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USDA Announces New Farm to School Program to Improve the Health and Nutrition of Kids Receiving School Meals

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that USDA will be investing in farm to school programs nationwide to help eligible schools improve the health and wellbeing of their students and connect with local agricultural producers. Merrigan joined students at Southern High School to announce the new program that will promote opportunities for nutrition and agriculture education while providing new economic opportunities for food producers of all kinds and communities nationwide. Students at the school displayed and highlighted their farm to school efforts with a tour of the school’s greenhouse.

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USDA Announces Fiscal Year 2015 Farm to School Grants to Continue Efforts to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the release of a request for applications for the third round of USDA's Farm to School grants, including the addition of a new funding track. These grants help eligible schools improve the health and wellbeing of their students and connect with local agricultural producers.

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USDA Announces Additional Efforts to Make School Environments Healthier

Today, the Obama Administration is announcing four final rules that implement important provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) building on the progress schools across the country have already made in the improved nutritional quality of meals served in schools. As a key component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to raise a healthier generation, the rules will ensure that children have access to healthy snacks and that nutrition standards for the foods marketed and served in schools are consistent. The rules will also promote integrity across the school meals programs.

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USDA Highlights School Nutrition Advances During National School Lunch Week

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted positive changes in the school meals programs to promote children's health during National School Lunch Week, Oct. 10-14. USDA, along with its partners, celebrate the program's accomplishments, including the achievements of HealthierUS School Challenge honorees and the enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

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USDA Awards First Grants to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia, to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers.

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FACT SHEET: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act School Meals Implementation

Congress passed the Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010 with bipartisan support to help ensure every American child had access to the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. One goal of the law was to help reduce America's childhood obesity epidemic and reduce health risks for America's children by helping schools across the country produce balanced meals so children had access to healthy foods during the school day. USDA based the new school meal standards on independent, expert recommendations from the Institute of Medicine to ensure kids are being fed healthy food while they are at school.

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Study Shows Strong Nutrition Education Can Lead to Healthier Food Choices by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipients

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a study providing clear evidence that well-designed nutrition education programs can lead to healthier food choices by participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

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USDA Celebrates One Year Anniversary of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010

First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted the achievements of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, one year after the legislation was enacted to combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children.

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Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on the Proposed FY 2012 Budget

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made a statement on the proposed FY 2012 budget.

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USDA Releases Request for Applications for Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot

Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon today announced the release of a Request for Applications from states interested in participating in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Under the pilot, up to eight states across five regions will be granted flexibility in using a portion of their USDA Foods entitlement dollars to purchase locally-grown unprocessed fruits and vegetables for the National School Lunch Program.