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Final Days to Submit Entries to the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today reminded teams participating in the Recipes for Healthy Kids Competition to submit their recipes by 5:00 PM EST on December 30, 2010. Teams across the country are working to improve school meals and the health of children across the nation through the creation of exciting new recipes for inclusion on school lunch menus. The competition - part of the First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative - will draw on the talents of chefs, students, school nutrition professionals, and parents or other community members working together to develop tasty, nutritious, kid-approved foods.

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USDA Awards Grant to Texas to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of demonstration grant to Texas to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Missouri Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Missouri to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The $230,650 Missouri grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Connecticut to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Connecticut to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Michigan to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of demonstration grant to Michigan to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Awards Grant to Oregon to Improve Access to Healthy Foods for Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the award of a demonstration grant to Oregon to test new ways to provide nutrition assistance and access to healthy foods to low-income children during the summer. The grant is part of the Obama Administration's efforts to use improved approaches to increase access to nutritious meals and snacks during gap periods. By working with state agencies, the pilot projects aim to reduce the level of food insecurity among children in the summer months.

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USDA Official Visits Denver School to Promote Healthy School Meals

Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon today visited the Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy to see firsthand the school's efforts to improve the quality of meals in the National School Lunch Program. The visit, conducted as Congress is considering legislation to pass the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, showcased the local school's efforts to improve meals.

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USDA Requests Applications for Summer Food Service Program Projects that Increase Food Security for Low-Income Children

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today invited States to develop and test alternative methods of providing food for low-income children in urban and rural areas during the summer. USDA is requesting applications to enhance the current Summer Food Service Program by testing and evaluating home delivery and food backpack programs designed to reduce hunger among children when school is out.

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USDA Announces Wellness Grants in the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced Child Care Wellness Grants to 14 states for the improvement of health and wellness in child care settings. More than $7.7 million in funding will support state agencies in implementing initiatives through the Child and Adult Care Food Program. Over half of the funds awarded will be distributed to local child care sponsoring organizations and institutions through state agencies.

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USDA Recognizes Washington D.C. Middle School's HealthierUS School Challenge Achievement

Audrey Rowe, Deputy Administrator of USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, today presented Kelly-Miller Middle School with silver-level honors in USDA's HealthierUS School Challenge - the first silver award achieved by a school in the District of Columbia. Kelly-Miller is the first middle school in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area to receive a HealthierUS School Award.

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USDA Official Visits Saratoga Springs to Highlight School Nutrition Efforts

Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Janey Thornton today visited Geyser Road Elementary School to see firsthand its approach to creating healthy school meals and a healthy environment. During her visit, Thornton discussed the Obama administration's efforts to enhance school meals and the health of America's children.

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USDA Selects Massachusetts to Test Ground-Breaking Nutrition Pilot Program

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that Hampden County, Mass., will conduct the first-ever Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) – an incentives-based program to empower low-income Americans to eat more fruits and vegetables. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized $20 million to research whether incentives for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program) will increase their purchase of healthful foods.

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USDA Unveils New Consumer Information Resources About SNAP for People in Need of Food Assistance

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced new resources designed to increase participation and expand access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, including new promotional materials proclaiming "We Welcome SNAP Benefits." The new display will be used nationwide by retailers participating in the program, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. The department is also premiering the SNAP Retail Locator, an online search tool to help recipients locate a SNAP-authorized store near their home or workplace. USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon made the announcement today on Vilsack's behalf in an address to officials from the National Grocers Association, Food Marketing Institute, and Electronic Funds Transfer Association.

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USDA Expands Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for Schools Across the Nation

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that, as authorized by the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill), USDA will expand assistance to state agencies for schools operating USDA's Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program in the 2011/2012 school year. The investment is part of the Obama administration's efforts to improve the health of our children by providing access to nutritious meals in schools and also serves as a valuable resource to schools that continue working to improve the health and nutrition of the foods they serve. The assistance will provide free fresh fruit and vegetables to children throughout the school day.

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ARRA: Strengthening American Families and Communities

Today, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon marked the one year anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, better known as the stimulus or recovery package. USDA received an additional $100 million to provide food to local food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens through The Emergency Food Assistance Program and an additional $50 million to ensure timely administration and distribution. The ARRA funding also provided an additional $100 million in grants to local school systems in an effort to enhance the nutritional quality of school meals.

The Communications Division coordinates public and media communications for the USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services mission area. For media inquiries, please contact FNSpress@usda.gov or 703-305-2281.