News Item
USDA Awards Grants to Improve Sustainable Food Systems and Reduce Hunger

As part of an effort to reduce hunger and food insecurity, Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grants to improve sustainable regional and local food systems.

News Item
USDA Grants Support Local Efforts to Fight Hunger and Food Insecurity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today 27 grants to local organizations to build community food systems and fight hunger and food insecurity. The awards were made by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through its Community Food Projects program. The new projects, totaling $4.8 million in funding, include a teen-run community kitchen incubator, faith-based community food assessments, a program to help indigenous people return to healthful eating, and a youth-led food security movement. Community Food Projects have been funded in nearly 350 communities in 48 states in the program's 15-year history.

News Item
Obama Administration to Partner with 27 Communities to Boost Neighborhood Revitalization through Local Food Enterprises

Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined together to announce the selection of 27 communities in 22 states that will participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

News Item
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces $16.8 Million in Grants to Encourage Healthy Food Purchases for SNAP Participants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded $16.8 million in competitive grants to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The funding comes from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

News Item
USDA Announces New Support to Help Schools Purchase More Food from Local Farmers

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced more than $5 million in grants for 82 projects spanning 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands that support the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program. The program helps schools purchase more food from local farmers and ranchers in their communities, expanding access to healthy local food for school children and supporting local economies. According to USDA's first-ever Farm to School Census released earlier this year, school districts participating in farm to school programs purchased and served over $385 million in local food in school year 2011-2012, with more than half of participating schools planning to increase their purchases of local food in the future.

News Item
USDA Announces $97 Million Available to Expand Access to Healthy Food, Support Rural Economies

In a speech at the National Farmers Union Convention today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $96.8 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to support specialty crop producers, local food entrepreneurs, and farm to school efforts, which in turn will increase access to healthy, nutritious food for American families and children. The announcement is part of USDA efforts during National Nutrition Month to focus on improving access to fresh, healthy, and nutritious products for millions of Americans.

News Item
USDA Seeks Applications for Next Round of Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of up to $16.7 million in competitive grant funding to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by families and households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The funding will be awarded to eligible nonprofits and governmental organizations through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program, administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

News Item
USDA Calls on Communities to Help Fill the Summer Meal Gap; Ensure Children Have Access to Healthy Food Year Round

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today called on communities across the country to partner with USDA's summer meals program to ensure that no child goes hungry when school is out. During a roundtable with Josh Wachs, Chief Strategy Officer for Share Our Strength, Kathy Underhill, Executive Director of Hunger Free Colorado, and Harriett Phillips, Liaison to the Arkansas No Kid Hungry Campaign for Governor Mike Beebe. Vilsack reiterated the vital role of partners in reaching eligible children and their families and challenged them to help USDA serve 5 million more meals this summer.

News Item
Agriculture Secretary Visits San Diego Summer Meals Site; Calls on Communities to Help Ensure Children Have Access to Healthy Food Year Round

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted the problem of increased childhood hunger during months when school is not in session. At an event at Colina Del Sol Recreation Center, he called on communities across the country to partner with USDA's Summer Food Service Program to ensure that no child goes hungry when school is out. Vilsack reiterated the vital role of partners in reaching eligible children and their families and challenged them to help USDA serve 5 million more meals this summer.

News Item
USDA Awards $34.3 Million to Support Communities' Local Foods Infrastructure, Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today helped to kick off the nation's harvest season by announcing nearly $35 million in new funding through four grant programs to support local and regional food systems, including farmers markets. Secretary Vilsack has named strengthening local food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA's efforts to revitalize rural economies and communities. Purchases of locally-produced food have surged to nearly $12 billion under Secretary Vilsack's leadership, while the number of farmers markets has exploded to more than 8,500 from 5,274 in 2009.