I had the distinct pleasure of visiting the birthplace of former Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Wallace during a recent trip to Iowa. In fact, my tour of the farm near Orient in south central Iowa happened to be May 15, the day the USDA celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Wallace was Secretary of the Agriculture from March 4, 1933 until September 4, 1940. He served as Vice President of the United States from 1941 to 1945 under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was also Secretary of Commerce from 1945 to 1946.
Wallace is perhaps the 20th Century’s most well-known Ag Secretary and his accomplishments are monumental. 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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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 »
A Bureau of Printing and Engraving employee examines a run of food stamps for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for errors in May 1974. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.
Happy Birthday USDA!! We are 150 years strong, serving as federal department bettering the lives of the American people. For over 40 years USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has served as the federal agency in USDA that administers the Nation’s domestic nutrition assistance programs. Our 15 programs comprise the Nation’s food safety net, serving 1 in 4 Americans. They include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly the Food Stamp Program), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and The Emergency Food Assistance Program, among others. Read more »
During a recent visit to Southern California, I met with key partners in USDA’s efforts to address hunger and make nutritious food affordable and available, particularly in low-income communities.
More than one out of four Latino families in the United States is food insecure, and many do not know that CalFresh, the name for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in California, can help families put healthy food on the table. Latinos are now the fastest growing demographic group in the United States, and they face higher levels of both hunger and obesity. Since almost half of Los Angeles County’s population is Latino, I was excited to share our new La Mesa Completa Community Leaders Tool Kit with faith leaders from the Catholic and Evangelical communities, as well as with nutrition advocates from Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. Read more »
I get to learn about a lot of great local initiatives when I make visits around the country. On a recent trip to Dallas, I visited Metrocrest Social Services, a community resource agency in Farmers Branch, Texas, that provides services to families in crisis and helps them make plans for the future. The purpose of the visit was to learn how outreach workers from the North Texas Food Bank come to this office to assist clients submit applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
Camilla Zimbal, social services director, gave me a tour of the agency, and showed me some of the other services available to clients. One of the highlights of this one-stop shop is a food pantry at which pantry clients may select groceries once a week. In addition to the canned and boxed food, they can also select fresh-from-the-garden fruit and vegetables. Read more »