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Food And Nutrition

FNCS Supports Food Sovereignty of Tribal Nations

Summer is a beautiful time to travel the country and visit with partners, and I am delighted, humbled and honored to have visited the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe last month. It was inspiring and impressive to see how the tribes are dreaming big in terms of food sovereignty - delivering healthy, fresh, locally sourced, and traditional foods to their members in their communities through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Nutrition Security: Building on Our Work to Date and Accelerating Progress

Almost a year and a half ago, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack outlined USDA’s focus on nutrition security, which builds on food security by emphasizing the co-existence of food insecurity and diet-related diseases and disparities. Put simply, nutrition security means having consistent and equitable access to healthy, safe, affordable foods essential to optimal health and well-being. It’s my honor and privilege to join this effort as the second director of nutrition security and health equity at the Food and Nutrition Service within USDA and lead the department’s approach to advancing food and nutrition security.

Third Meeting of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will be held on September 12-13, 2023, and will Include Oral Public Comments

The 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s work continues! The committee will hold its third meeting September 12-13, 2023. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA) invite the public to participate in this important event via live webcast. Registration is required and will open on Thursday, August 10, 2023, at DietaryGuidelines.gov.

Cultivating Health, Nutrition & Innovation in the Land of Enchantment

Cindy Long, Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), and Regional FNS leadership visited New Mexico last month to recognize several FNS nutrition assistance programs in action and learn how FNS can support their work. Advancing nutrition security is a key priority of the Biden-Harris Administration, so we are excited to be working with local partners to promote the overall importance of child nutrition. New Mexico is one of the first States to offer healthy meals to all children, ensuring more kids have access to the meals they need to thrive at school and beyond.

Connecting Local Producers to Montana Schools

Bringing together local producers and schools was the objective of the “Bringing the Farm to School” producer training in Hardin, Montana. The training sought to build relationships between schools and producers to increase the availability of local foods served to children. USDA Farm to School Specialists Andrea Alma and Alli Bell were on hand to demonstrate the many ways USDA’s Farm to School Program is connecting with schools and communities.

Connecting Kids To Meals: A Valued Resource For Kids In Northwest Ohio

Connecting Kids to Meals, known as CKM, is a nonprofit agency in Toledo, Ohio that provides healthy meals at no cost to at-risk kids in low-income and underserved areas of Northwest Ohio. With a nearly 20-year history of feeding hungry kids, the critical work of CKM becomes more important every day.

Farm to School and Child Nutrition Programming Model in Rialto, California

One of my favorite activities is to see FNS programs in action. Therefore, as often as I can, I try to visit schools that know how to have fun while feeding kids healthy meals. Recently, I had the chance to visit Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) and learn about their success in doing just that. They just earned USDA’s 2022 Turnip the Beet Gold Award, two years in a row!

SNAP E&T Program Creates Opportunities and Incentivizes Work

Most Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants who can work already do. SNAP’s food assistance benefits are critical to helping these workers put food on the table as the jobs they hold often pay low wages, offer unreliable hours, and don’t provide benefits like paid sick leave. Reliable, high-quality work is a powerful way out of poverty, and USDA’s SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) helps gain professional skills and connections to better employment opportunities.

Integrating Nutrition into Healthcare in the Midwest

Can you imagine a day when healthcare is mostly proactive as opposed to reactive? Imagine if everyone has access to the vital conditions for health and wellbeing: the factors that people depend on to reach their full potential. What does that future look like?