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Government and Politics

USDA makes progress helping families make healthier food choices
The USDA believes scientific measures of calories in school food programs and educating families about healthy eating have helped

Andy Chow
Kevin Concannon with the U.S. Department of Agriculture says some 4,200 farmers markets can process food stamp cards.
Courtesy of United States Department of Agriculture
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture admits a stigma is attached to food stamps and nutrition.

Kevin Concannon, the USDA undersecretary of Food and Nutrition Service was in Columbus Thursday to speak to food bank and other advocates about the war on poverty. He says his department has been making great progress in helping families make healthier decisions. Concannon believes scientific measures of calorie levels in school food programs and educating families about healthy eating have helped. Also playing a major role, according to Concannon, are farmers markets.

LISTEN: Kevin Concannon on food stamps and nutrition

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“Of more than 8,000 farmers markets—now some 4,200 can process SNAP benefits, food stamp cards. Our effort there is twofold; one, to encourage households to be able to buy local typically not processed foods—fresh fruits or vegetables or grains; and it helps those local growers as well.” 

Concannon says their programs are working and points to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which cited a USDA program for playing a role in decreasing the childhood obesity rate.

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