Healthy :: FNS Launches New Initiative To Help Families Make Healthier Choices

To encourage healthy lifestyles among food stamp participants, USDA?s Food and Nutrition Service today launched ?Loving Your Family, Feeding Their Future: Nutrition Education through the Food Stamp Program,? an initiative to help low income families make healthy food choices and increase their physical activity.

Loving Your Family, Feeding Their Future is one of the first comprehensive initiatives based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid. Presented in a way that addresses cultural, literacy, and language barriers faced by many Food Stamp Program families, Loving Your Family, Feeding Their Future features a variety of cutting-edge communication techniques to help convey important nutrition messages.

?Given the disturbing rise in childhood obesity and related health problems, this new initiative takes an innovative approach to help busy moms on tight budgets make healthier meals and snacks for their families,? said Under Secretary Nancy Johner. ?Nutrition education is a critical component of the Food Stamp Program and low income moms can benefit from this nutrition education package.?

USDA?s 15 nutrition programs reach one in five Americans each year. The Food Stamp Program is the largest domestic nutrition program and serves more than 26 million low-income people each month. Food stamp benefits, intended to supplement a family?s food budget, can add as much as $518 per month for a family of four with no income. Nutrition education helps low-income families make healthier food choices within a limited budget. The Administration?s FY 2007 Farm Bill proposes to invest $100 million over five years in nutrition education grants to develop and test solutions to combat rising rates of obesity.

Loving Your Family, Feeding Their Future is geared towards mothers because they play a key role in choosing and buying food for their families. It also includes a handbook, discussion materials and an online training module to assist nutrition educators in their work with food stamp participants and eligible individuals.

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