made the announcement during a visit to Catoctin Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia to mark School Nutrition Employee Week.  Perdue signed a proclamation which begins the process of restoring local control of guidelines on whole grains, sodium, and milk.  Perdue was joined by Sen. Pat Roberts (KS), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and Patricia Montague, CEO of the School Nutrition Association.

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USDA Study Finds Improved Feeding Practices Among Infants Participating in WIC

Breastfeeding rates increased sharply over the past 20 years among women participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, based on the findings of a new USDA study.

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USDA Announces Retailer Volunteers for SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the seven retail firms selected to take part in a pilot designed to enable Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants to purchase their groceries online. The two-year pilot is slated to begin this summer. 

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USDA Boosts Healthy Food Access, Sets New Standards for SNAP Retailers

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced final changes to increase access to healthy food choices for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The provisions in this rule require SNAP authorized retail establishments to offer a larger inventory and variety of healthy food options. 

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USDA Releases First-Ever Web-Based School Meals Application Prototype

Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) introduced its first ever web-based school meals program application prototype to streamline the process of applying for school meals and improve the user experience. The prototype – which combines research-based best practices, feedback from application users, and innovative user-experience design solutions submitted via a USDA-administered public contest – is specifically designed to address common issues and minimize the potential for errors in the application process.

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Harvest Time: Celebrating Native American Heritage and Traditional Foods in FDPIR

Traditional foods are a powerful way for each new generation to connect with and honor its history and its ancestors, and participants in USDA’s Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations have access to more traditional foods than ever this year. November, Native American Heritage Month, is an especially fitting time to celebrate the addition to FDPIR of bison, blue cornmeal, wild rice, and wild salmon – foods that not only nourish a body but sustain a culture.

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.