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USDA Works with Partners to Feed Children in the Summer Months

On June 9th, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service kicked off the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) — “Food That’s In When School Is Out”, in Atlanta by visiting the Marietta Community Center in Marietta, Georgia as part of USDA’s first ever National SFSP Celebration Week. The Center provided free meals and a nutrition class on the new USDA MyPlate to 50 wonderful children, as feeding kids during the summer can pose a challenge to some parents when school meals are no longer available.

Although the SFSP program is completely dedicate to helping kids during the summer, when they are most vulnerable to experiencing hunger because school is out, our participation rate on this program is only 17%, but USDA is doing everything it can to get more meals to children during the summer months. We need to be sure that every child who should be receiving a summer meal gets one because no child should ever be going hungry. Although our National School Lunch Program is serving more than 21 million children during the school year, we are only serving 3 million children through SFSP, so clearly there is still a long way to go in reaching all the children who are eligible for this program, and we need everyone’s help to pitch in. Read more »

El USDA colabora con sus Socios Para Alimentar a los Niños Durante los Meses de Verano

El 9 de junio, el Servicio de Alimentos y Nutrición inauguró en Atlanta la campaña “Alimentos disponibles durante el receso del año escolar” del Programa de Servicio de Alimentos de Verano (SFSP) con una visita al centro comunitario Marietta Community Center de Marietta, Georgia como parte de la celebración de la primera Semana Nacional del programa SFSP del USDA. El centro sirvió comidas gratuitas y dio una clase de nutrición sobre el nuevo concepto MiPlato del USDA a 50 maravillosos niños. Alimentar a los niños durante los meses de verano puede presentar un reto para algunos padres, ya que las comidas escolares no están disponibles.

El programa SFSP está dedicado a ayudar a los niños durante el verano, cuando están más vulnerables al hambre porque no asisten a la escuela. Sin embargo, nuestra tasa de participación en el programa es únicamente el 17%. Por eso, el USDA está realizando todo esfuerzo posible por hacer llegar alimentos a más niños durante los meses de verano. Tenemos que asegurar que cada niño que califique para recibir comidas durante el verano lo haga, porque los niños nunca deben sufrir hambre. Aunque nuestro Programa Nacional de Almuerzos Escolares atiende a más de 21 millones de niños durante la temporada escolar, atendemos únicamente a 3 millones de niños mediante el programa de verano SFSP. Claramente, eso significa que nos queda mucho por hacer para llegar a todos los niños que reúnen los requisitos para participar en este programa, y que necesitamos la ayuda de todos para lograrlo. Read more »

Coast To Coast National GO Day Events Occurred In Support Of Let’s Move Outside

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

The U.S. Forest Service and community partners have been encouraging children and their families across the country to spend time reconnecting with nature, trying new recreation activities and just having some good fun. The effort is called National Get Outdoors Day, or GO Day.

The Forest Service has a bounty of children’s programs to help connect children to their natural environment, all of which support two key priorities of the Obama administration: President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative that seeks to connect people to the outdoors and creates partnerships between the federal government and American communities on conservation issues; and the Let’s Move! Outside campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, which strives to offset childhood obesity through outdoor activities and healthier lifestyles. The agency also has collaborated with the Ad Council to develop a new public service announcement called “Unplug,” which is part of Discover the Forest campaign. Nationwide, more than 80 Forest Service locations will be providing free recreational and educational activities. Many events are designed to better engage urban and multicultural youth in nature-based activities and attract first-time visitors to public lands. Read more »

National Pollinator Week Success Story: NRCS Helps Farmer Create Pollinator Habitat in Mississippi

A butterfly gathers nectar from a mimosa flower in Adams County.

A butterfly gathers nectar from a mimosa flower in Adams County.

Along the lush banks of the Sunflower River, Steve Martens has a slice of paradise. The Madison, Miss. resident owns 1,600 acres of farmland and forests, hospitable not only to soybeans and corn, but also to whitetail deer and bobwhite quail. Read more »

June Is Dairy Month: A Time to Salute America’s Dairy Farmers

America’s dairy cows, putting milk, cheese, butter and yogurt on the table. (Photo courtesy of NRCS)

America’s dairy cows, putting milk, cheese, butter and yogurt on the table. (Photo courtesy of NRCS)

As we celebrate National Dairy Month, I’d like to recognize dairy producers across California and around the nation for their productivity and innovation. Read more »

Saving Taxpayer Money through Nutrition Assistance Delivery

Saving taxpayer money is an important focal point today, not just here in Washington, but in living rooms all across the country.  At USDA, we’re achieving this by improving the way Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are being delivered to millions of low-income Americans.

Providing nutrition for struggling individuals and families is the primary focus of the program, but the June 16 announcement of SNAP payment accuracy rates documented by states underscores the Obama administration’s ongoing effort to make government more accountable to the American people. Read more »