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News Release
  Release No. 0453.10
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USDA Office of Communications (202) 720-4623

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  USDA Announces Team Nutrition Training Grants to Improve Health of America's Children
  Initiative to Combat Childhood Obesity and Promote Physical Activity
 

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2010 —Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced Team Nutrition Training Grants to 19 States to help children develop good nutrition and physical activity habits for healthier lifestyles. Nearly $5.5 million in funding will support efforts to help elementary and secondary schools applying for the HealthierUS School Challenge, a key component of the First Lady's Let's Move initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation. Team Nutrition Training Grants help States provide schools with nutrition education materials and resources for children and parents as well as technical assistance and training for school food service providers and communities.

"The importance of school meals is underscored by the current state of the health and nutrition of our nation's children, and the Obama Administration is committed to making improvements," said Vilsack, "Lack of access to proper nutrition is fueling obesity and leading to food insecurity and hunger among our children. But we know we can do better by our kids and at the end of the day our goal is simple - we want the next generation of kids to be the healthiest and best educated in our country's history."

Team Nutrition is a key component in the efforts of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to improve children's lifelong eating and physical activity habits by incorporating the principles of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid in school meals.

During the two year grant period, states will provide training and technical assistance to school food service staff in making school meals healthier, including ways to include more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk products on the menu. Additionally, grantees will be promoting the use of USDA foods and also teaching children skills needed to make healthful food choices through hands-on nutrition education experiences and providing parents with information on how to support healthy habits at home.

The 19 States receiving grants are: Alabama ($121,559), Alaska ($245,061), California ($317,990), Colorado ($271,472), Idaho ($297,053), Illinois ($316,310), Indiana ($92,568), Iowa ($349,835), Kansas ($315,435), Maine ($349,721), Maryland ($291,786), Michigan ($346,048), Mississippi ($254,680), Montana ($349,967), New Jersey ($340,250), Ohio ($335,350), Pennsylvania ($328,372), Washington ($188,060), and Wisconsin ($326,228).

Improving USDA's child nutrition programs on behalf of 32 million kids across the nation is a top priority of the Obama Administration. Strengthening the Child Nutrition Act, which authorizes USDA's child nutrition programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign. This legislation will serve as a down payment in battling hunger and food insecurity while providing critical resources to raise a generation of healthy children. To learn more about the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, visit www.LetsMove.gov.

More information on the Team Nutrition Training Grants and how schools can become Team Nutrition and HealthierUS School Challenge schools is available at teamnutrition.usda.gov.

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