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Participate in the First Whole Grain Sampling Day

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February 14, 2012—Want to give your students an opportunity to try some of your operation’s delicious whole-grain products? Consider participating in the Whole Grains Council’s first Whole Grain Sampling Day on April 4.

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The Whole Grains Council invites school nutrition operations, restaurants, supermarkets and manufacturers to take part in this sampling event to help introduce consumers to what just may become new whole-grain favorites. In recent years, consumers have gravitated increasingly toward whole grains. The Whole Grains Council cites a 2009 survey by Kellogg’s in which 36% of consumers said that they eat whole grains because they enjoy the taste. This figure is up from a 2006 Harris Interactive survey in which 13% cited taste as a purchase motivator.

According to the Whole Grains Council, two factors can be attributed to the rise in whole-grain consumption. First, companies have worked to introduce more whole grains into the market, and additionally, consumers’ palates have become more accustomed to the taste of whole grains.

The Whole Grains Council hopes that Whole Grain Sampling Day will “help get whole grains into the mouths of consumers.” On April 4, perhaps your school or operation can substitute an item usually served on white bread with a whole-grain option or offer taste testing of some whole-grain items that you may be considering serving on the menu, among other ideas for Whole Grain Sampling Day.

If you’re unable to celebrate Whole Grain Sampling Day on April 4, the Whole Grains Council encourages you to celebrate on another day that week.

For more information about Whole Grain Sampling Day, visit http://wholegrainscouncil.org/get-involved/whole-grain-sampling-day.

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Whole Grain Sampling Day

USDA FY13 Funding Overview

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The US Department of Agriculture’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget is reflective of the President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction. Between 2010 and 2012, USDA’s operating budget was reduced by over 12 percent. Staffing has been cut and USDA has identified a number of areas to reduce costs and ways to make operations more efficient. The 2013 request for discretionary budget authority to fund programs and operating expenses is about $24 billion, about the same as provided in 2012. This is somewhat offset through about $1 billion in proposed limits on selected mandatory programs. For 2013, more reductions in staffing levels, among other actions, are proposed to reduce costs. Additionally, the budget proposes to reduce or terminate selected programs and reallocate resources to fund targeted investments in select programs and infrastructure to provide a foundation for sustainable economic growth.

Funding for mandatory programs is projected to increase in 2013 by nearly $8 billion due to a one-time shift in the timing of certain crop insurance costs mandated by the 2008 Farm Bill. In 2013, rising employment and household incomes are expected to reduce the need for nutrition assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and lead to fewer program participants.

USDA’s total expenses for 2013 are estimated at $155 billion. Approximately 83 percent of expenditures, about $128 billion in 2013, are associated with mandatory programs that provide services as required by law. Specific program budget increases are as follows:

  • WIC is being increased from $6.6 billion to $7.0 billion
  • SNAP is being increased from $80.4 billion to about $82 billion
  • Child Nutrition Programs are being increased from $18.2 billion to $19.7 billion

The entire budget overview can be viewed here.


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