The key to reaching out to underserved, eligible Latino communities in need of nutrition assistance is to find trusted leaders from within the community itself. The Minnesota-based organization Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) has effectively adopted an outreach model that achieves grassroots impact through a holistic promotores (community health workers) model. CLUES is a La Mesa Completa partner whose mission is to provide a network of support for Hispanic individuals facing crisis. To help Latinos in need, they have developed a unique family-centric coordinated care delivery model based on the idea that the family and the home are valuable support assets.
CLUES elects trusted community leaders to be promotores and trains them on how to deliver information about nutrition education and healthy eating, obesity and diabetes prevention, and the importance of physical activity through one-on-one home visits. These Latino promotores have become the bridge between the people and federal, state and local resources and institutions they refer them to, which is why establishing a relationship of trust is crucial. Read more »
As summer time begins, I think of children playing with their friends and having a great time as they enjoy their vacation from school. I am also very aware that some children may go hungry during the summer months. Fortunately for children in the Rio Grande Valley on June 1, Catholic Charities began their second year providing meals to children up to age 18 through USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. Catholic Charities is now providing summer meals in Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties in South Texas.
Children select a few healthy options for lunch.
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Mississippi staff recently commemorated the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its work on behalf of agriculture, rural America and people throughout the country and world who benefit from the work of the agency. Mississippi agencies USDA Rural Development (RD), National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and Forest Service celebrated on May 15. In addition to an event at the RD state office, all the agencies area offices across the state hosted events. The event included watching the national observance from USDA headquarters in Washington, a slideshow presentation detailing history about all the agencies, agency information on display, and comments from agency heads and staff.
When President Abraham Lincoln founded the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1862, he called it “the People’s Department,” a sentiment that still rings true today as the Department’s diverse portfolio boasts strong support for American agriculture and local and regional food systems, as well as critical nutrition assistance, food safety, conservation, rural development, and research programs, among many other programs and initiatives. “USDA still continues as ‘the People’s Department’ by investing in rural America and the rural communities that millions call home and investing in community facilities and helping to ensure communities have access to critical infrastructure. Additionally through grant and loan programs for rural businesses, USDA helps to drive job growth in rural America and build thriving economies for the long term,” said Trina George, Mississippi State Director USDA Rural Development. Read more »
As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it is most appropriate to recognize the important role women play in shaping the eating patterns of their family members and especially, their children. So today, we are launching an updated web site with new messages, tools, and resources to help nutrition educators reach one of the most critically important target groups—moms. FNS administers 15 nutrition assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Women, Infants and Children Program that help individuals and families meet their nutrition needs. Since many participants in these programs are women and children, moms are a high priority for nutrition education because they can make a big impact of the eating habits of their families.
The new resources include 13 audience-tested core nutrition messages, tips for making healthier choices, ideas for tasty meals and snacks that include whole grains, milk, fruits and vegetables, and other easy to use ways to help consumers to understand and put MyPlate recommendations into practice. Testing showed that these materials resonate with moms, provide realistic ways to engage their children, and offer appealing tips to incorporate whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk, and fruits and vegetables into family meals and snacks.
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A screen shot of the La Mesa Completa Tool Kit
This week, the Center for Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted a webinar in Spanish to launch our exciting new La Mesa Completa Tool Kit. The e-tool was made for Spanish-speaking faith and community leaders to learn about the various ways in which they can partner with USDA to ensure that Latinos have access to federal nutrition programs. More than one in four Latinos is food insecure, and Latinos access USDA nutrition assistance programs at the lowest rates of any demographic group. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined First Lady Michelle Obama and celebrity cook Rachel Ray at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, Wednesday, January 25, 2012 to speak with faculty and parents about the United States Department of Agriculture’s new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols
Today we celebrate an historic achievement on behalf of kids across America. We have accomplished a critical step on the road to deliver healthier, more nutritious food to our nation’s schoolchildren. Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture released the final rule that sets the standards for critical improvements to the child nutrition programs that serve millions of children across the country every day. Read more »