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March 2015

National Nutrition Month®
Mental Retardation Awareness Month

School Breakfast Week (March 1-7)
National Agricultural Week (March 15-21)
Poison Prevention Week (March 15-21)


Top Articles This Month


Blue Bell Recalls Single-Serve Ice Cream Cups Due to Listeria Risk

Bluebell Ice CreamMarch 24, 2015
Blue Bell Ice Cream of Brenham, TX, is recalling 3-oz. institutional/food service ice cream cups — chocolate, strawberry and vanilla — with tab lids because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no reported illnesses to date.

On March 22, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment reported one positive test for Listeria monocytogenes on a chocolate institutional/food service cup recovered from a hospital in Wichita, KS. This cup was produced in the Broken Arrow, OK, plant on April 15, 2014. These cups are not sold through retail outlets such as convenience stores and supermarkets.

The ice cream cups listed below were distributed in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming via food service accounts.
Follow this link to read entire article

Free Edible Gardens Workshop

Everglade TomatoesGrowing and preparing your own vegetables and fruits can help stretch your food dollar and be a rewarding and healthy experience. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can help reduce the risk of diseases, and gardening gives you an opportunity to exercise outdoors.

Learn all about growing and preparing heart-healthy vegetables and fruits at a free workshop offered by the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension.  The workshop will include presentations on gardening vegetables and their nutritional value as well as a demonstration on how to prepare them.  Participants will also be able to taste the prepared dishes. Presenters will be Ada Medina-Solórzano, Extension Agent, Nutrition and Food Safety and Dr. Christian F. Miller, PhD Plant Pathologist, a vegetable and fruit crop expert.

Participants must call (561) 233- 1742 to register.

Who: Cooperative Extension PBC/University of Florida
What:  Edible Gardens Workshop

Clayton E. Hutcheson  Exhibit Hall A
559 N Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL

When: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Time: 9 a.m. to 1:00 pm
Fee: Free

Brain Awareness Week

Governor Rick Scott for his proclamation acknowledging March 16-22, 2015 as Brain Awareness Week in Florida.

Please follow the link below  to read the Governor’s proclamation.

View the Brain Awareness Week Proclamation  


   Celebrating National Nutrition Month®        

March is National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education event sponsored annually by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  This campaign was established to emphasize the importance of living a healthy lifestyle in regards to diet and exercise. 

The 2015 theme, “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle”, encourages people to revert to the basics of healthy eating.  The primary messages this year are to eat fewer calories, make educated decisions about the food we eat, and to incorporate physical activity in our daily routine.


Use National Nutrition Month® as a spring board to adopt healthy habits throughout the year.  Follow these tips to help you get started:

  • Mindful Snacking- Avoid snacking when you are bored, angry or stressed. Plan snacks ahead of time and pre-portion the amount you will have to avoid overeating.
  • Increase fiber intake- Try eating a piece of fruit in the morning rather than drinking a glass of juice to increase your fiber and reduce your sugar intake.
  • Reducing saturated fat- Remove skin from poultry before cooking.  Try using lean cuts of beef such as round, top round, round tip, bottom round and top sirloin.
  • Cooking at home- When you prepare your meals, you can control how your food is cooked.  For vegetables, try steaming, boiling or baking.  When cooking meat, roasting, baking, broiling or grilling will remove some of the fat. 
  • Get moving! -  Even small amounts of activity will add up over time.  If 30 minutes of walking seems overwhelming, start with 10 minutes and increase the duration as you feel more comfortable. 

National Nutrition Month®: Eat Right Pro. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Website.
Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle. Eat Right Pro. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Website.
Nutrition Health and Fitness: Fiber in Your Diet.  University of Florida IFAS Extension.
Nutrition Health and Fitness: Fat in Your Diet. University of Florida IFAS Extension.
Healthy Living: Barriers to Physical Activity. University of Florida IFAS Extension.

Tax Identity Theft Awareness

Tax identity theft typically happens when a scammer files a fraudulent tax return using another individual’s social security number, receiving a refund electronically. A consumer typically discovers they have been a victim of tax identity theft when they go to file their own tax return, only to be informed by the Internal Revenue Service that a return has already been filed in their name.

The IRS uses your Social Security Number (SSN) to make sure your filing is accurate and complete, and that you get any refund you are due. Identity theft can affect how your tax return is processed. An unexpected notice or letter from the IRS could alert you that someone else is using your SSN; however, the IRS doesn't start contact with a taxpayer by sending an email, text or social media message that asks for personal or financial information. If you get an email that claims to be from the IRS, do not reply or click on any links. Instead, forward it to
If someone uses your SSN to file for a tax refund before you do, the IRS might think you already filed and got your refund. When you file your return later, IRS records will show the first filing and refund, and you’ll get a notice or letter from the IRS saying more than one return was filed for you.

If someone uses your SSN to get a job, the employer may report that person’s income to the IRS using your SSN. When you file your tax return, you won’t include those earnings. IRS records will show you failed to report all your income. The agency will send you a notice or letter saying you got wages but didn’t report them. The IRS doesn’t know those wages were reported by an employer you don’t know.

Dealing With Tax-Related Identity Theft

If you think someone used your SSN for a tax refund or a job — or the IRS sends you a notice or letter indicating a problem — contact the IRS immediately at IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit 1-800-908-4490. Specialists will work with you to get your tax return filed, get you any refund you are due, and protect your IRS account from identity thieves in the future.

Elderly Mortgage Assistance Program

In February 2010, US Treasury created the "Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Innovation Fund for the Hardest-Hit Housing Markets" and allocated funds under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) to five states: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. Click here for more information.

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