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USDA Works to Fight Hunger and Revitalize Rural Communities in the Midwest

USDA met with non-profit organizations in November last month to discuss efforts to fight hunger and revitalize rural communities. As a result, a conference call will be held on December 8th at 2pm on rural development and USDA will present at future regional conferences.

I recently had to opportunity to travel to the Midwest to discuss USDA’s priorities and programs with a variety of our non-profit partners.  My first stop was in Minneapolis, where I met with ministers, rabbis, and a representative of a mosque about the latest developments on Child Nutrition Reauthorization, Feed the Future, and other anti-hunger government efforts.  The meeting was hosted by Bread for the World and was held at the Minnesota Council of Churches.  As a result of this meeting, Bread’s staff and allies in the Midwest got a valuable update from the Administration’s perspective on our efforts to fight hunger at home and abroad.  It was inspiring to speak to a group of people so active and committed in fighting domestic and global hunger.  Another great outcome of this meeting was an increased sense of awareness and interest in our office’s programs, and I was pleased to be able to connect the attendees to the anti-hunger resources that our office has to offer through our website,   

While I was in Minneapolis, I also had the opportunity to speak with the board of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference about USDA’s priorities around revitalizing rural America.  More specifically, we discussed some of the opportunities for faith-based and neighborhood organizations to partner with us around these efforts.  As a result of this meeting, USDA will host a conference call with NCRLC members on December 8th, 2pm EST to discuss points of engagement with USDA around rural issues.   See below for conference call information. 

The second leg of my trip brought me to Chicago, where I had the great pleasure of meeting with Rev. Noel Castellanos, who leads the Christian Community Development Association, and was a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships last year.  In addition to meeting with Rev. Castellanos and his staff, I spoke on a conference call to rural members of CCDA about USDA priorities and programs.  As a result, the USDA Center will be invited to present at upcoming regional conferences.

Overall, this trip was a great opportunity to interact with some of USDA’s constituents in the Midwest. Even while visiting the Twin Cities and the Windy City, I was able to expand our partner base in rural America.

If you would like to comment about this posting or to receive more information, email

Max Finberg is the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Agriculture.

“Revitalizing Rural America Together” Webinar

USDA Rural Development, USDA’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and National Catholic Rural Life Conference invite you to attend this meeting on-line or via conference call:
Topic: Faith- Based and Neighborhood Partnerships-Rural Development Programs
Date: Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Time: 2 pm, Eastern Standard Time (New York, GMT-05:00)
Rural Development Webinar information:

Phone number:  800-593-9947
Participant passcode: 9903169
To join the online meeting (Now from iPhones too!)
1. Go to
2. Enter your name and email address.
3. Enter the meeting password: rbrowndec8 4. Click "Join Now".

Max Finberg is the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Agriculture