North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks http://ncfoodbanks.org North Carolina Food Banks Tue, 02 Feb 2016 21:24:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Five Lessons Learned After Living on Food Stamps for One Week http://ncfoodbanks.org/five-lessons-learned-during-our-week-on-food-stamps/ Tue, 19 Jan 2016 20:19:25 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1389 Guest Blog Post By Matt Ferraguto

SNAP Challenge-2

In 2014, 47 million Americans received benefits through the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). On average, these Americans receive $4.40 per person per day to purchase food.

This month, our Leadership NC class was encouraged to attempt the SNAP Challenge, which involves attempting to live on the same food budget as the average SNAP beneficiary for one week.

Here are five lessons my family learned from my experience, after my wife and I and our two children (4 and 6 years old) completed the challenge.

  1. It’s difficult not to feel like a tourist. While the cause behind the challenge is noble, I couldn’t help but feel as though we were making light of the actual struggles that millions of families face. That’s in part because I knew at any point I could “cheat” if I wanted to or had to. Still, the experience was meaningful for us and our kids.
  1. Having a family makes stretching your food budget a little easier. It was plenty difficult purchasing enough food for the week on our budget of $123.20 (4 people x $4.40/person/day x 7 days) You can see the results of our primary trip to the grocery store in the header image. But I can’t imagine trying to feed one person for a week with only $30.80 ($4.40/person/day x 7 days). Having a family of four enabled us to buy a larger variety of food and meant we did not have to make as many individual meals last multiple days.
  1. Giving up food “luxuries” is hard. At the beginning of the week, I didn’t have enough money for both coffee and Diet Coke, so I chose morning coffee and gave up Diet Cokes (my one true addiction) for the week. And I had to forego any office snacks (which are plentiful) during the day as well, so we were all more noticeably hungry by the time we got home at night.
  1. It must be very difficult as a parent to explain food limitations to your child. I had a hard enough time convincing my children that they had to choose between the two generic cereals we’d purchased (they’re used to a selection of at least five or six kinds of brand-name cereals). I can only imagine how painful it must be to explain to a child that we simply can’t afford enough food for that day.
  1. No matter how well you plan, it’s easy to run out of food and money. After the first grocery run, we left ourselves with a cushion of $49 for the week, thinking that was plenty to cover any additional food we needed. It wasn’t — we ran out of money (and bread and cereal) on day 6. It turns out that’s the reality many families living on SNAP assistance face. In fact, a recent study found that hospitalizations spike at the end of the month, when families may have exhausted their budget.

As you may know, North Carolina has one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation, and that problem is even worse among children. In fact, 1 in 4 children (26.1%) in our state struggle with hunger on a regular basis.

The good news is that individuals can make a difference. North Carolina has seven Feeding America Food Banks, which are the backbone of our state’s hunger relief efforts, supporting thousands of shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens, and schools.

Interested in fighting hunger in your community? Find the food bank closest to you and volunteer or make a financial contribution.

 

Matt Ferraguto is the Client Services Director at Eckel & Vaughan, a strategic communications agency based in Raleigh. He is also a member of Leadership NC’s Class XXIII.

 

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Food stamps will soon require 20 hours of work or classes in NC http://ncfoodbanks.org/food-stamps-will-soon-require-20-hours-of-work-or-classes-in-nc/ Mon, 11 Jan 2016 19:41:51 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1385 ABAWD PicBY COLIN CAMPBELL  January 9,2016
Food stamp recipients in North Carolina soon will lose benefits unless they prove they’re working, volunteering or taking classes for at least 20 hours a week.

That federal requirement – which applies to adults under 50 who don’t have children – was suspended in 2008 as the recession hit and unemployment rates rose. But the exemption ended Jan. 1 for 23 mostly urban counties across the state, including Wake, Durham and Mecklenburg.

While the 77 other counties are seeing a slower economic recovery and could continue the federal exemption, the state legislature acted last year to restore the work and education requirement statewide starting July 1.

The change affects 115,000 North Carolinians who will have to document work, volunteer or education activities or lose their food stamp benefits. Recipients can still get up to three months of benefits without meeting the requirement.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article53894400.html#storylink=cpy

 

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article53894400.html

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5 Thoughts From Pope Francis on Feeding the World http://ncfoodbanks.org/5-thoughts-from-pope-francis-on-feeding-the-world/ Wed, 23 Sep 2015 18:42:18 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1346 Pope Francis greets people as he arrives on his papamobile for his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican on May 1, 2013. Pope Francis urged political leaders to make every effort to create jobs and said unemployment was caused by economic thinking "outside the bounds of social justice." AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

September 22, 2015 by Mary Beth Albright

 

 

 

Even Even though my suggested hashtag for the Pope’s visit to Washington, #TheHolyDSee, is sadly not in heavy rotation, I’m still excited for his arrival Tuesday. And not because of the specialty beers or the “Pope Specials” at restaurants whose reach doesn’t extend beyond low-hanging fruit.

I’m excited because Pope Francis I’s relationship to food goes far beyond “Popecorn” sold in little paper hats to people lined up along his motorcade route. He has spoken publicly and repeatedly about healthy food access and the “scandal” of hunger and malnutrition (which are different things—people can be obese and malnourished). It should not come as a surprise that a Christian leader would call hunger a scandal. After all, Christian churches’ stated goal is to be like Jesus, who famously fed 5,000 people at a hilltop peace rally (and a pescetarian diet of loaves and fishes at that).

Even thought he’s been Pope for only two and a half years, Francis has made a bigger splash to date than many popes during their decades-long service. You don’t have to be a Catholic to care about what he calls the “paradox of abundance,” where we make enough food but not everyone can eat, just as one doesn’t have to be a Tibetian Buddhist to agree with some of the Dalai Lama’s ideas. These quotes are calls to action—thoughts and meditations on the future of food and what can happen if we pay attention … and what may happen if we don’t.

“Our grandparents used to make a point of not throwing away leftover food. Consumerism has made us accustomed to wasting food daily and we are unable to see its real value. Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of the poor and hungry.” June 5, 2013
“The first concern for all of us when considering food production is the human person and all those who are victims of hunger.” May 1, 2015
“It is a well-known fact that current levels of production are sufficient, yet millions of people are still suffering and dying of starvation. This is truly scandalous.” June 20, 2013
“[We can] give a voice to those who suffer silently from hunger, and this voice can become a roar that shakes the world. This campaign is also an invitation for all of us to become more conscious about our food choices, which often lead to waste and a poor use of the resources available to us. It is also a reminder to stop thinking that our daily actions do not have an impact on the lives of those who suffer from hunger firsthand.” December 19, 2013
“We need to find ways to all benefit from the fruits of the earth, not only to avoid the widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs, but above all because it is a question of justice, equality, and respect for every human being.” June 20, 2013

ThePlate, National Geographic Magazine

 

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Nutritious Food out of Reach for 20 Percent of U.S. Homes with Children http://ncfoodbanks.org/nutritious-food-out-of-reach-for-20-percent-of-u-s-homes-with-children/ Mon, 14 Sep 2015 18:04:45 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1312 Written by Brian Krans | Published on September 1, 2015Brownie

Without access to nutritious food, children face risk factors for major diseases early in life. This “food insecurity” can also lead to family and psychological problems.

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. households with children lack access to foods that meet the nutritional requirements for an active, healthy lifestyle.

This “food insecurity” comes in many forms.

It includes poverty where a family can’t afford nutritious foods, living in a “food desert” where quality food isn’t available, or having too much junk food in a child’s diet. More at:

http://www.healthline.com/health-news/nutritious-food-out-of-reach-for-20-percent-of-us-homes-with-children-090115#1

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Executive Mansion Lit Up for Hunger Action Month http://ncfoodbanks.org/executive-mansion-lit-up-for-hunger-action-month/ Sat, 05 Sep 2015 13:40:14 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1308 Sept.Mansion Lit for #Number Action NC 3, 2015
Raleigh, N.C.
The Executive Mansion lit up orange Thursday evening during a lighting ceremony to support Hunger Action Month in North Carolina. N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Rick Brajer hosted the event on behalf of Governor Pat McCrory and First Lady Ann McCrory. N.C. Department of Agriculture Chief Deputy Commissioner David Smith, and Alan Briggs, Executive Director of the N.C. Association of Feeding America Food Banks, also spoke at the event. Read more at:

http://governor.nc.gov/press-release/governors-mansion-lit-orange-raise-awareness-hunger-action-month

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SECU Members Partner with North Carolina Food Banks for 6 Million Meal Project! http://ncfoodbanks.org/secu-members-partner-with-north-carolina-food-banks-for-6-million-meal-project/ Mon, 10 Aug 2015 20:30:24 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1274

August 8, 2015  Raleigh, N.C. – SECU Foundation Board ChairMcKinley Wooten, Jr. and NC Association of FeedingAmerica Food Banks Executive Director Alan Briggs
met today to sign a $1.2 million Agreement that will
provide North Carolinians in need with 6 million
additional meals over the next 3 years! The grant from
State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) members via
their Foundation will add 2 million meals per year to
clients served by North Carolina food banks – that’s
one extra meal per year funded by each of the Credit
Union’s 2 million members.

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Poverty Affects The Brain, Causes Lower Test Scores: Study http://ncfoodbanks.org/poverty-affects-the-brain-causes-lower-test-scores-study/ Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:25:35 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1264 By Aditya Tejas July 21brain-development, 2015

Whilethe link between poverty and poorer academic scores has long been known, a growing body of evidence is establishing the direct role poverty plays in brain development, which causes a gap between affluent and poor children. A new study published Monday found that almost a fifth of that divide is because of the effects of poverty on the brain.

Researchers from Duke University, North Carolina, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on almost 400 children. They found that children from poorer homes had smaller amounts of gray matter in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe and hippocampus, all of which are critical for long-term memory, emotional regulation and information processing. Read more at: www.ibtimes.com/poverty-affects-brain-causes-lower-test-scores-study-2017488

 

 

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New initiative to rescue imperfect produce http://ncfoodbanks.org/new-initiative-to-rescue-imperfect-produce/ Thu, 25 Jun 2015 14:15:54 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1258 Perfectly Imperfect PotatoesSWAN QUARTER — Food Bank of the Albemarle is heading a new pilot program designed to eliminate food loss and fight hunger across the state.

On Friday, legislators and business leaders will meet at Pamlico Shores Produce in Hyde County to discuss the new program. The food bank is partnering with Pamlico Shores to rescue lower-grade potatoes and culls that would otherwise be destroyed through installation of a potato bagger, said Annya Soucy, director of communications and special events at Food Bank of the Albemarle. The event will start at 10 a.m. at Pamlico Shores Produce and will lead to a luncheon and panel discussion at Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department.

The USDA will provide a trailer for an estimated 1 million pounds of bagged potatoes to be distributed throughout North Carolina’s seven food banks and, in turn, dispersed among local food pantries, Soucy said.

www.thewashingtondailynews.com/2015/06/24/new-initiative-to-rescue-imperfect-produce

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Where the poor and rich really spend their money http://ncfoodbanks.org/where-the-poor-and-rich-really-spend-their-money/ Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:16:17 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1246 Where people spend money

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawmakers in several states are urging limits on how welfare recipients use public benefits, suggesting that the poor are buying things like lobster, filet mignon, vacations aboard cruise ships and visits to psychics. It’s an open question whether the problem these proposals aim to solve actually exists, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics just helpfully released new data on how the poor — and the rich — spend their money.

For the first time, the bureau released this data for ten equally sized classes of U.S. households, sorted by income. While the bureau doesn’t have data on lobster and filet mignon, the survey does provide a fascinating level of detail.  More at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/04/14/where-the-poor-and-rich-spend-really-spend-their-money/?tid=sm_tw

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Why entrepreneurs are suddenly finding the beauty in ugly produce http://ncfoodbanks.org/why-entrepreneurs-are-suddenly-finding-the-beauty-in-ugly-produce/ Tue, 26 May 2015 15:13:53 +0000 http://ncfoodbanks.org/?p=1240 By Whitney Pipkin May 26

Ugly produce is midway through a massive makeover.

Misshapen potatoes, multi-pronged carrots and past-their-prime apples — rebranded as “cosmetically challenged” and “beautiful in their own way” — are coming into vogue. Campaigns aimed at reducing food waste are bringing these fruits and vegetables, previously reserved for hogs, compost piles and landfills, to the forefront of our minds, if not quite to our grocery shelves. More at:

FOODWASTE0011432067530http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/why-entrepreneurs-are-suddenly-finding-the-beauty-in-ugly-produce/2015/05/22/3d2134e8-fe68-11e4-833c-a2de05b6b2a4_story.html

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