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food and nutrition

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.

VeggieRx: How an Urban Farm is Transforming Medical Care in Chicago

I’m Dr. Wayne M. Detmer, and I work at Lawndale Christian Health Center (LCHC) on Chicago’s west side. Like many neighborhoods around the country, our community members experience significant disparities in health outcomes. We’ve grown in our recognition that excellence in the exam room has its limits, and that to see real change, we need to think outside of exam room walls.

Caring for our Clients

USDA and the Biden Administration have been working hard for months to get more safe infant formula onto shelves across the country. Ending this shortage is a top priority. In the meantime, we’ve heard many uplifting stories of neighbors helping neighbors and strangers reaching out to lend a helping hand. We’ve also seen WIC staff across the country go the extra mile to help the families they serve.

Welcoming Dad to the WIC Family

When enrolling moms into the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, better known as WIC, less than 30% of state agencies in Connecticut were asking for the father’s name. We don't encourage dads to step up and then we wonder why they don't show up.

Nutrition Security in Action: A New Blog Series

It’s an honor to serve as USDA’s first director of nutrition security and health equity at the Food and Nutrition Service. In this role I have the privilege of working to ensure all Americans have consistent access to safe, healthy, and affordable foods essential to optimal health and well-being.

Kids in CNMI Consume More Fruit by Enjoying Smoothies at Breakfast

It’s the age-old question – how to get children to eat more fruit? We all know the benefits of a diet that’s rich in fruit. At least adults do. Convincing children to add more fruit to their diet is another challenge. The food nutrition experts at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands enticed their school children to eat more fruit by serving fruit smoothies.

U.S. Codex Office’s Work to Reduce the Presence of Lead in Food

Lead is a naturally occurring heavy metal found in the soil, water, and air. It is also a toxic substance that can affect brain and kidney function and pregnancy outcomes. Robust international food safety standards help all nations to reduce toxic lead exposure. In 2021, the U.S. Codex Office (USCO) worked with the international food standards setting body (Codex Alimentarius) to develop science-based food standards. One area they focused on was reducing lead contamination in food.

The Intersection of Women’s History and School Meal Programs

The National School Lunch Program provides nutritious meals to about 30 million children daily in the U.S. Such success would not have been possible without the early efforts and continuing contributions of women. For over a century, women have led the way in starting programs that provide healthy foods to children from underserved communities. And what started as local efforts have grown into staple, federal programs.

Feeding the Future With Local Foods - It’s Elementary!

As Deputy Under Secretaries, it’s not every day that we get to don aprons and make chicken enchiladas as part of our work. But during a visit to Tyler Elementary School in Virginia’s Prince William County to celebrate National Nutrition Month, that’s exactly what we did!