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FNS

USDA Provides Disaster Nutrition Assistance in Northern California

In October 2017, 16 different wildfires throughout Northern California burned over 245,000 acres, destroyed an estimated 8,900 structures, forced 100,000 people to evacuate, and sadly, claimed 43 lives. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) took a variety of actions as part of a concerted effort among federal, state and local agencies to provide nutrition assistance relief to those most affected by the wildfires.

SNAP E&T Opens Door to Five-Star Employment Opportunity

At first blush, a five-star hotel and a local community food kitchen would seem to have little in common. An innovative program funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, Va., and the DC Central Kitchen (DCCK) in Washington, D.C., have created a partnership that takes hard-working SNAP participants and helps them grow into professional chefs at the Ritz-Carlton.

Farm to School Success in Hawaii

It takes the right amount of water and sunlight for seeds to grow into a thriving garden. So too, it takes the right mix of factors to integrate local foods into communities. Some of these factors include committed stakeholders, planning, collaboration, and financial resources.

USDA Found “Recipes for Success” in Local Schools during National School Lunch Week

Nourishing food is fundamental to a healthy future for America’s children. Earlier this month, we celebrated the important role of school lunches, and the professionals that serve them in schools throughout the nation. The President proclaimed October 8-14 as National School Lunch Week in recognition of “the benefits that school lunch programs offer to our communities and to our Nation's future.” Over the course of the week, USDA leaders headed out to local schools to join children for lunch, and learned more about those schools’ “Recipes for Success” – the theme of the week.

SNAP E&T Provides Hope, Second Chance to Attain the American Dream

It’s graduation day, a time when young men and women proudly walk past family and friends to accept diplomas from their high school or college. The event marks the beginning of their new life, joining the American workforce. And perhaps, for some, marriage, starting a family and living in a house with a white picket fence.

This story, however, is about a different kind of graduating class. Unlike typical high school and college grads, these students have already tackled the struggles of unemployment, poverty, addiction and even years of incarceration. This graduating class is filled with students who are now restarting their journey toward economic self-sufficiency and attaining the American dream.

Staying Up-beet in Minnesota!

Secretary Perdue has proclaimed September “National Food Safety Education Month (PDF, 346 KB)“. To celebrate, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is developing innovative food safety trainings for school nutrition professionals and honoring training graduates like Barbara Griffiths MSBA, RD, SNS, who make safe and nutritious foods a priority in their programs.  As a graduate of USDA’s Produce Safety University, Griffiths has learned to source local fruits and vegetables from growers within her community and turn them into innovative menu items!

Farm to School Grows with USDA Grants

Omar, the school garden club coordinator, instructs a group of seventh grade students to “pick an adult” and leads them to the greenhouse. The bright blue sky and expansive mountain range set a dramatic backdrop for the six raised beds and two greenhouses. Mona, a precocious 12 year-old student at Magdalena Middle School in New Mexico, wastes no time charging into the greenhouse and swiftly picking red leaf lettuce. She instructs me on proper harvest techniques while happily munching on Swiss chard, kale and lettuce straight from the garden – she clearly has no need for salad dressing.

Employment and Training Programs: Jobs and So Much More

Recently, I was privileged to visit Portland, Ore., and had yet another opportunity to appreciate why the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Program is so important. SNAP E&T, which is available in all 50 states, is a skills and job training program designed to help SNAP participants prepare for and secure jobs that lead to economic self-sufficiency. Along with Oregon Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Administrator Belit Burke, I visited Central City Concern (CCC), an organization that partners with DHS to provide E&T services to those in need.