USDA visits NC State Farmers’ Market

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon visited the State Farmers’ Market in Raleigh this week.  Increasingly, more and more farmers’ markets throughout the country are accepting EBT cards, benefitting both FNS households and local farmers.  A new grant opportunity will make it possible for 4,000 additional farmers’ markets to begin accepting EBT cards.  Read an article from the News & Observer, and click here to watch a short video featuring Under Secretary Concannon.

USDA Undersecretary discusses common misconceptions about FNS

USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon recently addressed common misconceptions about SNAP (known in North Carolina as Food & Nutrition Services or FNS).  Undersecretary Concannon noted that of the record 44 million Americans receiving SNAP benefits, more than half are children, elderly, and the disabled.  The increase in SNAP participation is due in large part to the harsh economic conditions that continue to make it difficult for Americans to put enough food on the table.  In addition to easing food hardship for those that receive SNAP, the program benefits us all, as it is estimated that for every $5 in new SNAP benefits, about $9 in economic activity is generated.  Undersecretary Concannon further states that USDA has taken successful steps to reduce fraud and ensure payment accuracy.  To read the full article in the Stokes News, click here.

More than 50 million Americans struggled to get enough food to eat in 2009

Results from a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that more than 50 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat in 2009 because of financial difficulties and a struggling economy.  Food insecurity among U.S. households increased from 2008 but not as much as some had feared.  Programs such as Food & Nutrition Services (known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) have helped many families put food on the table.  One in eight Americans, or 42 million, now use Food & Nutrition Services/SNAP.  Read more about the USDA findings at npr.org.

USDA launches on-line tool to locate FNS retailers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a new on-line tool that allows households to find retailers that accept EBT cards.  Learn more by reading the USDA’s press release.  Click here to locate the FNS retailers in your community.