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USDA Food and Nutrition Service Southeast Region says ‘Thank a Farmer’ on National Ag Day

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ATLANTA — Today, The USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s 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 show appreciation to hard-working farmers who provide delicious and nutritious food for families across the region.

“National Ag Day provides us an annual opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to countless farmers and ranchers across the Southeast Region who work hard each day so that we have healthy and nutritious food on our plates,” said FNS Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor. “Over the last year, the agriculture sector has stepped up to ensure we have a stable food supply in the face of incredible challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Farmers provide consumers with fresh, affordable, convenient, and healthy products. With support from USDA, farmers can offer customers the opportunity to make purchases with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.

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America’s Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers’ Markets 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, 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. 

A top FNS priority for 2022 is continuing USDA’s focus on nutrition security, not just for the duration of the pandemic, but well into the future to make sure the many nutrition programs USDA offers are providing access to nutritious food for all those in need. FNS delivers science-based information and guidance that is pivotal in ensuring Americans have a nutritious, safe, affordable and abundant food supply. USDA will make full use of flexibilities to support governors, school districts, food banks and others while deploying food assistance to struggling families, seniors and people with disabilities.

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