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USDA Awards Enhance the Nutritional Quality of Food Aid Products

Media Contact: Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2010 – The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded nearly $3.8 million to develop healthier food products for humanitarian assistance programs.

“The United States is a major supplier of food aid, feeding millions of people around the world who are suffering during emergency situations,” said Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institution of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). “These projects will improve the nutritional quality of food aid products these people depend on for survival.”
          
NIFA’s Food Aid Nutrition Enhancement Program (FANEP) supports the development and field testing of new ready-to-use foods, fortified blended foods, high-energy foods, micronutrient powders or other food products designed to improve the nutritional delivery and functional form of humanitarian food assistance.  Projects funded by FANEP may also field test existing food products that have not yet been approved for use in food aid programs.

Fiscal Year 2010 awards were made to Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and international global health non-profit PATH. JHU received $2,729,000 to introduce and test three specially formulated foods for children ages 6-24 months in Bangladesh, where childhood under-nutrition is especially prevalent. PATH received $1 million to field test their Ultra Rice technology in Burundi. Ultra Rice is a proven, cost-effective and culturally appropriate rice fortification technology that can bridge micronutrient deficiencies and prevent malnutrition in rice-consuming communities.

FANEP is administered through the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Programs Appropriation Act. This act called for a grant program to enhance the health of individuals, especially infants and young children, at risk for or suffering from malnutrition by further improving the nutritional content, product composition, packaging and other components of food products delivered through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program and the Food for Peace Title II humanitarian assistance programs. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/fo/foodaidnutritionenhancementprogram.cfm.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. For more information, visit www.nifa.usda.gov.

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