USDA’s Nutrition Education Program Pays Long-Term Benefits
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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) spends over $30 billion a year on food and nutrition assistance programs, an amount that is over one-half of the USDA budget today. Historically, U.S. food assistance programs featured purchase and distribution of surplus agricultural commodities to low-income households and to school lunch programs. Today, food and nutrition assistance includes a wide range of programs designed to provide low-income households access to adequate nutrients and a balanced diet, to increase food security in the general population and reduce hunger, especially for children, and to encourage low-income adults and children to acquire knowledge and skills to improve their diets with better food choices through nutrition education programs.