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Posts tagged: Food and Nutrition Service

Solving the Fresh Produce Equation

The webinar series is an off-shoot of an ongoing AMS produce webinar series and the popular Produce Safety University (PSU), which helps school foodservice personnel identify and manage food safety risks associated with handling fresh produce. USDA photo courtesy of Lance Cheung.

The webinar series is an off-shoot of an ongoing AMS produce webinar series and the popular Produce Safety University (PSU), which helps school foodservice personnel identify and manage food safety risks associated with handling fresh produce. USDA photo courtesy of Lance Cheung.

Whether it’s solving a math problem or figuring out how to buy quality fresh apples, having the right tools and training will lead you to a positive solution. Managing fresh and fresh-cut produce purchases can seem like a complicated math problem for many schools, food banks and other large volume institutions. To help them figure out the right formula and address all of the variables, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) designed a webinar series to help these establishments successfully buy, receive and handle fresh and fresh-cut produce.

The webinar series is an off-shoot of an ongoing AMS produce webinar series and the popular Produce Safety University (PSU), which helps school foodservice personnel identify and manage food safety risks associated with handling fresh produce. While PSU was delivered using interactive, hands-on classes, the webinar series’ online format allows more people to expand their knowledge of all things produce. As a result, more and more large volume institutions will be able to satisfy their demand for fresh produce. Read more »

Funding Helps Farmers’ Markets That Want to Participate in SNAP

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide.

Farmers Markets offer in season, local produce to communities nationwide.

Promoting access to fresh and nutritious foods for the millions of Americans who participate in nutrition assistance programs is a top priority for USDA. We’re happy to announce that we’re emphasizing our commitment to promoting healthy food choices by giving more SNAP participants the ability to spend their benefits at farmers’ markets. Starting this month, we are making $4 million dollars in funds available to equip farmers’ markets with wireless point-of-sale equipment. Read more »

Yes, We Have No Bananas

We left the cool warehouse with sticky shoes and smelling of spoiled bananas, but also with a warm feeling for having helped the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas ensure healthy, fresh food for their clients. Hundreds of cases of bananas had been donated, but when food bank staff checked the produce it was too spoiled to be used.  However, the sturdy produce boxes could be salvaged for further use, so 32 USDA volunteers from the Food and Nutrition Service Southwest Regional Office and USDA Risk Management Agency rolled up their sleeves to empty and then reassemble the boxes.  This was a great opportunity for us to work together with other USDA employees and see the food bank in operation first hand. The project was part of the January 12th USDA National Day of Service honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Texas City Teams Up With NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders to Help End Summer Hunger

RA Ludwig, Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples, Deion Sanders and Former NFL Athlete/Hall of Famer review activities that are planned for the children at Sanders’ youth camp.

RA Ludwig, Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples, Deion Sanders and Former NFL Athlete/Hall of Famer review activities that are planned for the children at Sanders’ youth camp.

On July 6th, I attended an event to kick-off this season’s Summer Food Service Program in Texas and to celebrate the state’s third annual “Mayor’s Challenge” to end child hunger during the summer. The event was held at NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders’ youth camp in Duncanville, Texas. Read more »

Become a Champion to End Hunger. Make A Commitment and Take Action Today!

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday (center), corperation for natinal and comunity Service CEO Patrick Corvington and Bread for the City President George Jones announced at Bread for the City, on April 29, 20ll in Washington, DC, that the USDA will become champions to end hunger and innovative partnerships to address hunger, especially among children  USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Thursday (center), corperation for national and comunity Service CEO Patrick Corvington and Bread for the City President George Jones announced at Bread for the City, on April 29, 20ll in Washington, DC, that the USDA will become champions to end hunger and innovative partnerships to address hunger, especially among children USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

In 2009, nearly 1 million children simply didn’t get enough to eat in the United States. It’s a startling statistic but one that we can change, and you can help.  Today, USDA launched a series of new online tools and volunteer initiatives to increase the number of individuals, organizations, and governments actively working to end childhood hunger.   These tools will help you to get involved and become a champion to end hunger in your community!  We can end hunger if we all work together.  Whether you represent a non-profit, faith-based organization, state or local government, school, private company, or you’re an interested and passionate member of the public, it’s time to get involved and take action. Read more »

New Handbook Shows Farmers’ Market Operators How to Participate in SNAP

Last summer, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), released  the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at Farmers Markets: A How-To-Handbook.  The handbook assists farmers’ market operators and direct marketing farmers in determining the steps necessary to become authorized to participate in SNAP and, subsequently, the steps related to managing participation.

It includes tips and guidelines on how to make the program work successfully for vendors and customers.  The handbook also features a list of resources, a glossary of important terms, and several case studies from farmers markets that have successfully implemented EBT technology.  AMS’s USDA Farmers’ Market Directory is available online to locate farmers’ markets that accept nutrition assistance program benefits. Read more »