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healthy kids

Connecting Kids To Meals: A Valued Resource For Kids In Northwest Ohio

Connecting Kids to Meals, known as CKM, is a nonprofit agency in Toledo, Ohio that provides healthy meals at no cost to at-risk kids in low-income and underserved areas of Northwest Ohio. With a nearly 20-year history of feeding hungry kids, the critical work of CKM becomes more important every day.

Farm to School and Child Nutrition Programming Model in Rialto, California

One of my favorite activities is to see FNS programs in action. Therefore, as often as I can, I try to visit schools that know how to have fun while feeding kids healthy meals. Recently, I had the chance to visit Rialto Unified School District (RUSD) and learn about their success in doing just that. They just earned USDA’s 2022 Turnip the Beet Gold Award, two years in a row!

Three Days in Michigan

Last month, I spent three days in Michigan and while spring weather in the Great Lakes State doesn’t appeal to some, I was excited to make the trip. After all, when I was a student at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!), I volunteered at Food Gatherers. So, when asked to speak at their “The State of Our Plate” convening, I said, “Yes!” Some of the people in the room, who were classmates, continuously help federal nutrition programs operate successfully in Washtenaw County through their work to improve food access. I am deeply appreciative for their unwavering service and for showing up for families in need.

Secretary Tom Vilsack Visits Greeley Evans School District

Greeley-Evans School District 6 in northern Colorado was honored and excited to welcome Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Maplewood Elementary School on March 22. The Secretary and visitors were able to see just one school of more than 30 in District 6 that provide essential health and nutrition programs to more than 22,000 students every day.

Harvesting Healthy Habits During National Nutrition Month

Harvesting collard greens and making whole wheat crackers from scratch is not a typical day on the job for me as the Deputy Under Secretary of USDA’s Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. But I can assure you it is the perfect recipe for a great day at work! Earlier this month, I had the chance to spend the morning at Watkins Elementary School in Washington, D.C. with Admiral Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There, we joined some incredible 5th grade students during their FoodPrints class and witnessed first-hand the transformational power of nutrition education. And best of all—it was delicious!

Massachusetts’ Flexible Services Program: Improving Food and Nutrition Security Improves Health

Several studies consistently link poor access to food to poor health outcomes, including heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Project Bread, a Massachusetts’ nonprofit focused on permanently solving food insecurity, teamed up with MassHealth to pilot the Flexible Services Program, or FSP, to bolster food security and meet nutritional needs from birth throughout childhood and beyond, improving health outcomes at every stage of life. Since April 2020, over 7,000 MassHealth members (ranging in age from 0 months to 64 years) with complex health issues were given an array of food resources, including gift cards for groceries, cooking supplies, refrigerators, cooking classes, transportation assistance, and nutrition education.