CSFP Special Edition: Focus on Fruits

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commodity supplemental food program - special edition - food package updates

June 2019

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Featured Food: Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup: you asked for it and it will soon be available to CSFP programs! This soup is condensed and contains a broth made of tomato paste and spices with pasta and a combination of mixed vegetables including carrots, celery, corn, peas, green beans, or potatoes. This is a convenient item that also boasts a low sodium profile, similar to the other USDA Foods canned vegetables. This item will be available as a vegetable option in the food package, and since the vegetable issuance will double beginning November 1, there is additional opportunity to offer this option!

Nutrition and the Enhanced CSFP Food Package: Focus on Fruits

Last month we highlighted the nutrition benefits of the Vegetable Food Group and the changes made to the CSFP Food Package that will now offer more vegetables. This month, we will review the Fruit Food Group, the nutrition benefits of eating these foods, and how the enhanced CSFP Food Package better aligns with MyPlate guidance.

MyPlate highlighting Fruits

MyPlate recommendations are based on the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to MyPlate, “Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the Fruit Group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.”

The enhanced CSFP monthly food package combines the juice and fruit categories and now includes raisins as a dried fruit option (depending on market availability). This change increases the flexibility to issue different combinations of fruit, juice, and raisins. We encourage CSFP providers to make a variety of fruit, juice, and raisins available for participants each month.

comparison of the fruit category in the current and enhanced CSFP food packages

Here are some benefits of eating Fruit Group Foods:

Fruits, ChooseMyPlate.gov
  • Many fruits are good sources of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, and potassium.
  • Foods in the Fruit Group are low in sodium and fat and do not have cholesterol.
  • Eating more fruits (and vegetables) as part of a healthy diet may reduce your chances of getting heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
  • Eating fruits (and vegetables) that are rich in fiber may reduce constipation and help you feel full. Canned and dried fruits available in CSFP provide more fiber than juice. 
  • Foods in the Fruit Group that are good sources of potassium may help to lower blood pressure when eaten as part of an overall healthy diet.

The MyPlate website offers a lot of information and guidance, so we invite you to visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for more detailed information. It is important to remember that MyPlate recommendations are not written for individuals with chronic disease conditions. Those individuals should follow the advice of their medical provider or a Registered Dietitian who is familiar with their health status.  

Webinar Invitation

Register Now

Join us for our next CSFP webinar: Planning for Successful Implementation of the Enhanced CSFP Food Package

Date: July 11, 2019

Time: 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time

Description: In February 2019, USDA announced changes to the monthly food package that will be implemented beginning November 1, 2019. This webinar will focus on the new options and flexibilities within each category and provide guidance about how to plan for a successful transition. To help states and local sites adjust their inventory and orders to implement the changes on November 1, USDA will provide a demo of the recently released Food Package Ordering Tool. 

Click here to register!

Resource Roundup

New CSFP Food Package Order Planning Tool!

Effective November 1, 2019, USDA is making significant changes to the CSFP Food Package to enhance the types and quantities of foods in the package, as well as streamline local program administration. To aid CSFP state and local agencies in the transition towards the enhanced food package, USDA worked with a member of the CSFP Food Package Review Workgroup to develop the CSFP Food Package Order Planning Tool which will assist CSFP state and local agencies with order planning as larger package sizes are phased out and the enhanced food package becomes fully available. The tool demonstrates the total number of units of food estimated to be used per month, as well as an estimation of how many cases and trucks of each product will be needed per month to fulfill food package needs based on caseload levels. The tool can be used by any CSFP state and local agencies who order USDA Foods either for direct delivery or from the national multi-food warehouses. To access the tool, please visit our CSFP Food Package Toolkit

CSFP Food Package Order Planning Tool

Planning Tips for June

As you prepare to implement the enhancements to the CSFP Food Package on November 1, USDA has developed a planning calendar as a roadmap to help you break tasks into smaller pieces and work through them in a more manageable way.

Communications and Training

  • Participate in next month’s webinar or plan to view the recording later: Planning for Successful Implementation of the Enhanced CSFP Food Package (register here!)
    • This webinar will include specific tips on how to plan and prepare for the changes to the CSFP Food Package, using available tools and resources.
    • Check the monthly CSFP e-update for registration information. Be sure you are subscribed to the “Webinars – CSFP” topic to receive all webinar announcements!

Planning Tips

  • Check your inventories of items that are transitioning to new pack sizes. Are you on track to distribute any remaining inventory as soon as possible after November 1?

How to Stay in the Know with CSFP Communications

1. Click here to review or modify your subscription preferences. 

2. Enter your email address and click "Submit."

3. Check the boxes to select your topic(s) of interest. For CSFP communications, scroll down to the Food Distribution category and click the plus sign to the left of the check box to expand the list and view all the topics. For webinars, scroll down to the Webinars category.

*CSFP Food Package Updates --> receive this special monthly e-letter with news, resources, and tips to prepare for the rollout of the enhanced CSFP Food Package in November 2019

*Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) --> receive our regular "Household Highlights" e-letter covering CSFP and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) every four months

*Webinars - CSFP --> receive all webinar announcements related to CSFP

4. Visit the subscriber preferences page any time you would like to review, add, or delete subscriptions. Questions? Contact USDAFoods@fns.usda.gov.

5. Share the new subscriber link with interested colleagues and friends!

Learn more at https://www.fns.usda.gov/csfp or contact us at USDAFoods@usda.gov.

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