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Posts tagged: Baltimore

How You Can Feed Kids Afterschool and on Holidays

Over 21 million kids eat free or reduced-price breakfast or lunch at school. But what about dinner? And weekends and holidays when there is no school?  Well, the answer is the newly-expanded At-Risk Afterschool Meals in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).  At-Risk Afterschool Meals are now available in all States, and USDA needs your help to open more feeding sites.  More places that serve meals means that more kids are getting the meals and nutrition they need.

In Baltimore, over 6,000 kids eat supper in afterschool programs every day. The Family League of Baltimore City has more than 100 afterschool meals sites. The Family League also feeds children during the summer when school is out, and it has served afterschool snacks and suppers to kids for two years. Read more »

USDA Food Safety Discovery Zone Wrap-Up

The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) concluded its 2010 tour season on November 13, 2010 at the National Science Teachers Association Area Conference, in Baltimore, MD.  “How can I get this to my school and how much does it cost?” was the main question asked by the 2,617 educators who visited the FSDZ during the conference. Read more »

A Maryland Egg Producer Plans to Cut Energy Costs and Create Electricity with USDA Rural Development and State Support

Monday was breezy in rural Maryland, but a crowd of about 70 was in high spirits as federal, state and local officials gathered at Sunnyside Farms to inaugurate a new solar panel system that will reduce power costs at this major egg producing facility. Read more »

USDA Joins Maryland in Celebrating Farmer’s Markets

Under Secretary Kevin Concannon discusses SNAP benefits at Park Heights Community Farmers’ Market in Baltimore.

Under Secretary Kevin Concannon discusses SNAP benefits at Park Heights Community Farmers’ Market in Baltimore.

I recently visited the Park Heights Community Farmers’ Market in Baltimore, Maryland.  At USDA we’re enthusiastic about farmers markets because they help fulfill two of our primary missions – promoting good nutrition and supporting United States agriculture, especially family farmers.  Farmers’ markets also boost local communities through increased outlets for local farmers.

Park Heights is one of nine farmers’ markets in Maryland to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and one of 97 that accept WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program checks.  Like thousands across the country, the Park Heights market provides access to farm-fresh, affordable foods for low-income individuals, seniors, children and families.

Increasing the number of farmers’ markets that participate in our federal nutrition programs, especially SNAP, is a priority for USDA because farmers markets help introduce low-income families to a wide variety of nutritious foods and help them get into the habit of making healthier choices.

I am pleased to say that over the past five years, the number of farmers’ markets participating in SNAP has increased by 250 percent, with over 1100 farmers markets participating nationwide.

Farmers’ market foods are also important in getting our youngest children off to a healthy start – even before they are born.  In Maryland, more than 42,000 WIC participants have access to fresh, healthy food through the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, which serves low-income pregnant women, nursing mothers, their infants, and young children.

Nearly 7,000 low-income seniors in Maryland have used Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits at local markets.

I really enjoyed my time at the Park Heights Community Farmers Market.  When I think about the time I lived in Maine, Oregon and Iowa, I remember the delicious blueberries, crisp pears and fresh sweet corn – all grown locally.  Hopefully, working together, we can help ensure that all Americans can experience the health and well-being that comes with supporting farmers markets.

Maryland School Improves Quality of School Meals – Thanks to ARRA!

Jerrisa Carter shows Under Secretary Kevin Concannon new equipment purchased with ARRA funds.

Jerrisa Carter shows Under Secretary Kevin Concannon new equipment purchased with ARRA funds.

I recently visited Lansdowne Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland to see new equipment the school purchased with American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (ARRA) grant money.  I was delighted to hear Jerrisa Carter, Maryland’s Area Regional Food Service Director, say their new convection oven has improved the quality of their school meals. Read more »