Thursday, February 24, 2011

Department of Agriculture Grants $63,000 to International Sonoran Desert Alliance in Ajo to Combat Local Hunger and Poor Nutrition

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the International Sonoran Desert Alliance in Ajo will receive a $63,000 grant as part of a new $4.98 million effort to help 14 communities in eight states reduce hunger and improve nutritional awareness.

The group has vowed to use the money to assess the relationship of hunger to other key health issues in the community, study the availability of nutritional resources and whether the community takes advantage of them, and surveying successful nutrition and health awareness programs in communities with similar sizes and rural locations.

The grants are authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 to fund research, planning, and activities designed to improve access to nutrition assistance for those in need. In 2009, over 50 million individuals in the United States, or 16.6 percent of the population, lived in what USDA considers "food insecure households" that had difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack
of resources at some time during the year.

"Allowing hard-working American families to go hungry is not just unacceptable, it's shameful," said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. "There should never be a lack of good food for children when this country generates more economic output than much of the rest of the world combined. The steps being announced today are small, but they're part of the sustained push we need to reduce family and child hunger in Arizona and around the

The anti-hunger initiatives announced today combine with the Stakeholder Guide to Ending Childhood
Hunger<> recently published on USDA's Food and Nutrition Service<> Web site to raise awareness of hunger and nutritional issues around the country. Grijalva said he hopes to see more such assistance, especially to rural communities, in future years.