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food and nutrition

Closer to Zero: Partnership to Protect Our Food

USDA is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the Closer to Zero (C2Z) initiative. C2Z provides a crucial framework for the work that must be done to reduce heavy metal content in foods, but particularly in foods consumed by infants and children, our most vulnerable group.

USDA Advances Market Opportunities through Farm to School Program

It’s no secret that supply chain issues experienced across the country have created challenges with food accessibility. Rising COVID-19 cases along with severe weather complicated the flow of goods and services, yet USDA programs have responded with creative solutions to ensure Americans had access to healthy foods.

Thrifty Food Plan Re-evaluation Puts Nutrition in Reach for SNAP Participants

More than 42 million of our neighbors rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to feed their families. USDA recently re-evaluated the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), used to set SNAP benefits, which increased the purchasing power of the plan by 21% for the first time since it was introduced in 1975. As a result, on October 1, SNAP maximum benefit amounts will increase.

You Spoke, We Listened: The Challenges of Purchasing Healthy Food with SNAP Benefits

As directed by Congress in 2018, USDA is re-evaluating the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)—the estimated cost of an affordable, nutritious diet. The TFP is used to calculate SNAP benefit levels. To complement the re-evaluation efforts and gather insights from those who will be impacted by the result, USDA recently hosted five listening sessions with SNAP participants, researchers, advocates, and others. Here’s some of what we heard:

WIC Making a Difference for Mississippi Mom

When Rebecca and Parker Catt became parents, they faced a new set of challenges, including making the right choices in deciding what their baby James should be fed. After Rebecca heard about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) from a friend at the gym, she went to a WIC clinic near her home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. There she discovered she qualified for the program and signed up.