Why entrepreneurs are suddenly finding the beauty in ugly produce

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

Why Canned Food Drives Alone Won’t Solve America’s Hunger Crisis

DSC_5982When it comes to hunger in the United States, we’re faced with some scary statistics: according to a 2014 study by Feeding America, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2013. And 20 percent of those households included children.

While approximately 100 million pounds of food is donated to Feeding America food banks each year via canned food drives, these items alone won’t solve the issue of hunger that so many Americans face. Tight budgets, limited volunteers, finite donations, and the short turnarounds required between receiving fresh foods and distributing them to families in need can be challenges in addressing the issue of hunger – and doing so with nutrient-rich foods.

More at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/08/how-to-solve-americas-hunger-crisis-feeding-america_n_6436642.html

Regional Food Bank Seeks Executive Director

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast N.C. is looking for a new executive director. See more details at:http://www.ccap-inc.org/hr.php

While U.S. Economy Improves, Food Insecurity Lingers

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National Geographic April 16,  by April Fulton

Dawn Pierce of Boise, Idaho, still remembers the time her colleagues suggested a potluck lunch at work. “I called in sick that day because I couldn’t bring anything,” she tells The Plate. “I couldn’t afford it. I was so embarrassed.”

Pierce was a paralegal and a single mom who often found herself scrambling for her family’s next meal, but she kept up appearances. When she was laid off in 2010, she knew she really needed help. More at:

http://theplate.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/16/while-u-s-economy-improves-food-insecurity-lingers/

Working, but Needing Public Assistance Anyway

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NY Times   PATRICIA COHEN  APRIL 12, 2015

A home health care worker in Durham, N.C.; a McDonald’s cashier in Chicago; a bank teller in New York; an adjunct professor in Maywood, Ill. They are all evidence of an improving economy, because they are working and not among the steadily declining ranks of the unemployed.

Yet these same people also are on public assistance — relying on food stamps, Medicaid or other stretches of the safety net to help cover basic expenses when their paychecks come up short.

And they are not alone. Nearly three-quarters of the people helped by programs geared to the poor are members of a family headed by a worker, according to a new study by the Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education at the University of California. As a result, taxpayers are providing not only support to the poor but also, in effect, a huge subsidy for employers of low-wage workers, from giants like McDonald’s and Walmart to mom-and-pop businesses. More at

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/business/economy/working-but-needing-public-assistance-anyway.html?_r=0

House Budget Would Slash SNAP by $125 Billion Over Ten Years

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By Dorothy Rosenbaum and Brynne Keith-Jennings
March 20, 2015
The House Budget Committee’s budget plan would convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) into a block grant beginning in 2021 and cut funding steeply — by $125 billion (34 percent) between 2021 and 2025. Cuts of this magnitude would end food assistance for millions of low-income families, cut benefits for millions of households, or some combination of the two. The prior Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, proposed similarly deep SNAP cuts in each of the last four House budgets. Read more at: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=5287

How our schools fail poor kids before they even arrive for class

Washington Post  By Roberto A. Ferdman February 18

School breakfastOne of the simplest ways to put poor kids in a position to succeed is to make sure they eat breakfast.

Studies have shown that eating the day’s first meal is not only associated with nutritional benefits, but also cognitive ones — especially for children. A 2013 study, for instance, linked breakfast consumption among children to higher IQs later in life. A group of researchers in 1989 found that students who ate breakfast tended to perform better on standardized tests. More at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/18/how-schools-are-failing-poor-kids-who-cant-afford-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day/

Do America’s Hungry Children Matter?

Child lunchJanuary 21, 2015  by Mariana Chilton

In President Obama’s State of the Union address last night he asserted that American children really do matter to our nation’s top politicians. “I want our actions to tell every child, in every neighborhood — your life matters, and we are as committed to improving your life chances as we are for our own kids.”

2015 was supposed to be the year when America ended its child hunger crisis. That was the promise then-president-elect Barack Obama made during his first campaign in 2008.

At that time some 12.4 million children lived in homes that self-reported as food insecure — in other words, they couldn’t afford enough food for an active and healthy life. Today there are 15.8 million such children.

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

The Washington Post   By Lyndsey Layton January 16For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation. Read more at  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/majority-of-us-public-school-students-are-in-poverty/2015/01/15/df7171d0-9ce9-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html

School Poverty

Program connects farmers and struggling families

Farmer's marketBy Virginia Bridges, December 16, 2014

RALEIGH — For years, Britt Farms has resisted taking payment from recipients of the modern equivalent of food stamps.

“It was so expensive and hard to do,” said Jennifer Britt, who oversees sales for the Mount Olive farm that sells vegetables and produce from the State Farmers Market in Raleigh.

But earlier this month, farm owners Jennifer and Vernon Britt listened to a 30-minute spiel and then got in line to sign up for free equipment that would allow them to accept credit, debit and Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program funds, commonly referred to as SNAP, through Electronic Benefit Transfers.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/15/4405644/program-connects-farmers-and-struggling.html?sp=/99/104//#storylink=cpy