USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Southeast Region Says “Thank a Farmer” on National Ag Day
ATLANTA, GA (March 23, 2021) — Today, The USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s (FNS) Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee) joins millions of Americans in celebrating National Ag Day. The 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 thank hard-working farmers who provide delicious and nutritious food for families across the region.
A Recognition During National Ag Week – March 22-28, 2021…
“Our farmers, ranchers and producers are key to bringing fresh fruits and vegetables from the farm to the table,” said FNS Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor. “On this special day and all throughout the year, it is imperative that we give thanks for their tireless efforts, support and dedication to feed families throughout our southeastern communities.”
Farmers provide consumers with fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthy products from local producers. 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 southeast and all across the nation.
In the southeast region, 331 DMFs and 333 FMs were authorized by USDA in fiscal year 2020. This is an increase of 27 percent and 23 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 southeast region redeemed more than $2.8 million in EBT benefits the last fiscal year.
“Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Regional Office, North Carolina leads the region with 121 Farmers and Farmers Markets that are authorized to accept SNAP benefits.”
“The agriculture community is an important part of strong local and regional food systems that connect farmers with customers, expanding access to fresh, healthy food for people of all income levels,” said Deputy Under Secretary Stacy Dean of the USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS). “National Ag Day is a special time to recognize their productivity and to celebrate their contributions to provide and help sustain American life; buying locally also supports the farmers and small businesses in your community, making it the perfect way to say thank you.”
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. Follow us on Twitter at @\USDANutrition.
Click here for a recognition video announcement from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.