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Let’s Move! Across Missouri

Anyone can be healthy “if you eat right and try to get moving,” said a young participant in Move Across Missouri, a program developed in partnership with University of Missouri Extension 4-H and the Missouri Beef Industry Council. Move Across Missouri encourages 4-Hers to increase their physical activity and track the time they spend moving through the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA), which challenges kids to log 60 minutes of physical activity for five days out of the week for six out of eight weeks. Read more »

In Arizona, Rural Development Housing Programs Provide a Stable Environment for Families

The parents were leery about another rental, fearing having to move yet again. Rather serendipitously, the mother saw information on line about USDA Rural Development housing programs. She made a call that changed their lives. As it turned out, the house that they eventually found and qualified for was part of a “green home” renovation in conjunction with other local agencies. The family was able to purchase their home with a loan direct from Rural Development, give their four children a stable home and neighborhood, and the home itself has proven to be so efficient that they are saving monthly on their utility bills.

The family received homebuyer education classes and credit counseling as part of the programs they participated in. The mother said “We are lucky to have found out about you! We have nothing but high praise for the process. Thank you for your dedication to helping families like ours purchase a home.” Read more »

This Recipe Will Make the Competition Green with Envy

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

Dr. Seuss wrote about green eggs and ham but McDougle Elementary School didn’t stick to the script. The Chapel Hill, North Carolina school stirred its way into the semi-finals of the Recipes for Healthy Kids Challenge by adding added nutritious brown rice. They also used chopped spinach to give the dish a vibrant green color.

Stir Fried green rice, eggs and ham

Stir Fried green rice, eggs and ham

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The Worst U. S. Tornado in 60 Years Hits Joplin, Missouri

The devastation in Joplin is unbelievable, heartbreaking and hard to describe. I have never seen anything like it and hope to never again. The twister tore a path a mile wide and six miles long through the main part of town. It impacted hundreds of businesses and destroyed over 2,000 homes. More than 120 people lost their lives and over 800 people were injured. Scores remain missing or unaccounted for. Read more »

New Mexico School Puts a Dash of Southwest in Recipe Competition

Chef Roland Schaeffer and students cooking "Cougar Power Lentils" for the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition

Chef Roland Schaeffer (American Academy of Chefs Hall of Fame) keeps a keen eye on student chefs cooking up Sweeney Elementary “Lentils of the Southwest, aka Cougar Power Lentils” recipe in the Recipes for Healthy Kids semi-finals competition.

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog.

With a name like “Lentils of the Southwest aka Sweeney Cougar Power Lentils,” who says a healthy elementary school lunch can’t be exciting? On Wednesday, May 18th, students at Sweeney Elementary School in Santa Fe, N.M., served judges a spicy and delicious side-dish in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. Read more »

Celebrating National Gardening Month with Healthy Gardens, Healthy Youth Programs

Soon after moving into the White House, the First Lady along with local elementary school children planted The Kitchen Garden at the White House, the first garden of its kind on White House grounds since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden during World War II.

Weeks earlier, I celebrated the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln by starting the first People’s Garden at USDA Headquarters in Washington D.C. That day, I could only begin to imagine that a movement which began in our nation’s capital would spread to make an impact in communities across America and the world. Read more »