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Ending Hunger

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Twenty-five Foster Grandparent volunteers in Hamilton, Bradley and McMinn counties participated in an educational campaign to share basic character traits with students in their classrooms.

As this blog is being posted, I am down in Miami at Sedano’s Supermarket with local business leaders, retailers and community members to unveil a new consumer resource that will help families in need gain access to healthy food. I am pleased to unveil the Spanish-language version of the SNAP Retail Locator, an online search tool to help Spanish-speaking recipients locate an authorized Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) store near their home or workplace.

As an employee of the Food & Nutrition Service, I see firsthand the war that is waged on hunger every single day. The number of families across the country that are food insecure is cause for concern, but we are working daily to reduce those numbers. And it’s working.

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.

Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Nutrition Services Director, Rodney Taylor, knows the face of hunger in his community. On a daily basis, Rodney’s team serve lunch to about 34,000 RUSD kids, 61 percent of whom qualify for free or reduced price meals. While the RUSD staff offer these students a fresh, healthy, nutritious meal during the school year, where do students eat during the summer?

I never tire of meeting the organizations and individuals across our great country that help feed hungry children. In late January, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown teamed up with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks to hold a summit on preventing child hunger in the summer.

USDA took one step closer to ending hunger in America today with the announcement of 14 Hunger-Free Communities Grantees. The important goal to end hunger and improve domestic nutrition is a top priority for the Obama administration, and an aspiration our innumerable partners have rallied around.

If there’s one thing Corey Chatman is passionate about, it’s making sure everyone has access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Maybe it’s because he knows what it’s like to rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for nourishment.

There is much we adults can learn from children, and one of them is being able to appreciate the simple things. I was at the Milwaukee Sign Language School in Milwaukee for a celebration of School Breakfast Week. I was thrilled by the students’ delight as Active Apple (Milwaukee Public Schools’ nutrition and fitness mascot) and Power Panther (USDA’s nutrition and fitness mascot) strolled into their classrooms.

Chicago is fortunate to have a bevy of talented chefs and also to be the hometown for the Healthy Schools Campaign, a national organization that advocates for policies and practices that allow students, teachers and staff to learn and work in a healthy school environment.

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