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Giving: The true spirit of Christmas

Capitol Christmas Tree lit December 7, 2010

Capitol Christmas Tree lit December 7, 2010

Do you have any idea how many ornaments it takes to decorate a 67-foot-tall Christmas tree? Do you ever count your ornaments? For this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree Wyoming did. Read more »

Nos Unimos con La Raza para Promover la Nutrición Hispana

Como Administradora Diputada del Programa SNAP, tuve el gran honor de acompañar a nuestro socio, el Consejo Nacional de La Raza (CNLR), a líderes comunitarios, familias y a un representante de la campaña ¡Vamos a Movernos! (Let´s Move!) de la Primera Dama durante una conferencia de prensa para promocinar prácticas prometedoras y políticas que pueden ayudar a cambiar la situación relacionada con el hambre y la obesidad infantil, y también a mejorar el acceso de los niños hispanos y sus familias a alimentos nutritivos. La conferencia de prensa fue realizada el día siguiente que el USDA publicó el Informe de Seguridad Alimenticia de Unidades Familiares en los Estados Unidos para 2009 (2009 Household Food Security Report in the United States). La conferencia de prensa del CNLR se hizo para llamar la atención a la población de mayor crecimiento y más joven de los Estados Unidos, a la que se le dificulta llevar comidas sanas a la mesa debido a la falta de acceso a alimentos nutritivos. Los niños hispanos están entre los que corren más riesgo de tener sobrepeso y obesidad; aunque, a la misma vez, tienen la mayor probabilidad de pasar hambre. Tanto la obesidad como el hambre tienen efectos graves sobre la salud y el bienestar de los niños – los cuales representan grandes prioridades del gobierno del Presidente Obama. Read more »

Partnering with the National Council of LaRaza on Good Nutrition

As Deputy Administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), I was honored to join our partner, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), community leaders, families and a representative from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative at a press briefing to promote promising practices and policies that can help turn the tide on child hunger and obesity and improve access to nutritious foods for Hispanic children and their families.  The press briefing took place the day after USDA’s release of the 2009 Household Food Security Report in the United States.   NCLR’s press conference was an effort to draw attention to the fastest growing and youngest population across the United States who have difficulty putting healthy meals on the table, due to inadequate access to nutritious food.  Hispanic children are among those at greatest risk for overweight and obesity and, at the same time, are the most likely to be living with hunger.  Both obesity and hunger have serious implications for children’s health and well-being — all of which are  priorities of the Obama administration. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Announces New Steps to Address Climate Change

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday, December 9, 2010.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday, December 9, 2010.

Earlier today it was my privilege to address those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. is advancing policies that address climate change by promoting energy efficiency in our homes, cars and businesses, increasing the domestic production of clean energy – including biofuels – and by investing in renewable energy technology.  The United States is also vigorously engaged in international climate negotiations while continuing to work with Congress on domestic climate legislation. Read more »

Integrating Climate Change Issues in Forest Management

Cross-posted from the US State Department Blog from the 16th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-16) in Cancun, Mexico

Addressing the climate challenge requires advancing policies and partnerships that span a number of initiatives, including protecting the forests. In the United States, forests cover 749 million acres (33 percent of the land). However, the variety of benefits we receive from forests and grasslands are threatened by climate change. For instance, nearly one-fifth of U.S. water supply originates on National Forest land, and U.S. forests offset 12 percent of total greenhouse emissions in the United States. Read more »

NRCS Wetlands Reserve Program Aids in the Recovery of Louisiana Black Bear Habitat

Louisiana black bear cubs.

Louisiana black bear cubs.

The Louisiana black bear was once abundant in the Mississippi River Delta. But by the 1950s, the population was severely diminished in Louisiana, mainly due to habitat loss. Luckily, a voluntary land conservation program offered by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is helping this threatened subspecies of the American black bear stage a comeback. Read more »