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Cinco de Mayo Event Offers an Opportunity to Promote Healthy Lifestyles

LULAC President Margaret Moran (in white) visits the USDA booth and discusses summer meals with an FNS employee. (photo by Luis Nuno Briones)

LULAC President Margaret Moran (in white) visits the USDA booth and discusses summer meals with an FNS employee. (photo by Luis Nuno Briones)

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo last week, we here at the Food and Nutrition Service had the chance to participate in the 22nd National Cinco de Mayo Festival® Latinos Living Healthy Feria de Salud, sponsored by the League of Latino American Citizens (LULAC). The exciting event, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., brought together Latino community members, health professionals, major corporations and other stakeholders to highlight the significance of healthy eating and physical activity in the Hispanic community.

We partnered with LULAC to emphasize the importance of a nutritious diet and staying active in our often hectic everyday lives.  The festival provided an opportunity to highlight the many programs FNS has available to help children and low-income families.  Of the thousands of people who arrived at the fairgrounds, many dropped by the FNS-hosted booth to learn about our resources, especially as summer approaches and kids are out of school.

To tackle the meal gap many children face when schools close for the summer, FNS paid special attention to informing fair attendees about the Summer Food Service Program often referred to as summer meals. Of the 21 million children who receive free and reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program during the regular school year, only 3.5 million participate in the summer meals program.  USDA summer meals help our nation’s children get the nourishing food they need so they come back to school ready to learn.  Many of the sites serving summer meals also provide physical, educational and recreational activities.

Along with summer feeding efforts, USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion highlighted MiPlato (MyPlate), an interactive tool for kids, parents and educators that makes eating healthy, fun and simple.

USDA is proud to partner with LULAC to promote healthy lifestyles within the Latino community.  Throughout the festival, performances, sport tournaments, and guest appearances had us all dancing, playing, learning and have a great time…All in pursuit of healthier lifestyles!

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