The USDA has several different programs in communities across the nation that address hunger and the special needs of food insecure individuals. Here are a few of the USDA programs that help needy people put nutritious and healthy food on their tables.
Produce Perks in the Community
Many people would like to eat healthier, organic foods, but the prices are sometimes too high for them to buy. That is starting to change, however. Cash-strapped consumers are getting the opportunity to purchase organic foods without going broke thanks to a new initiative called the Produce Perks Program. The program is a part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through the USDA. This program promotes healthy, local organic food options in farmers markets and now some local grocery stores, too. SNAP consumers can find affordable fruits and vegetables at prices they can afford. Helping families buy and consume fresh produce keeps them healthier and lowers the cost of rising health care needs.
Farmers markets are especially great places for a Produce Perks Program since they deliver fresh and healthy foods each day. Furthermore, they provide an inexpensive source of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats to consumers. The organic foods found at farmers markets can address the growing problem of obesity among food insecure families who might be searching for healthier options on a reduced budget. Farmers markets across the nation are registering with the USDA to help needy families eat healthier meals and at the same time strengthen their own local economies. Farmers markets that participate in the program have experienced increased sales in their operations. To learn more about registering to become a SNAP participant click, here.
SNAP-ED in the Community
The SNAP-ED is an evidence-based program dedicated to helping people live healthier lifestyles. SNAP-Ed educates SNAP consumers and low-income families about the benefits of good nutrition. The program partners with a variety of community-based organizations that sponsor nutrition education classes. The organization explores policies for economic improvement for citizens and the communities. In addition, SNAP-ED addresses local safety issues, such as lead poisoning and other toxic material that can hurt the environment.
Food Promotion in the Local Community
Consumers desire local food that is fresh, healthy, and produced responsibly. They want it to be affordable and purchased from local farmers. The USDA supports local communities through various grant programs for community food projects. Every year, the USDA helps thousands of agricultural producers, farmers, and food businesses improve their marketing strategies and deliver healthy and nutritious food to communities across America. The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grants to support developmental and expansion efforts of local food businesses.
Partnerships in the Community
The USDA, the farmers market, and local food producers can come together to help fight food insecurity in America. These organizations are significant in creating nutritious foods for families while strengthening economic opportunities across the nation. Supporting our local food producers and food companies will continue to make food security a reality for many people who otherwise would go hungry or eat foods that do not benefit their health.