Posted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on January 21, 2011
More than 23 million people in America live in food deserts, which are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. This lack of access makes it impossible for families across the nation to receive a nutritious diet, and furthers them from being able to lead a healthy lifestyle. Without access to healthy food, these hardworking men and women are at risk to higher levels of obesity, and other diet-related illness, such as diabetes and heart disease.
Posted by Timothy Thole, Senior Program Specialist in the FNS Western Regional Office on January 21, 2011
I recently visited the Willie Mays Boys and Girls Club to find out from the children what participating in USDA's Summer Food Service Program means to them. Year-round, afternoons at the Club means the children get to cook a healthy bean and kale soup, with fresh ingredients they grow in the Club’s Edible Schoolyard. It also means that on a cool winter day a few blocks away from the San Francisco Bay, children brave the weather to water and tend to their garden knowing the strawberries will soon be ready to eat. For Rena, the first strawberry that she ever ate came from the Edible Schoolyard, where she planted it. Now, of course, strawberries are her favorite food.
Posted by Robin Schepper, Executive Director, Let’s Move! on January 20, 2011
Over 470 mayors signed up to make their cities Let’s Move Cities and Towns. As a Let’s Move City or Town, mayors commit to making lasting policy changes, or launching new programs, in the four pillars of Let’s Move! that call for local action: reducing the risk of obesity in early childhood; improving nutrition in schools; increasing access to fresh affordable food; and increasing physical activity.
Posted by Dr. Rebecca Bunnell, ScD, Med, Program Director, Communities Putting Prevention to Work on January 20, 2011
A healthy lunch is becoming easier to find in San Antonio, Texas. School cafeterias across the city will soon be home to 220 salad bars, thanks to a new partnership with Let’s Move! and the San Antonio Mayor’s Fitness Council.
Posted by Cordelia Fox, Public Affairs Director, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Western Region on January 19, 2011
Earlier this fall, in conjunction with International Chefs Day, Chef Melinda Burrows had the opportunity to team with Fremont Elementary School in Alhambra, California, to help launch their Chefs Move to Schools program.
They did so in grand style. With three school assemblies focusing on harvests, the popular event centered around chef-led demonstrations featuring spaghetti squash, pumpkins, and other varieties of healthful foods.
Posted by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on January 14, 2011
Ensuring our nation’s schoolchildren have the necessary nutrition to learn, grow, and thrive is commitment that we take very seriously at U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). On the heels of the historic passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, USDA has now released a proposed rule to enhance the quality of school meals by requiring more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk in our national school meals programs. In addition to these healthy offerings, schools will have new standards to limit the levels of saturated fat, sodium, calories, and trans fats in those same meals.
Posted by Frances Ashe-Goins, Acting Director, Office on Women’s Heath, US Department of Health and Human Services on January 12, 2011
Over the past 10 months, more than 115,000 pregnant and new mothers have taken an important step to improve their health and the health of their babies. They’re subscribing to”text4baby,“ a free text-messaging service from the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition.
Posted by Dr. Rebecca Bunnell, ScD, Med, Program Director, Communities Putting Prevention to Work on January 12, 2011
Biking can be a fun and fitness-friendly way to travel, but only if you know how to ride. Thanks to lessons in bike riding, safety and repair, more than 2,500 young Bostonians can now pedal like pros.
Posted by Debbie Smoot, Director, Public Affairs Southeast Region, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service on January 6, 2011
Morning Star School for special needs children in Orlando, Fla., is enjoying a culinary experience they’ll never forget thanks to First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative and local Chef Jamie McFadden. To the student’s joy, McFadden visited the school and shared cooking projects that their team had just completed. Chef McFadden relayed that the children were a delight and engaged, as their time together focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, food safety, and sanitation practices. Thus far, the students have explored apples and pumpkins, and have learned about the history and origins of the foods they enjoy.
Posted by Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton, FNCS on January 5, 2011
Last June, First Lady Michelle Obama along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a call to action for chefs across the nation to join the battle against childhood obesity. The program, called Chefs Move to Schools, helps to partner chefs with local schools in their communities as part of the Let’s Move! initiative. Since June, we have seen chefs and schools across the country form new friendships and develop delicious meals in an effort to improve nutrition.