Young toddlers and children crowded the tents, shuffling and giggling, as they waited for their parents to purchase produce for the family. The Arlington Farmers’ Market was filled with customers who participate in the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and farmers who were excited to cater to the enormous turn out. Well over 200 families came out in the mid-morning heat of Texas to receive their Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers.
Through the FMNP, WIC participants are able to access locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs that promote the well being and health of themselves and/or their children. Just last year in 2011, 1.9 million WIC participants received FMNP benefits, which, when redeemed, surpassed 16.4 million dollars in total revenue for participating farmers and farmer’s markets.
On hand this day were Ann Salyer-Caldwell, Tarrant County WIC Director, Sam Varela, the FMNP State Director of Texas Department of Agriculture, Kay Dillard, the Director of the Tarrant Area Food Bank, Dorothy “Toni” Savage-Oakford, a community health worker with the Tarrant County Health Department, and Samantha Swain, the local FMNP Coordinator. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
Today marks day two in the first ever National Summer Food Service Program Week, a weeklong awareness campaign to promote USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and other programs nationwide to feed low income kids.
Lots of things are happening around the country this week to help feed more hungry children this summer. For example today is National Hunger Awareness Day – as designated by the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan resolution. This is very fitting, given that at least 17 million children in the United States face a higher risk of hunger in the summer. Also today Agriculture Secretary Vilsack joined Jeff Bridges, Share Our Strength founder Bill Shore, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and others to launch Virginia’s No Kid Hungry Campaign at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia. Read more »
Former President Bill Clinton makes remarks at the World Agricultural Outlook Board Forum in Arlington, VA on Thursday, February 24, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.
Three major problems plague the world today and what happens in agriculture will help shape the resolution of these issues, according to former President Bill Clinton. Read more »
Exports will be the focus of two highly anticipated sessions on Thursday, Feb. 24 during this year’s Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Va. USDA’s latest quarterly export forecast will be released that same day and will surely serve as a springboard for a lively discussion on the benefits of exporting as well as the role of agriculture in President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI). Read more »
USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) will kick off its 50th anniversary celebration with a special session at the Agricultural Outlook Forum this month. The session will highlight ERS’ role as a resource for policymakers and for those advancing debates in the areas of food economics, rural development and natural resources, and markets and trade. In addition, the expert panel will share their thoughts on what questions will shape ERS research in the years to come. Read more »
Parkview Apartments, Inc. in Arlington, South Dakota, is a nonprofit organization that consists of nine buildings. The first building on this project was built in 1964 and the other buildings were later added in the 1970s. The project had seen an increase in vacancy rates prior to the renovation. Today, with USDA funded upgrades, they hope to increase the occupancy rate.
USDA Rural Development has partnered with South Dakota Housing Development Authority to fund rehab including reducing the number of units from 42 to 35, resulting in 14-one bedroom, 20-two bedroom, and one-three bedroom to better serve the needs of families in the area, along with roofing, siding, plumbing, electrical, flooring, windows, appliances, and handicap accessibility. Read more »