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Category: Food Security

Parental Employment, Education, and Disability are Factors in Food Insecurity among Children

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

In the wake of the economic downturn that began in late 2007, food insecurity in households with children remains near the highest level observed since monitoring began in 1995. In 2011, 20.6 percent of U.S. households with children were food insecure—unable at some time during the year to acquire adequate food for one or more members due to insufficient money or other resources for food.  In about half of those households, only adults experienced reduced food quality or quantity, but in 10 percent of all households with children, one or more of the children were also affected.

Food security is especially important for children because the foods they eat—or don’t eat—affect not only their current health and well-being, but also their development and future health. Studies suggest that children in food-insecure households are more likely to have negative health and development outcomes than children in otherwise similar food-secure households, such as poorer health, more frequent colds, and lower math and reading achievement. Read more »

Scientists Discover Gene to Combat Devastating Wheat Rust

USDA scientists and their partners have found a molecular tool that will help control wheat stem rust, a fungal disease threatening much of the world’s wheat supply.

First reported in 1999 in Uganda, wheat stem rust–caused by the Ug99 pathogen–is a devastating disease in several countries in Africa and the Middle East where losses can be up to 70 percent. Many experts predict this specific strain could spread rapidly, causing a wheat shortage affecting food security worldwide. Ninety percent of the wheat grown worldwide is susceptible, so if no preventive action is taken, it could cause wheat shortages and affect food security. Read more »

ERS Ag Research Counts

To recognize the contribution that research in agriculture makes in our daily lives, we’re focusing this month’s Science Tuesday blogs on the successes that USDA science agencies have achieved for us all.

Many of us use technology daily to communicate faster than ever before. And Economic Research Service (ERS) is part of that group, too.  Using state-of-the-art technology, our economists and analysts work hard to deliver timely, policy-relevant research on topics such as childhood obesity, global food security, and climate change  — issues that affect us all.  So, today we’re emphasizing the importance of economic information because “Ag Research Counts” every day, for every American. We’re continuing our trivia contest on Facebook with questions from past ‘Science Tuesday’ blogs.  You can weigh in on Twitter using the hashtag #AgResearchCounts. Here are this week’s blogs featuring ERS research that impacts each of us every day: Read more »

Open Agricultural Data at Your Fingertips

Yesterday, Secretary Vilsack officially launched the U.S. Government’s new Food, Agriculture and Rural virtual community on Data.gov. This will serve as a single access point for our related datasets, databases, tools, apps and data resources discussed throughout the G-8 Open Data for Agriculture conference. This effort supports our USDA Digital Strategy efforts to ensure high-value services and systems are available anywhere, any time and on any device.

Read more »

Keeping Kids Fed in Kenyan Schools

Stara Rescue Center students march to greet Ambassador Godec. The ambassador recently visited the center, located in Africa’s largest urban slum of Kibera, Nairobi, to highlight USDA’s support to the center’s students through the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. (Courtesy Photo)

Stara Rescue Center students march to greet Ambassador Godec. The ambassador recently visited the center, located in Africa’s largest urban slum of Kibera, Nairobi, to highlight USDA’s support to the center’s students through the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. (Courtesy Photo)

On Feb. 21, newly confirmed U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Robert F. Godec visited the Stara Rescue Center, a school and orphanage located in Africa’s largest urban slum of Kibera, Nairobi. He was there to highlight USDA’s support to the center’s students through the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. The Foreign Agricultural Service program supports education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. Read more »

Helping Haiti Recover Three Years Later

On Monday, March 4, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Haiti’s Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development Thomas Jacques who outlined his three year strategic plan for revitalization of the Haitian agriculture sector.

On Monday, March 4, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack met with Haiti’s Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development Thomas Jacques who outlined his three year strategic plan for revitalization of the Haitian agriculture sector.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with Haiti’s Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Thomas Jacques, today to emphasize USDA’s ongoing commitment to help the Haitian agricultural sector recover from the devastating impact of the 2010 earthquake. Read more »