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Missouri USDA Rural Development State Director Pitches in for Feds Feed Families Effort

USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri Anita J. (Janie) Dunning with food donation to Feds Feed Families.

USDA Rural Development State Director for Missouri Anita J. (Janie) Dunning with food donation to Feds Feed Families.

The Feds Feed Families (FFF) drive is a great opportunity for all of us to give something to those who are less fortunate.  I accepted the challenge and went out Saturday morning and did some shopping and loaded up 285 pounds of food.   It was actually quite fun to think about what someone might like to have but even more importantly the smiles it will put on their faces when they have some food in their tummies. Read more »

USDA Tests New Bird Detection Technology

Recently, USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) scientists at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) tested two new scare devices developed by private companies that include species recognition technologies─the Sonic Dissuader® and the Goose Guardian. The devices focus on pileated woodpeckers and Canada geese, aiming to prevent the damages caused by these two bird species. Read more »

Small Plant News: Rural Development Stands Ready to Assist Small Meat and Poultry Plants with Loans

[Editor's note: a version of this article was originally published in the Food Safety and Inspection Service's Small Plant News.  This post covers Rural Development loan programs available to small plants; an upcoming post will cover Rural Development grant programs.]

If you are a small packinghouse or processor and you want to expand, upgrade, or update your facility, assistance is available. As covered in the Volume 1, Number 3 issue of Small Plant News, USDA’s Rural Development is ready to offer assistance in the form of loans and grants, which this two-part series will examine. Read more »

Texas Hunger Initiative Joins Let’s Move Faith and Communities to Serve Summer Meals

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

As part of Let’s Move!, First Lady Michelle Obama has challenged community and faith leaders to combat hunger. One of her goals for Let’s Move Faith and Communities is to encourage these trusted leaders to start 1,000 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites where kids can gather for a healthy meal when school is out. As faith and community leaders know, however, getting meals to hungry children is much easier said than done. That’s why the Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) joined Let’s Move Faith and Communities: to help folks serve meals to the one in four children in Texas who don’t get enough to eat every summer.

THI, a Baylor University project that organizes communities to end hunger, rose to the First Lady’s challenge to start SFSP sites. And the communities in Texas need THI’s help; Texas has the second highest food insecurity rate in the country. Through their partnership with the Texas Department of Agriculture, USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and local leaders, THI has increased meals served statewide by 2 million since last summer, the single largest increase in the U.S. Because of this partnership, Texas now serves more summer meals than any other state in the country. Read more »

Secretary’s Column: Food Safe Families

America has one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world. But even in this country, too many people get sick from the food they eat.

This year, one in six Americans will get food poisoning – that’s 48 million people. 128,000 will end up in the hospital. And 3,000 will die. These aren’t just statistics. These are real people, real families, impacted by the food they put on the table. Read more »

Strong Start for USDA’s Feds Feed Families Campaign

Our June Feds Feed Families totals are in, and I would like to give my USDA colleagues across the country a discreet, virtual high-five.

Today, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA donated just over 100,000 pounds of food to the Feds Feed Families food drive during the month of June.  What a great start to the campaign! The National Office Feds Feed Families team continues to be inspired by the stories we are hearing from our counterparts in the field. Read more »