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Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) – ALICE in Centre County
ALICE households earn more than the Federal Poverty Level, but less than the basic cost of living for the county, sometimes referred to as the working poor.
Learn more here

TEFAP-Best Practices to Minimize Food Waste
TEFAP State agencies and eligible recipient agencies work to feed those in need in part by facilitating the donation of food that may otherwise go to waste.
Learn more here

Family Meals Matter
Family meals offer benefits for health, nutrition, and family life.
Learn More Here

CSFP

News & Notes

Welcome to this special edition of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) e-letter! We are pleased to devote this issue to informing you of the exciting changes to the CSFP Food Package that will be implemented in November 2019. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has worked with our CSFP state and local agency partners and with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to plan and deliver improvements that will benefit those who participate in this monthly food package program. The improvements better align with https://www.choosemyplate.gov/">MyPlate recommendations and allow CSFP providers to offer more variety and flexibility within each food package category. Some of the changes you will see include:

  • Double the amount of vegetables 
  • More protein, including plant-based proteins such as canned beans and lentils
  • Changing some foods to pack sizes that are more appropriate for small households and allow participants to receive a greater variety of foods
  • Changes that allow all food to be distributed on a monthly basis

View the CSFP Food Package Monthly Distribution Rates Effective November 1, 2019 to see all the details of what the food package categories and offerings will look like with these enhancements.

Please keep reading and click on the hyperlinks throughout this edition to learn more about the changes and resources available to help you prepare for the transition. 

CSFP Food

This photo shows what a sample CSFP food package could look like when the changes go into effect in November 2019.

 

Helping Hands Article, by Sharon McDonald, featured in the CDT.

When it comes to food safety in our home, knowing and doing are often two different things! A recent report from the Food Safety and Inspection Service and U. S. Department of Agriculture indicates that consumers (you and me) need to work on improving our food handling practices.

The problem areas identified included not using a thermometer to check the final cooked temperature of foods, improper handwashing and cross contamination. Let us look at the importance of each of these from a food safety perspective.

The only sure way to know that meat is properly cooked is to use a thermometer to check the final temperature. Cooking foods to the correct temperature will destroy harmful bacteria that may be present. Feel and color of the meat are not indicators that the food has reached the correct temperature. For example, ground meat that is old may prematurely brown during the cooking process appearing done but in reality has not reached the final internal temperature of 160°F needed to destroy E. coli bacteria.

While we all know how to wash our hands, test yourself to see if you actually take 20 seconds to wash your hands before handling foods. Using the proper procedure is important too in order to effectively remove dirt and germs that may be on our hands. Start by wetting your hands with warm water, apply soap and work up a good lather, then scrub away for 10 to 15 second, especially between your fingers and back of your hands, then rinse and dry with a paper towel. If you are honest, most times you are probably not taking this amount of time.

Finally, when it comes to cross contamination everyone is pretty good at keeping raw meat separate from foods that are ready to eat in the refrigerator. However, what about touching these foods then touching cabinet or refrigerator door handles, spice containers, faucets or even your phone! The study indicates we do not think as much about preventing cross contamination of these items and as a result, bacteria are easily spread even when we may have not handled raw products.

So during National Food Safety month, do your part to prevent foodborne illness by checking the final cooked temperature of foods with a thermometer, wash hands properly and prevent cross contamination. Just because you have never had a foodborne illness, does not mean it cannot happen!

For more information on food safety visit our website at https://extension.psu.edu/