Skip to main content

Food And Nutrition

Top Box Foods: A Simple and Stress-Free Way to Get Delicious, Nutritious Food in Chicago - Within any Budget

Top Box Foods is not a grocery store, farmers market, or food bank. Top Box Foods is a community-driven non-profit, founded in Chicago in 2012, that creates access to healthy and affordable food for the communities they serve. Customers place orders online or via phone for nutritious food which is offered at prices up to 40% lower than grocery stores. Prior to March 2020, Top Box Foods shoppers would pick up their orders at community distribution sites such as churches. However, when the pandemic hit, Top Box Foods replaced the pick-up model with their free home delivery program. Top Box Foods accepts SNAP benefits as payment for orders, making it an essential resource for households looking to make the most of their SNAP dollars to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and more.

Cultural Relevance in SNAP-Ed: Let’s Get “Real”

Oklahoma Tribal Engagement Partners, or OKTEP, collaborates with sovereign tribal nations and tribal organizations throughout Oklahoma to tailor SNAP-Ed programming to meet the needs of Native families. Over time, focus groups have expressed what matters to Natives: the need to be “real.” As organizations look to develop culturally relevant programming, we must step back and listen to what matters to families. We are in an era of change, an era where we are openly called to address inequities in our programming and practices. The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health called nutrition and health professionals to prioritize the role of nutrition and food security in overall health and ensure programs address the nutrition needs of all people.

Come to the Table: Bringing Healthcare and Nutrition Together

Weeks ago, partners gathered at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to forge a future without hunger, diet-related diseases, and health disparities. Building on the momentum, USDA recently hosted Come to the Table: USDA’s National Nutrition Security and Healthcare Summit. More than 200 healthcare, federal, and community leaders came together to advance the conference goals of ensuring all Americans have the resources necessary to eat nutritious foods that support good health.

Food Waste Reduction through Farm to School Programs

October is Farm to School Month! The USDA Farm to School Program helps schools incorporate local foods into meal programs and supports local food and agriculture education through grants, research, and technical assistance. Less plate waste may be a benefit for schools implementing farm to school. According to the 2019 School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study (SNMCS), approximately 21 percent of calories available in school lunches were wasted – 31 percent of vegetables and 41 percent of milk were discarded from lunch trays. Evidence from the SNMCS indicates participation in a farm to school program was associated with a lower percentage of waste for calories in the School Breakfast Program, and higher participation in the National School Lunch Program.

Farm to School Champions Needed! Apply for a Grant Today

October is more than a time for crisp temperatures and vibrant autumn leaves. It’s also Farm to School Month, when USDA joins schools, farms, and community organizations across the country to celebrate the role of farm to school programs in getting healthy, locally grown foods onto children’s trays through child nutrition programs, including school breakfast and lunch.

Pilot Light: Collaborating with Educators to Teach Students about Food

With a desire to create healthy relationships between American children and food, a group of chefs created Pilot Light in 2010. This program partners with Pre K–12 teachers to make food education a part of everyday classroom lessons. Through holistic food education, students learn about the cultivation and preparation of food and the connection to our culture, relationships, history, and the environment.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service Impacts Agricultural Statistics Around the World

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is the gold standard in providing timely, accurate and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. But beyond the hundreds of surveys the agency conducts each year on behalf of U.S. ag, NASS has been helping to establish and improve agricultural statistics systems in countries around the world since the end of World War II. NASS’s international projects are especially relevant as we mark World Food Day this Sunday, Oct. 16.

USDA Food Assistance Programs at Work in Guam and CNMI

On August 14-19, my leadership team and I traveled to Guam and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianna Islands (CNMI) to meet with the territories’ leadership, Superintendents and Commissioners, that administer USDA food assistance programs. We discussed the challenges of transitioning back to pre-pandemic operations and how USDA could assist. We also wanted to hear and see what has worked well, so we could share lessons learned with other states and territories as they transition to post pandemic operations.