Skip to main content

lisa pino

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service Hosts Its First All-Spanish Webinar on SNAP

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) mission is to provide all eligible children, families, and low-income individuals with the nutrition assistance they need to help them get back on their feet. In order to accomplish this goal, we work with a vast network of partners who help us in the fight to end hunger. In particular, we are hoping to increase access to nutrition assistance in Hispanic communities through improved participation in the  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, our nation’s largest anti-hunger program.

In December, more than 120 Spanish-speaking community partners joined FNS as we hosted our very first all-Spanish webinar on the eligibility requirements for SNAP.  In collaboration with USDA's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the webinar informed bilingual community leaders about SNAP policy, shared information about our work, resources, and tools that benefit Latino outreach, and answered questions regarding  immigrants and SNAP eligibility.

Feeding Hungry Kids Tops Perth Amboy Priorities

Despite having some of the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in New Jersey, the city of Perth Amboy refuses to let kids go hungry over the summer.  In 2011 the city extended the Summer Food Service Program by two weeks and added 20 new feeding sites.  Through an aggressive marketing effort using local newspapers, businesses, cable TV access programming and schools to advertise site locations and activities, Perth Amboy has made providing meals to kids when school’s out a top priority.

Focus on Hunger Among Latinos: President Obama and USDA’s Lisa Pino Visit National Council of La Raza

In the U.S., Hispanic households experience hunger at rates that are higher than the national average. According to USDA research, one out of every four Hispanic households in the U.S. is food insecure, compared with a national average of 15 percent. Hispanics also participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) at rates that are lower than the national average.

To call attention to this need to better reach the Latino population with access to nutrition assistance programs, USDA leadership participated in the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) annual conference in Washington DC from July 23-25. President Obama also gave a keynote speech at the conference, which had about 2,000 attendees.

USDA Joins First White House Hispanic Policy Conference

Last week, community leaders from all over the country visited Washington DC to join the White House for the first Hispanic Policy conference in our nation’s history. The goal was to get a dialogue going between administration officials and community leaders on an array of topics of particular interest to the Hispanic community. Some of the topics included jobs, education, immigration and energy. I had the honor of attending the conference on behalf of USDA.

The two-day event was coordinated and hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. 160 Hispanic leaders from 25 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico attended the discussion as well as over 100 administration officials.

USDA Works with Partners to Feed Children in the Summer Months

On June 9th, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service kicked off the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) -- “Food That’s In When School Is Out”, in Atlanta by visiting the Marietta Community Center in Marietta, Georgia as part of USDA’s first ever National SFSP Celebration Week. The Center provided free meals and a nutrition class on the new USDA MyPlate to 50 wonderful children, as feeding kids during the summer can pose a challenge to some parents when school meals are no longer available.

Although the SFSP program is completely dedicate to helping kids during the summer, when they are most vulnerable to experiencing hunger because school is out, our participation rate on this program is only 17%, but USDA is doing everything it can to get more meals to children during the summer months. We need to be sure that every child who should be receiving a summer meal gets one because no child should ever be going hungry. Although our National School Lunch Program is serving more than 21 million children during the school year, we are only serving 3 million children through SFSP, so clearly there is still a long way to go in reaching all the children who are eligible for this program, and we need everyone’s help to pitch in.

Let’s Move! in Indian Country Launches on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin

More than 300 children joined the First Lady’s Office and other administration officials recently for the launch of Let’s Move! in Indian Country (LMIC) on the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. The event took place at the Keshena Woodland Bowl, where the children played and exercised outdoors after tribal leaders welcomed the First Lady’s Let’s Move! Office, White House Domestic Policy Council, and the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and Health and Human Services.

El Evento de MALDEF se Enfoca a Mejorar la Calidad de Vida de las Comunidades Latinas

El representar a USDA en un panel durante la Cuarta Conferencia Anual del Estado de la Unión Latina de MALDEF en Washington, D.C. fue una experiencia inigualable. El evento examinó cómo las políticas públicas del país afectan a la comunidad Latina y cómo las políticas futuras pueden proveer una mejor calidad de vida para los Latinos.

Aunque la discusión cubrió un gran gama de temas de interés para la comunidad, gran parte de la conversación se enfocó en la obesidad infantil y el impacto que esta tiene en la educación, el talento y el futuro de la fuerza laboral no solo de los Latinos pero de toda la nación.

MALDEF Event Focuses on Improving Quality of Life in Latino Communities

Representing USDA on a panel at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (MALDEF) Fourth Annual Latino State of the Union in Washington, D.C. was a remarkable experience. The event examined how American public policy affects the Latino community, and assessed how future policy can lead to a better quality of life for Latinos.

While the discussions covered a range of topics important to the Hispanic community, much of conversation was dedicated to how childhood obesity is impacting educational attainment, future talent, and workforce capacity of not just Latinos, but of our entire nation.

¿Tienes Hambre? USDA Programs Serve the Latino Community in Miami.

Together with our colleagues at USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, USDA’s Partnership Center has been working closely with pastors in Miami, Florida to expand opportunities to provide food to hungry people.  On March 24, one of our partners, the Family and Children Faith Coalition in South Florida, is hosting a training session on the Summer Food Service Program to provide free meals for congregations that host summer feeding sites.

USDA Healthier US School Challenge Winners during National School Lunch Week

What better way to celebrate National School Lunch Week than visiting winners of our USDA HealthierUS School Challenge! It was an honor to visit North Dakota and Texas schools that are going the extra mile to help children adopt healthier lifestyles. Our winners, the Phoenix, Brenham, and Krause elementary schools, respectively achieved Gold of Distinction and Gold status by providing students safe, nutritious, and healthy meals, in addition to plenty of on-site physical activity.