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USDA Funds Assist in the Expansion of Bemidji’s Northern Dental Access Center

Several years ago, community members in Bemidji, Minn. realized the need for a dental health facility that would serve underprivileged and at-risk families. In December of 2008, that realization became reality when the doors of the Northern Access Dental Center opened to the public.

The Northern Access Dental Center serves people in Beltrami county and nearby areas, which includes three American Indian reservations. Because a large percentage of this northwestern Minnesotan population falls under the legal poverty line, the volume of people requiring assistance provided by this new facility was vastly underestimated. Read more »

Ayude A Alimentar A Niños Con Hambre Este Verano: Aprenda Más el 16 de Marzo

Los vientos de invierno pueda que aún estén soplando en donde usted vive, pero ya es hora de empezar a pensar en el verano. Cuando haya terminado el año escolar, más de 20 millones de niños que reciben almuerzo (lonche) gratis o a precio reducido durante el año a través del Programa Nacional de Almuerzo Escolar del Departamento de Agricultura de Estados Unidos estarán en problema. Menos de 3 millones de ellos participan en nuestros programas de alimentación durante el verano. Queremos asegurarnos que ningún niño en los Estados Unidos se va a la cama con hambre, esté o no en sesión escolar.  Eso nomás lo podemos hacer con su ayuda.  Su organización puede obtener comidas gratis para niños este verano siendo un sitio o un patrocinador del SFSP.  SFSP es un programa con fondos federales administrado por los estados que reembolsan a las organizaciones por las comidas servidas a los niños durante el verano.

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Help Feed Hungry Kids: Learn More on March 16

The winds of winter may still be blowing where you live, but it is already time to start thinking about the summer.  When school is finished, over 20 million children who receive free or reduced-price lunch during the school year through USDA’s National School Lunch Program will be in trouble.  Less than 3 million kids participate in our summer feeding programs.  We want to make sure that no child in the U.S. goes to bed hungry, whether school is in session or out.  We can only do that with your help.  Your organization can get free meals for kids this summer by being a site or sponsor in the Summer Food Service Program.  SFSP is a federally funded program administered by states that reimburses organizations for meals served to children during the summer.

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Urban Trees are Hard at Work in Washington, D.C.

My team at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station recently completed a study of the District of Columbia’s urban forest using the publicly available, free iTree software suite. Understanding an urban forest’s structure, function and value can promote management decisions that will improve human health and environmental quality. Urban trees clean our air, capture stormwater and provide huge energy savings. Read more »

Let the Voting Begin – Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition Advances

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

We know that to win the future, we have to ensure that our kids have access to nutritious meals and healthy lifestyles.

Last September, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition to bring together chefs, school nutrition professionals, students and parents who work in teams to develop nutritious, delicious, kid-approved recipes for use in schools. Read more »

Pet Waste Disposal Systems Help Protect Water Quality

Dog waste that isn’t cleaned up isn’t just a hazard for the bottom of your shoes—it is also a cause of pollution in creeks, rivers and lakes across the country. Dog waste contains nitrogen and phosphorus, which can deplete oxygen that fish and other water-based life need to survive, as well as encourage the growth of harmful algae. It is also considered a significant source of pathogens like fecal coliform, a disease-causing bacteria. Read more »