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Posts tagged: United We Serve

USDA employees contributing to United We Serve initiative

The Obama administration has called on Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life to work to improve their communities as part of the United We Serve project. Here at USDA, many of our more than 100,000 employees are doing their part. They are driven to serve, and proud to identify ways to use their skills to support their own communities.

Take a look at the great work two USDA employees are doing:

People’s Garden—Tom (Goodhue, MN)

Tom works at the Goodhue, Minnesota USDA Service Center. During his lunch break, he gets his hands in the soil of the vegetable garden of their own People’s Garden. He often works alongside Kate, an employee of the local Soil and Water Conservation District, and others. So far, they have harvested 55 pounds of produce, including beets, green beans, yellow beans, squash, carrots, onions, carrots, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and potatoes.

All of this nutritious food has been donated to 2 local food shelves, helping alleviate hunger in their community. Growing food in gardens also lowers the reliance on transporting food over long distances, which conserves energy.

Tom in his garden at the Goodhue, MN USDA Service Center

Serving in a State Park—Larry (St. Louis, MO)

Larry and his wife are both members of the Missouri Back Country Horsemen Association. With their fellow Association members, they have devoted countless hours to trail improvements and trail monitoring, and have also been called upon to aid park rangers in locating lost hikers or fallen riders. Their bow saws, determination, and perspiration ensure that the trails through this beautiful land remain clean, clear and useable by all.

Missouri Back Country Horsemen Association members on horseback

Deputy Secretary Merrigan visits Washington food bank

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited the Capital Area Food Bank in northeast Washington this morning, to help highlight the President’s United We Serve initiative and encourage Americans to serve their communities.

She also spoke directly to USDA employees, who are encouraged to participate in the Feds Feed Families program through August by bringing food to work:

Merrigan, joined by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, reiterated the President’s pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015 — and the importance of the nation’s food banks in that effort. At the same time, she noted, summer is often the hardest time for food banks to gather the resources they need to help the community.

This summer, that’s one problem the Obama Administration is hoping to address as it kicks off the United We Serve program. When people find a local project, whether it’s helping to gather food for a food bank, building a family a home, or working to clean up a park, everyone benefits. And although the hurdles are sometimes high, the Deputy Secretary and other attendees’ summer Hawaiian shirts served as a reminder that volunteering this summer, with friends, family and neighbors, can be fun at the same time.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan meets with staff at the Capitol Area Food Bank.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan meets with staff at the Capitol Area Food Bank.

Deputy Secretary Merrigan tours Cleveland Food Bank discusses United We Serve

When President Obama announced United We Serve, a summer service initiative to encourage all Americans to reach out in service to their neighbors and communities, he was very clear that the government acting alone can’t pull America through these hard economic times. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack serves lunch at summer program in Chicago

Earlier this week, Secretary Vilsack rolled up his sleeves as part of the Obama administration’s United We Serve summer service initiative by visiting the St. Agatha Family Empowerment Center in Chicago. Excited youngsters left a nearby playground and lined up as Secretary Vilsack helped serve lunches at the Center as part of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack serving food to kids in Chicago

Local religious leaders from three faiths helped the Secretary serve fajitas, apples and milk to around a hundred of the city’s West Side youth. The Secretary chatted with children ranging from toddlers to high schoolers while serving spoonfuls of diced cheese and hot sauce.

After all the children had eaten, the Secretary, joined by religious leaders, handed out goodie bags which included popular USDA Frisbees, bracelets and nutrition-related activity sheets.

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack distributing nutrition goody bags in Chicago

USDA Deputy Secretary Merrigan Reads to Children as part of Obama Administration’s ‘United We Serve’ Initiative

On Monday, June 22, 2009, USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, read to children at the Morgan Day Care Center in Silver Spring, MD. The visit was part of President Obama’s “United We Serve” initiative program which is designed make volunteerism and community service part of the daily lives of all Americans and help build a new foundation of service, one community at a time.

Merrigan was joined by Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Earl "Buddy" Hance, and together they shared nutrition tips with pre-school children at the day care center. Morgan Day Care participates in USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program and runs the Summer Food Service Program at nearby Piney Branch Elementary School.

Merrigan was joined by Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Earl "Buddy" Hance, and together they shared nutrition tips with pre-school children at the day care center. Morgan Day Care participates in USDA's Child and Adult Care Food Program and runs the Summer Food Service Program at nearby Piney Branch Elementary School.