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Florida Farmers Market Pilot Provides Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to SNAP and WIC Clients

SERO Regional Administrator Don Arnette assists SNAP client Maria Salgado with bagging the fresh fruits and vegetables she purchased at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market, Miami, Fla., with her SNAP benefits.

SERO Regional Administrator Don Arnette assists SNAP client Maria Salgado with bagging the fresh fruits and vegetables she purchased at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market, Miami, Fla., with her SNAP benefits.

I was recently able to participate in a ribbon cutting ceremony with community partners and Florida state and city officials at the Jackson Memorial Foundation Green Market in honor of the farmers market now accepting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT cards and the Womens, Infants and Children (WIC) Fruit and Vegetable Vouchers, in Miami, Fla.  The Jackson Green Market is currently the only farmers market in Florida authorized to accept the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable WIC vouchers.  Shoppers were also able to use their SNAP EBT cards to purchase fresh produce at the discount of $5 off their total purchase compliments of a grant from the Health Foundation of South Florida. Read more »

Oklahoma Food Co-Op: From Buying Club to Food Hub

Oklahoma Food Co-op’s distribution range

One afternoon in the fall of 2003, 36 consumers and several volunteers gathered in the basement of an Oklahoma City church to sort and purchase products from twenty local producers.  They generated $3,500 in sales, and the opening day of the Oklahoma Food Coop (OFC) was determined to have been a great success. Read more »

The Holiday Harvest from Christmas Tree Farms

Nine days til Christmas.

Many of you already have your trees up, I’m sure, but for just as many, if not more, your tree will be making it’s way home sometime over the next week. Read more »

Bailey’s Elementary School Students Bring Holiday Cheer

“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!” Talented fifth graders from Bailey’s Elementary School in Falls Church, VA caroled to Forest Service employees in the Yates Building at the Chief’s annual Open House on Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The students cheerfully sang a holiday mix of carols including Let It Snow, Here We Come A-Wassailing and a compilation medley. Read more »

USDA Officials to Attend 2010 White House Tribal Nations Conference

Today marks a historic event. Alaska Native and Native American leaders are scheduled to meet with President Obama at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, held at the headquarters of the Department of Interior in Washington.  Among those scheduled to attend from USDA are Secretary Tom Vilsack, Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager and Janie Hipp, senior advisor to the Secretary for tribal relations. Read more »

First High School in Nation Receives Gold of Distinction HUSSC Award

Sixth Grade cheerleaders from Sumrall Middle School perform a “healthy eating” cheer during a HealthierUS School Challenge awards ceremony where their school received a Gold level award from USDA FNCS Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton.

Sixth Grade cheerleaders from Sumrall Middle School perform a “healthy eating” cheer during a HealthierUS School Challenge awards ceremony where their school received a Gold level award from USDA FNCS Deputy Under Secretary Dr. Janey Thornton.

I was privileged to go to the State of Mississippi on Dec. 9, for a HealthierUS School Challenge event.  Actually, I was there for three events and 11 schools received either USDA’s Gold of Distinction Awards or Gold Awards.  One of the six schools that was recognized for the Gold of Distinction Award was Purvis High School in Purvis, Miss.  This school is actually the first high school in the country to win this award and counting the other five Gold of Distinction award winners; these six schools are the first in Mississippi to be recognized for this particular award. Read more »