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Want to Help Feed Hungry Kids This Summer? Check Out Our New Webinars and Outreach Toolkits!

Each summer, children wait for the last bell of the school year.  Summer is an exciting time for children to enjoy playtime with friends, a week at camp, a family vacation, or time at the pool.  But for many children who receive free and reduced-price meals at school, summer can mean hunger.  Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child’s need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow, throughout the summer months when they are out of school. Read more »

See First Hand How Partnerships Impact Children

Children pose for a picture with Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee.

Children pose for a picture with Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee.

Celebrations always seem bigger in Texas. And the one on February 25, at Brawner Intermediate School in Granbury, Texas, was no exception.  The event  recognized the school’s invaluable partnership with dairy farmers, the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and USDA, who teamed to make an unprecedented pledge to improve health and fitness of kids across the country.  The school’s efforts are an integral component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and just one example of the public-private partnerships that are critical to solving the challenges we face. Read more »

USDA Statisticians Offer Lesson Plans to Enhance Classroom Education

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

During this week – National Agriculture Week—agriculture groups all across the country are coming together to recognize and promote agriculture’s numerous contributions to society. National Agriculture Week also gives the farm community an opportunity to reach out to students and educators to reinforce the importance of agricultural education in the classroom.  To that end, new classroom lesson plans that meet National Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources standards along with outreach kits are available to teachers and students. Read more »

Students Impact Forest Service Planning Rule Process

Members of the Central California Consortium stand in front of a massive tree, part of the natural resources they help sustain. (Photo by Central California Consortium)

Members of the Central California Consortium stand in front of a massive tree, part of the natural resources they help sustain. (Photo by Central California Consortium)

Although the U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule is still a draft document, it has helped to produce environmental change for one special group of involved students. Over the past year this special group of young adults attended planning rule public sessions, followed developing issues, and then provided some input of their own. Through their diligence and proactive engagement, some of their concerns have made it into the draft planning rule. Read more »

School Garden Concept Plan Revealed to Students at Powell Elementary School

Cross posted from the Let’s Move blog:

Last month USDA facilitated a school garden design session and since that time, landscape architects Matt Arnn and Bob Snieckus have been working hard to incorporate parent, teacher and student ideas into an ideal plan that would transform the large expanse of asphalt at Powell Elementary School in Washington, DC into a People’s Garden.

Older students envisioned racecars, tree houses, spaceships and swimming pools at their school while younger students imagined rainbows and butterflies. Parents and teachers drew images of colorful flowers, fruits and vegetables, and quiet spaces for reflection and relaxation. Many of the garden designs incorporated an area for basketball and street hockey as well as covered areas to gather for meals and cultural celebrations. Read more »

Food Safety Professionals Teach 8th Graders about Preventing Foodborne Illness

I’ve worked for the Food Safety and Inspection Service for 21 years, and for the past six years, I’ve had the opportunity to help reduce foodborne illness in a unique way outside of my usual job description—by talking to local 8th grade science students about how to “Fight Bac!” My husband, Kirkland, also works for FSIS. I am a Case Specialist, meaning I deal with consumer complaints and product recalls within FSIS’ Springdale, Ark., district, while Kirkland is a Consumer Safety Inspector (CSI). When my niece was studying bacteria in her 8th grade science class, she mentioned to her teacher that several members of her family work every day to prevent harmful bacteria in our food supply. Intrigued, the teacher called and asked if I would discuss with the class my job and how foodborne pathogens can make people sick. Read more »