USDA or the United States Department of Agriculture has recently announced some measures to improve the health of children. Having nutritious meals is essential to perform well in life and at school. These measures will be gradual so that schools have time to adapt to them. Science will be essential in this process too. The money invested is a staggering figure of $7.1 million. It will change the lives of many kids and will help them get healthy eating habits in the future. So, it will allow them to be healthy kids and healthy adults.
This Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program from USDA will support states to overcome the difficulties of the supply chain. Delays and lack of some foods are among those difficulties and disruptions. States could get an award worth up to $200 million to help schools buy local food. Schools will take advantage of having fresh and quality products while local markets can sell more and faster. This food chain could become competitive, fair, and resilient according to USDA. No doubt this is a win-win situation.
Which state has recently joined this program from USDA?
The state of Georgia has joined other 33 states to take part in this 200-million-dollar initiative that USDA has come up with. Students and local farmers alike will be taking part in this program that will improve their lives. It is essential that children learn the importance of eating fruit, vegetable, and other necessary food like eggs or milk. Making the community stronger will be the success of this USDA program.
The sooner children start eating a balanced diet the better for their health. In this way, USDA and the states that participate will make sure they get rid of food insecurity. There are many families that cannot afford to carry on with the healthy habits they used to have. This is due to the fact that prices have soared. Therefore, their shopping list has been reduced to the cheapest products which are not always the healthiest ones. According to USDA data, up to 66% of US kids get healthy and nutritious food from this program. Even if there are also SNAP or Food Stamps benefits.
Why is so important that kids get healthy meals?
According to Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary, they are committed to supporting school meal programs. They all have a common goal, USDA, states and schools want kids to grow healthy so that they can “reach their full potential” When children do not eat properly, not only are they not performing at their best, but they are also having eating-related diseases. More and more children are having health problems at an early stage of their lives.
Making sure they have a healthy lunch is key, because it may be the only nutritious meal of the day. USDA tries, therefore, to improve those children’s lives. Ending hunger and getting lower rates of diseases related to diet is another goal they would like to achieve. There is a National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health so they want to reduce it by 2030. By helping schools have access to nutritious local food this goal will be easier to attain. Just like SNAP or the former Food Stamps program.