Dr. Sara Bleich is pictured above (left) at age 4 with her twin sister (right) and older brother (middle).
It’s an honor to serve as USDA’s first director of nutrition security and health equity at the Food and Nutrition Service. In this role I have the privilege of working to ensure all Americans have consistent access to safe, healthy, and affordable foods essential to optimal health and well-being.
Nutrition security builds on ongoing efforts to address food insecurity, focusing on how the foods we have access to and eat support overall health. Efforts to promote nutrition security have a particular emphasis on equity, chipping away at long-standing health disparities that have plagued our country. The work we do to promote and elevate nutrition security is driven by research and grounded in science. It’s woven into our policies, informs each of our decisions, and most importantly, impacts every life we touch.
This mission is absolutely vital, but to me, it’s also personal. I grew up in inner city Baltimore in a household that greatly appreciated the support of school meals, WIC, and program now known as SNAP. My parents were public school teachers, and my mom stepped out of the workforce when we were very young to take care of me, my sister, and my brother. These programs helped put food on the table for my family as they do for tens of millions of others.
All across the country, efforts are underway in partnership with local organizations and stakeholder groups to enhance nutrition security for families just like mine. USDA is launching a nutrition security blog series to help tell those stories. Starting next week, we’ll highlight activities supporting the four pillars of nutrition security:
In the meantime, if you want to learn more, I encourage you to read USDA Actions on Nutrition Security (PDF, 792 KB), which provides more details on our activities in this area. And if you have a story to share about work being done to advance nutrition security in your community, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.