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Winning the Future: Fuel Up to Fight Obesity

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Today I had the honor of joining some of our nation’s principal thought-leaders at the site of Super Bowl XLV in Dallas, Texas, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines an unprecedented private-public partnership committed to child health and wellness.  The co-signers included myself, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NDC CEO Thomas Gallagher and Gen YOUth Foundation CEO Alexis Glick.  During the event, I unveiled a new television public service announcement (PSA) featuring a local favorite, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, that encourages youth to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.  The PSA was developed by the Ad Council in collaboration with Let’s Move!, USDA, NFL, NFL Player Association, and National Dairy Council, and will be distributed to stations nationwide this week. Read more »

USDA and Senator Brown Team Up to Fight Summer Hunger in Ohio

I never tire of meeting the organizations and individuals across our great country that help feed hungry children. In late January, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown teamed up with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks to hold a summit on preventing child hunger in the summer.

The depths of winter might seem a strange time to discuss summer feeding programs, but good planning is essential to ensure that kids don’t experience hunger in the summer. So January was the perfect time for such meeting! Read more »

Peru-Ecuador Trade Mission Already Yielding Results

FFAS Acting Under Secretary Scuse and other members of the U.S.-Peru-Ecuador Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Lima, Peru, tour a greenhouse where aeroponics is used to grow potato varieties at the International Potato Center in Lima. Photo Credit: Victor Malpica

FFAS Acting Under Secretary Scuse and other members of the U.S.-Peru-Ecuador Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Lima, Peru, tour a greenhouse where aeroponics is used to grow potato varieties at the International Potato Center in Lima. Photo Credit: Victor Malpica

The first U.S. Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Peru and Ecuador ended on a high note February 2. Over two days, 20 U.S. companies had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with dozens of Peruvian and Ecuadorian producers, processors, buyers, traders, and investors, who had come to form partnerships and develop trade relationships. I am pleased to report that some business deals have been finalized with more in process. The in-person contact provided by the mission has been absolutely essential to establishing a foundation for future trade. Read more »

Celebrating Washington, DC’s first Gold Award of Distinction in USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge

Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin W. Concannon (right) tries a few words of Spanish with Marlon DeBose (green shirt), and other students in this 2nd grade Spanish class seated at this table, in the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, on Wednesday, February 2, 2011.  The school is the first Washington, D.C. school to achieve the Gold Award of Distinction from the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC).  They will now hold the certification and distinction for four years. The goal of the HUSSC is to improve the health of the Nation’s children by promoting healthier school environments. (U.S. Department of Agriculture photo by Lance Cheung)

Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin W. Concannon (right) tries a few words of Spanish with Marlon DeBose (green shirt), and other students in this 2nd grade Spanish class seated at this table, in the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School, on Wednesday, February 2, 2011. The school is the first Washington, D.C. school to achieve the Gold Award of Distinction from the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). They will now hold the certification and distinction for four years. The goal of the HUSSC is to improve the health of the Nation’s children by promoting healthier school environments. (U.S. Department of Agriculture photo by Lance Cheung)

I had the pleasure of celebrating the top notch achievement of the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School as USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon and District of Columbia State Superintendent of Education Hosanna Mahaley presented this great school with a HealthierUS School Challenge Gold Award of Distinction.  The award represents the highest honor a school can achieve in the Challenge and they couldn’t have done it without the committed leadership and staff at this special school.  This school is truly a role model and the award puts them on the map as the first school in the nation’s capital to earn the Gold Award of Distinction.  E.W. Stokes is a diverse pre-school and elementary school providing instruction in two languages.  Their unwavering commitment to sharing the benefits of physical activity and making good food choices is evident in everything they do! Read more »

South Dakota Native American Teen Center Purchases Equipment with USDA Support

In a past visit to the Cheyenne River Youth Project (CRYP), in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, USDA Rural Development State Director, Elsie, M. Meeks, viewed the boxes and boxes of toys to be delivered on Christmas Eve.  Each year CRYP collects “Dear Santa” letters from over a 1,000 children on the Cheyenne River reservation, solicits funds and in-kind donations from organizations and individuals around the world, matches the Santa lists with just the right gifts and delivers the beautifully wrapped packages to eager children — and their grateful families. Read more »