Last week Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager met with Twenty-two Utah business leaders for a White House Business Council roundtable. The meeting was hosted by Zions Bank Corporation and USDA Rural Development. Salt Lake City was one of the 100 communities across the nation to hold a White House Business Council event. The Salt Lake meeting gave businesses the opportunity to share their ideas for job creation with the White House and USDA.
Tonsager, a key Obama Administration official for rural economic development efforts, sought advice from the business community on ways to improve the economic climate. The exchange also educated business and community leaders in attendance about resources available through USDA Rural Development. Read more »
Darlene Barnes, Mountain Plains Regional Administrator, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service
It was going to be tough matching Wednesday’s visit to Colorado Springs, but if anyplace can compare, it’s breathtaking Salt Lake City. But Utah is more than just a pretty face. It’s one of seven new states this year that began operating the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Thanks to Utah and others’ commitment, CSFP participation now includes 39 states, two Indian Tribal Organizations, and the District of Columbia.
While there, I took the opportunity to tour the Bountiful Food Pantry, the first site in the Salt Lake area to begin distributing food packages. CSFP food packages there are available to the elderly as well as to women, infants, and children. A little later I was joined by staff from the Food and Nutrition Service’s Mountain Plains Regional Office, where we took part in a celebration for CSFP at the Utah Food Bank. I also had a chance to see their recently renovated food bank, and its a gorgeous facility! A number of community partners came out to support the program, helping us get the word out about CSFP. I’m confident we’ll be successful in spreading that important message to those most in need – in large part to the efforts of Utah’s food community.
Janey Thornton, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, (in center) and Darlene Barnes, Administrator of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Mountain Plains Region (second from left) traveled to Utah May 13 to help promote the launch of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in the State.