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Food And Nutrition

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.

FNS Staff Recall Highlights from White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Like many of our USDA colleagues across the country, federal staff from the Food and Nutrition Service were glued in last week to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Many attended in-person to contribute ideas and host the event alongside White House staff, and hundreds more tuned in virtually. It was a day to remember, filled with excitement and a renewed commitment to the important work our agency does to improve food and nutrition security.

On-Demand Resources Now Available from the USDA Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair

September 29 is International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. Earlier this month, USDA hosted a convening to raise awareness of food loss and waste mitigations across the supply chain. The second annual Food Loss and Waste Innovation Fair showcased some of the latest food loss and waste mitigation technologies, programs, and innovations from USDA agencies, universities, local governments, and businesses.

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health: What it Means to Me

It’s an exciting day in the country as we kickoff the second, historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. It’s been more than 50 years since the last conference, which produced impactful, meaningful changes to improve USDA nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, WIC, and school meals – all programs from which my family and I personally benefitted from when I was a child. Today, we are coming together to work towards ending hunger and reducing diet-related diseases and disparities in the U.S. by 2030. Meeting this challenge will take the whole country. I hope you join this effort.