When a Farm Bill adds to the hungry

Poverty -- NPRBy Crystal Hayes       Published: June 10, 2013

It was always a good day when my mother came home with bags of groceries. Everybody was happy that day – until she had to start worrying about how to put food on the table again as a single mom working full-time. I can’t think of too many things more demoralizing for a parent than struggling to put food on the table, and now, thanks to 36 members of the House Committee on Agriculture, it will be harder than ever for vulnerable families to feed their children.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/10/2946095/when-a-farm-bill-adds-to-the-hungry.html#storylink=cpy



Potential waste turns into 465,000 meals

 MIKE HUGHLETT , Star Tribune

Call it the great corn rescue of 2012.

Big ripe ears of Minnesota sweet corn destined to become Green Giant niblets were instead going to be wasted. With a bountiful harvest this month, the cannery simply couldn’t process it all.

Then a new campaign — handiwork of local food relief groups and corporations — swung into action, quickly moving the corn from the fields to the food banks. “It’s beautiful corn, and it only lasts for a period of time,” said Ellie Lucas, chief campaign officer for Hunger-Free Minnesota.

The immediate result: 600,000 pounds of corn was transformed into 465,000 meals eaten by people in 10 states. The bigger picture: success for a pilot program that can, it is hoped, be replicated in the widespread battle against hunger and food waste.

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/local/170914761.html?page=all&prepage=1&c=y&refer=y

Goldsboro rickshaws bring produce to poor neighborhoods

By Jay Price The News and Observer

GOLDSBORO — An idealistic partnership of academics, community leaders and local teens here is trying a novel solution to the national problem of poor nutrition in low-income neighborhoods: rickshaws.
Or rather, teenage food ambassadors on rickshaws, delivering farmers market produce to areas where places to buy fresh vegetables are scarce. Along the way, they spread information about healthy eating.
The Produce Ped’lers bike delivery program made its first delivery rides Wednesday. The riders loaded up vegetables, peaches and melons at a small farmers market in Herman Park in Goldsboro in the morning, then rolled into low-income neighborhoods. They stopped at homes and shops to deliver pre-ordered vegetables, talked to potential customers sitting on front porches and were themselves questioned by others who wondered aloud what the heck they were up to on those strange machines.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/08/21/2285497/goldsboro-rickshaws-bring-produce.html#storylink=cpy

Food banks’ lean times threaten to get worse

By Alan Briggs, Executive Director N.C. Assoc of Food Banks
North Carolina’s seven food banks see firsthand the effect the nation’s struggling economy has had on our neighbors. Many families are still hurting from the impact of high and prolonged unemployment, reduced hours and wages or the struggle to live on a single salary.
North Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates and percentage of citizens experiencing food hardship in the nation. This is especially true for children under age 5 and our seniors.
Food banks across the nation continue to see unprecedented need. The number of people seeking emergency food assistance from the Feeding America network of food banks ballooned by 46 percent from 2006 to 2010. In North Carolina the growth was higher.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/08/11/2260603/food-banks-lean-times-threaten.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

Howard Buffett Helps Start Rural Feeding Program

“It should be unacceptable that so many are suffering in such a wealthy country.” —Howard Buffett

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Farmer and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, wants to enlist fellow food producers in a new campaign to fight hunger in rural America.

Buffett and other organizers planned to announce the “Invest an Acre” initiative Thursday. It will encourage farmers around the nation to donate profits from the sale of 1 acre’s crop to the charity Feeding America, which will use the money to support food banks in rural communities where advocates say malnutrition is a serious — if often overlooked — scourge.

“Poverty and hunger in rural America is very much out of sight, out of mind,” said Howard Buffett, who in 1999 established a foundation to help the world’s needy. “It doesn’t jump out at you. It’s not like the brazen images of starving children in Ethiopia … but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as devastating to people who are hungry.”

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Senate action kicks off uphill battle to pass farm and food bill this year

Fresh North Carolina produceWASHINGTON — The Senate has begun laying the groundwork for a half-trillion-dollar farm and food bill that would end unconditional subsidies to farmers, but House Republicans’ resolve to cut its biggest component — food stamps — by $13 billion a year dims its prospects of passing Congress.

The current five-year farm bill expires at the end of September, and the Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday released a draft of its plan to redesign safety nets that help farmers weather bad times while achieving some $23 billion in deficit reduction. The full committee is to vote next week on the plan, which consolidates conservation programs and takes several steps, such as stopping lottery winners from getting assistance, to make the food stamp program more accountable. Of that $23 billion in savings projected over next 10 years, $4 billion comes from food stamps.

Read more at the Washington Post