Nutrition & Food Access


Awards Promoting Local and Regional Farmers and Food Systems Announced

September 30, 2014

On September 29, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced over $32.8 million awards from three grant programs supporting local and regional food systems, research into marketing opportunities for U.S. farmers, and food security projects in low-income communities, respectively.  At the same time, Secretary Vilsack also announced over $19 million in grant awards […]

New Grant Funding Available to Encourage SNAP Participants to Buy from Local Produce Farmers

September 29, 2014

On Monday, September 29, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released  its very first request for applications (RFA) for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Grant program, a new competitive grants program created in the 2014 Farm Bill to improve the health of low-income communities while boosting economic opportunities for […]

Three Vermont Projects Receive USDA Grants to Promote Sustainable Agriculture and Local Foods

September 25, 2014

On September 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development agency announced almost $3 million in awards through the Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) and Rural Business Opportunity Grants (RBOG) programs to promote sustainable economic development in rural regions. Eleven projects in New York, North Dakota, and Vermont received RBEG funding, totaling $1,258,825.  RBOG funding went […]

Congress Extends 2014 Funding Levels through December 11

September 19, 2014

On Thursday, September 18, the Senate passed a short-term funding extension, known as a “continuing resolution” (CR), to fund the federal government through December 11.  The CR extends fiscal year (FY) 2014 funding levels as well as policy provisions known as appropriations “riders.”  The House passed this temporary funding measure earlier this week, and the […]

Senate Hearing on School Meals Highlights Challenges and Opportunities

July 25, 2014

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014, the Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing entitled, “Meeting the Challenges of Feeding America’s School Children,” which examined the challenges and successes in serving healthier school meals across the country, as mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, also known as the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act […]

New School Lunch Pilot for Locally-Grown Produce Accepting Applications from States

July 22, 2014

Yesterday, July 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) released a Request for Applications from states interested in participating in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Kevin Concannon, the USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, announced […]

Whither the 2015 Agriculture Funding Process?

June 20, 2014

On Thursday, June 19, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) postponed consideration of the Senate’s three-part spending package for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development for fiscal year 2015.  The Senate began consideration of the FY 2015 appropriations package on Tuesday, and was scheduled to begin to voting on amendments on Thursday.  However, Majority […]

New Farm to School Census Shows Steady Growth

June 10, 2014

The updated Farm to School Census website reveals even more school district participation in farm to school programs than initially reported.

Low Income Families and Produce Farmers Get a Boost Through Increased WIC Voucher Value

June 3, 2014

Yesterday, June 2, 2014, WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) cash value vouchers (CVVs) for fruits and vegetables for children increased from $6 per month to $8 per month.  This increase, one of several changes announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on March 4, 2014 in its final rule […]

Funding Available for Healthy Food Access Projects

May 29, 2014

On Friday, May 23, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for fiscal year (FY) 2014 for Community Development Corporations (CDCs) under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI). HFFI is a tri-agency program administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury, HHS, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase […]

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