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No Más Hambre: Un llamado a la acción comunitaria

La cumbre NO MAS HAMBRE celebrada recientemente en Washington DC para crear conciencia sobre el hambre en la comunidad latina reunió a líderes gubernamentales, grupos sin fines de lucro, empresas y miembros de la comunidad para hablar sobre soluciones a un problema endémico que a menudo pasa desapercibido – el que casi uno de cada tres hogares latinos con niños se enfrenta al hambre en este país.

Al mismo tiempo, los latinos están desproporcionadamente afectados por el aumento de las tasas de obesidad infantil, con casi el 40 por ciento de los niños latinos con sobrepeso u obesidad. Esta paradoja de la desnutrición y la obesidad es a menudo mal entendida, así que me dio gusto facilitar una plática durante la cumbre sobre cómo las organizaciones religiosas se han unido con la iniciativa del Departamento de Agricultura de EE.UU. (USDA) conocida como La Mesa Completa y como parte de la iniciativa A Moverse Iglesias y Comunidades (Let’s Move Faith and Communities) para combatir el hambre y promover comunidades más sanas. Read more »

No Más Hambre: A Community Call to Action

The NO MAS HAMBRE Summit recently held in Washington DC to raise awareness of hunger in the Latino community brought together government, nonprofit, corporate and community leaders to talk about solutions to an endemic problem that often goes unnoticed — nearly one in three Latino households with children faces hunger in this country.

At the same time, Latinos are disproportionately impacted by higher rates of childhood obesity, with almost 40 percent of Latino children overweight or obese.  This paradox of malnutrition and obesity is often misunderstood, so I was glad to moderate a panel at the conference on how faith-based organizations are partnering with USDA’s initiative La Mesa Completa and as part of Let’s Move Faith and Communities to address hunger and promote healthier communities. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Over the Holidays, Honoring Those Who Strengthen America

As Americans celebrate the holiday season, we have a chance to catch up with family and friends, count our blessings and reflect on the year behind us.

Looking back on 2012, I am proud of those across rural America who stayed resilient in the face of disaster. They managed farms, ranches and Main Street businesses through a record drought, an historic hurricane, and more. Ultimately, their hard work kept the momentum of rural America going strong.

I’m thankful for the thousands of men and women who, year in and year out, step up to serve our nation. I know that many of these military service members come from our small towns and rural communities – and that no matter where they’re from, each is a hero to our nation.  They’re stationed around the world today and many will spend their holidays away from family and friends, so that we can be safely at home with ours. Read more »

USDA Announces Effort to Enhance Department Efficiency, Improve Access to Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is asking the public for comment as it continues to review existing program rules to determine whether any should be modified, streamlined, clarified, or repealed.  The Department is particularly interested in hearing from the public concerning areas where USDA can simplify and reduce the reporting burden for entry and access to USDA programs, while reducing its administrative and operating costs by sharing data across participating agencies.

In response to Executive Order 13610 (Identifying and Reducing Regulatory Burdens), USDA has incorporated various initiatives into its review to reduce burden on the public, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS), Conservation Delivery Streamlining Initiative, which has the potential to reduce administrative time for clients participating in NRCS’ conservation programs, and FSA’s streamlined version of a current form for use by repeat customers whose information has not changed. Read more »

School Garden Turns into Living Learning Laboratory for Nevada Fifth Graders

Mr. Bob Gardner’s fifth grade class at Dayton Elementary, learns about science through a living /learning laboratory at the school greenhouse and garden. The Dayton Elementary School garden is one of several gardens funded with a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to the Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties in northwestern Nevada.

Mr. Bob Gardner’s fifth grade class at Dayton Elementary, learns about science through a living /learning laboratory at the school greenhouse and garden. The Dayton Elementary School garden is one of several gardens funded with a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant to the Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties in northwestern Nevada.

“Can a School Garden Supplement a Community’s Food Supply in a Sustainable Way?” That was the question asked by Bob Gardner’s fifth grade class at Dayton, Nevada, Elementary School on Tuesday as students presented their science projects to classmates and adult guests. Read more »