Posts Tagged ‘Agriculture’

USDA Food & Nutrition Service Western Region says “Thank a Farmer” on National Ag Day March 22

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2022

A recognition during National Ag Week – March 20-26, 2022

By Julie Yee, Public Affairs, USDA Food & Nutrition Service Western Region

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2022 – Today, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Western Region (Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington) joins millions of Americans in celebrating National Ag DayThe special recognition encourages every American to understand how food and fiber products are produced, value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy, and appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. This day also provides an opportunity to show appreciation to hard-working farmers who provide delicious and nutritious food for families across the region.

“National Ag Day provides us an annual opportunity to say, “Thank You” to countless farmers and ranchers across the Western Region who work hard each day so that we have healthy and nutritious food on our plates,” said FNS Western Regional Administrator Jesus Mendoza, Jr. “Over the last year, the agriculture sector has stepped up to ensure we have a stable food supply in the face of incredible challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Farmers provide consumers with fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthy products. With support from USDA, farmers can offer customers the opportunity to make purchases with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

America’s Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers’ Markets (DMFs/FMs) are great sources of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. FNS is committed to expanding access to these foods by SNAP recipients while supporting economic opportunities for farmers and producers. Use the interactive map to locate participating DMFs/FMs and other retailers in the west and all across the nation.

In the western region, 230 DMFs and 722 FMs were authorized by USDA in fiscal year 2020. This is an increase of 66.67 percent and 12.64 percent respectively over the previous year. These farmers and farmers markets are authorized to accept SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT), which enables SNAP recipients to use their benefits to purchase eligible food. Farmers and farmers’ markets in the western region redeemed more than $9.5 million in EBT benefits in fiscal year 2020.

A top FNS priority for 2022 is continuing USDA’s focus on nutrition security, not just for the duration of the pandemic, but well into the future to make sure the many nutrition programs USDA offers are providing access to nutritious food for all those in need. FNS delivers science-based information and guidance that is pivotal in ensuring Americans have a nutritious, safe, affordable and abundant food supply. USDA will make full use of flexibilities to support governors, school districts, food banks and others while deploying food assistance to struggling families, seniors and people with disabilities.

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USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.