This week, USDA was honored to join forces with USAID and Islamic Relief USA to host the department’s 4th annual Iftar celebration. The event welcomed over 170 guests, including representatives from humanitarian organizations, faith-based groups and federal employees. This year’s Iftar called attention to the importance of reducing food insecurity abroad with the theme “Feed the Future: Together We Can.” Iftar is an evening gathering held each year during Ramadan. A time of spiritual cleansing in the Islamic faith, Ramadan is when Muslims fast, abstaining from food and water from sunrise until sunset. Iftar is the meal at which Muslims break their fast each night. For many Muslims, fasting is an act of empathy towards those around the world who go hungry not by choice, but instead by circumstance.
USAID Administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, speaks about Feed the Future
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What do bratwurst and USDA have in common? The ability to mobilize community members to donate to Feds Feed Families!
On sizzling hot summer days in Madison, Wisconsin, employees of the Agricultural Research Service’s Dairy Forage Research Center fire up their grills with hot dogs, hamburgers, veggie burgers, and of course, brats (short for bratwurst, a German sausage that is especially popular in Wisconsin) to incentivize donors to keep giving to feed hungry families.
This creative idea was sparked by Jane Marita, a plant molecular geneticist, who wanted to add some energy and excitement to the 2011 Feds Feed Families Campaign. By offering her co-workers free brats in exchange for food pantry donations, Marita noticed a marked increase in donations which resulted in a tremendous total of 2,800 pounds of food collected by the research center in 2011. Read more »
4-H campers enjoy incorporating fitness into a healthy lifestyle. Here, participants work to complete an obstacle course.
The Louisiana State 4-H Food and Fitness Camp is joining the Let’s Move! initiative to combat childhood obesity through improved nutrition and increased physical activity. As a camp for fourth and fifth graders designed and run by high school 4-H teens, the program motivates campers to eat healthier and move more. Read more »
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
The winners of the Communities on the Move Video Challenge have been chosen! Since First Lady Michelle Obama announced the Video Challenge in February, Let’s Move Faith and Communities has been inspired by every congregation and community that submitted a video highlighting how they are promoting healthy lifestyles for kids. From putting on nutrition-themed puppet shows in Connecticut to advocating for safer play spaces in Colorado and preaching healthy living from the pulpit in Florida, the ideas in these videos demonstrate the commitment that communities across the country have to reversing the trend of childhood obesity within a generation.
The Video Challenge encouraged faith-based and neighborhood organizations to create one-to-three minute videos highlighting the work they are doing to make their communities or congregations places of wellness. The challenge recognized efforts that promote healthy lifestyles for kids in three areas: encouraging nutritious eating through USDA’s MyPlate icon, increasing physical activity, and ensuring access to healthy, affordable foods. The winners and honorable mentions will be invited to Washington, D.C. for a Let’s Move! event. Read more »
Do you know about the resources USDA has to help feed hungry children over the summer? The USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted a webinar as part of their Together We Can Partnership Series about the Summer Food Service Program to help connect individuals and organizations to the program.
Explained in the simplest terms, the Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, state administered program that provides free nutritious meals to children in low-income areas. The program helps ensure children receive the nutritious food that they need during the summer. Many children from low-income families rely on school meals during the school year and no longer have access to those meals in the summer. The program operates when school is not in session, typically from the end of the school year in late May or early June until school resumes, usually late August or early September. Read more »
Please join us for our next webinar entitled, “Together We Can Feed Kids During the Summer.”
Last week, USDA’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships led a webinar to share with local faith and community leaders opportunities to partner with USDA to help those in need in their communities. This webinar was the first in a series entitled, Together We Can. The series aims to equip organizations with introductory knowledge, best practices, and contact information to help community-based organizations understand and access USDA programs. Read more »