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USDA programs are helping kids

By Staff | Nov 13, 2015

When people eat properly the payoff in terms of lifelong good health can be remarkable. That’s why it’s especially important that young folks both learn correct eating habits early in life and have access to nutritious foods even if they are from low-income families.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees initiatives that are designed to further these goals. A fact sheet released in October by the USDA suggests that the programs are having the intended impact.

Tom Vilsack, U.S. secretary of agriculture, announced on Oct. 26 that 97 percent of U.S. schools report successfully meeting updated nutrition standards, and the number of eligible high-poverty schools utilizing USDA’s Community Eligibility Provision has increased by 20 percent since the previous year. The department’s goal is to ensure broad access to healthy food for children attending high-poverty schools. This initiative is now in its second year.

“Thanks to the improvements we have made in school nutrition, our nation’s children show up each day to healthier school environments, where they can easily get the nutrients they need for academic success and healthier futures,” Vilsack said in remarks he delivered this fall to the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition.

Farm News congratulates the USDA on the obvious success in implementing this effort and urges lawmakers to make sure it or similar efforts continue as long as needed.

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