Last month I spoke to food bank leaders at the Feeding America Central Region conference, which was held in Baton Rouge, La., and hosted by the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Attendees came from over 20 states to strategize about meeting the challenges of these tough economic times. Feeding America’s food banks help supply thousands of food pantries and emergency food sites across the U.S. and are among the many charitable organizations working hard to figure out ways to deal with decreased donations and a higher demand for food.
I told the group that it’s important that they continue to get the word out to food bank clients that USDA nutrition assistance is available to folks who meet the eligibility standards. Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women Infants and Children program (WIC) still provide critical aid to individuals and families that may experience food insecurity. I also reminded them to encourage parents in their communities to enroll their children in school lunch and breakfast. School meals help ease the burden on families to provide three meals a day to the children in their households. Read more »
A map plotting the updated locations of U.S. Farmers Markets. Geocode data is now available for over 6,200 markets.
With nearly 2 million page views in 2011 alone, the USDA National Farmers Market Directory is one of the Department of Agriculture’s most popular consumer search engines. Read more »
District of Columbia WIC Director Gloria Clark talks about DC’s new mobile WIC clinic which will travel to underserved parts of the city to provide needed services.
Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:
On August 4, the Farmers Market by the White House was bustling with individuals celebrating World Breastfeeding Week and National Farmers Market Week. The festival’s purpose was to recognize the value of farmers markets and the role that nutritious fruits and vegetables play in promoting wellness. Read more »
One ag-educator expressed the feelings of many at the first meeting of the USDA Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers when he concluded, “This meeting is a progressive step in the right direction. USDA should be commended for doing this, and should convene this kind of public forum more often.”
A small farmer from Michigan added her encouragement, saying, “We don’t just want to talk about it anymore – we want it to happen.” Read more »
Here at FNS, we are working hard to increase breastfeeding rates through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. One of the ways we’re doing this is by using peer counselors who can provide more effective support to other breastfeeding mothers.
In July, I attended the “Breastfeeding Peer Counseling” course, which was hosted by the Food and Nutrition Service’s Southwest Regional Office and a nonprofit organization called Every Mother Inc. This organization provides counseling, lactation training and resources, and it was great to have them on hand for the training. We also drew on the expertise of the national WIC staff, which directs the WIC program in serving over 9 million women, infants and children each month. Read more »
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan listens to and answers questions from seniors from Calvert High School Calvert, Texas Jamarion Ramirez, Andre Ross, Telisa Grimes, LaKendra Crowley Ja’Marcus Ashley, Blair Burns and Shameka Grimes.
It wasn’t supposed to happen.
There wasn’t supposed to be an agriculture curriculum. There wasn’t supposed to be an instructor. And there definitely wasn’t any money to send seven African-American students from one of the smallest and lowest income towns in Texas to Washington, D.C., to speak with high-level USDA officials. Read more »