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collaborative action

Passionate about Good Nutrition for Kids

Prior to becoming the Food and Nutrition Service Administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I spent many years with USDA working in the child nutrition space. I quickly became passionate about my work, recognizing that school meals are critical to children’s success in school and their overall health and well-being. It motivated me then and even more now in my role as Administrator. In this role, I am committed to doing everything possible to ensure children get nutritious meals on a consistent basis, so they can do better in school and support the development of healthy eating habits which sets them up for success!

Cross-Agency Partnership Explores the Intersection Between Nutrition Security and Behavioral Health and Wellness

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Mountain Plains Region is in year three of a collaborative partnership with the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to facilitate The Food and Mood Project.

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.

Liberation Farms - Food Justice in Action

It’s eight in the morning, and farmers with hand hoes and buckets have been here for two hours already, weeding and watering their plots before the heat of the day. Over 200 members of the Somali Bantu community of Lewiston, Maine, make the short drive out to Liberation Farms a few times each week to tend their crops. Visitors to our farm often comment on how few weeds they spot between stalks of corn. It’s not magic, we tell them: our farmers are constantly in friendly competition to see who can have the best-looking plot.

USDA Celebrates 30th Anniversary of SNAP-Ed at a California School

In honor of the 30th Anniversary of SNAP-Ed, Western Regional Administrator, Jesus Mendoza, Jr., and I attended Rosemary Elementary School in Campbell, CA. The local SNAP-Ed team – which is officially referred to as CalFresh Healthy Living – led a presentation on nutrition education and discussed the importance of every kid eating well-balanced meals.

Utah Legislature Enlists Local Nutrition Coalition in Fight Against Food Insecurity

My name is Paul Birkbeck, and I have worked with SNAP for 26 years and have been honored to chair Utah's State Nutrition Action Coalition (SNAC) for the past eight years. Throughout the United States, SNACs are an innovative, collaborative strategy to improve community health through partnerships. I am in awe of the passion and dedication of our nutrition partners in Utah.

Enrollment in Head Start Programs Now Easier for Families

On May 9, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) partnered to celebrate a step forward in streamlining access to crucial government programs.

Cooking up Success as a CACFP Sponsor

The Food and Nutrition Service’s Mid-Atlantic Region recently joined forces with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to recognize Programs for Parents, a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsor in Essex County, NJ, with a regional CACFP Achievement Award for their creative and dedicated efforts to promote nutrition security among children. Their program emphasizes meal quality, nutrition education, and the overall wellness of its childcare providers, children and parents/caregivers.