daily links::a food waste cookbook!, news on teen hunger, and more

2016-09-24

There’s a cookbook called Amazing Waste with recipes entirely devoted to cooking with scraps,leftovers,etc. I haven’t had a chance to look through the entire thing yet but this looks like the kind of cookbook I would write. Am writing. These kinds of recipes are great for food pantry users (at least my food pantry) where you might end up with produce that is not the prettiest or freshest.

The entire cookbook is available for free RIGHT HERE.

Thanks to my local food waste reduction -anti hunger group Friendship Donations Network for passing along that info.


·:   Five Questions with JoAnne Berkenkamp, Food Waste Expert and Advocate  – there’s a lot of food waste going on but it’s getting better thanks to mainstream recognition and initiatives to reduce waste


:· some new research reveals some sad information about teenagers living in homes with food insecurity  . Even if teenagers do have access to programs that give them food,they’re too worried about what their peers will think to use them openly but also they are underserved by programs like The Backpack Program, which focuses on elementary aged kids. This is something touched on before here when one of our readers was trying to develop a program for older kids.

As a result, in households where hunger was most acute, teens reported engaging in all kinds of risky behavior to obtain food, including: shoplifting food directly, selling drugs for cash and/or engaging in “transactional dating,” i.e., engaging in sexual relationships with older adults in exchange for food and money. In a few communities, some teens even viewed going to jail as a viable option to ensure regular meals. The report also revealed the degree to which hungry teens look out for each other and for their younger siblings, often forgoing meals or sharing their food with those also in need.

Here’s a summary of the full report: Impossible Choices

My teenager’s high school made school lunch available for free to ALL students, regardless of income. If high schools did that widely, this would eliminate so much of these issues. Her school also has Free Food Friday where food donations picked up from a local rescue agency is available in the school lobby for anyone to take home. My daughter very rarely gets anything because it’s completely gone by the time she has a chance to check it out. Even when she is there on time, it’s difficult to get anything. No one is shy about taking food home. Now I have to wonder why these students have no reluctance to take free food. The school is a small charter school that focuses on sustainability and social justice (nope, don’t go off on me about how awful charter schools are) . Is it just that the culture of the school is centered on taking care or others and being stewards of the earth? A lot for me to think about there. I asked my daughter what she thinks and she says it’s because the school works hard to be a safe space for everyone and “no one judges people for things like that”.


Meanwhile in my community, the school district just expanded their Fresh Snack Program to include another school so that it now serves 1,200 elementary students. The Youth Farm Project (which one of my older kids worked at and let em tell you…that’s an AMAZING program) and other local farms provide a weekly snack to be served with the intention of expanding food horizons and food accessibility. It’s awesome.

My 6 year old was very critical of the yellow watermelon mentioned in the article linked above. He spent his summer growing his own watermelon, so he’s an expert now.
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He’s a super proud watermelon farmer.  I think we actually have a couple left to harvest. I plan on making this watermelon pie. YESSSSSSSSS.

What foods would you like to see in a Backpack Program?

I’m sharing this question today from a reader who is involved with starting a Backpack Program for junior high aged kids in her area.

For anyone not familiar with the Backpack Program : every Friday during the school year, food is sent home via backpack . The goal is to provide  food for the weekend to kids who rely on free school meals.

S asks:

If your student came home and opened their backpack on Friday afternoon, what would be most helpful to find?

Parameters:

Total gross weight under about 5 pounds

Picky kid friendly

Nutritious

Easy prep since some families have no cooking facilities except possibly a microwave

Pretty cheap, like $5 retail

 

 

new food stamp amount: $221/month for a family of 5

We reapplied for food stamps at the end of May and finally got a decision this week. We were denied but then also approved in the same decision. Because I’m self-employed, they said the amount I made in May put us over the qualifying limit by $87 but then averaged the past 3 months of my income as a guideline of what I might typically make and that put us under the limit.

The other thing that changed is they do not include our twins on our SNAP case because they are full time college students who are not employed at least 20 hours a week yet. So, we’re on paper a family of five but I’m still buying groceries for a family of seven.

I’m confused about some of the rules for when someone is going to college. I was told by one person that if the twins are working at least 20 hrs/week this summer ,then they can be included on our SNAP case but then someone else told me that yes, BUT their income will also count as household income and that would probably put us over the qualifying limit. I’m guessing the latter is how that actually works.

Anyway, as it stands now we were approved finally and our amount will be $221 a month. That’s just short of 2 weeks of groceries for us. The USDA “Thrifty Family Meal Plan” guidelines say we should be spending about $970 for our family size per month but my food budget has been about half that for the past 6 months, sometimes even lower. It’s totally impossible without going to the food pantry every other week.

On the gardening front, things are slow but happening. We’re in a drought-like spell. I have no hose hookup at this house and I’m watering the garden by hauling jugs from inside the house. It takes forever and it’s not the same as a good soaking rain. Fortunately we know people who know how to do things and a friend is going to put a hose hookup in for us soon. This sounds like a much easier solution than my daughter’s suggestion of building an aqueduct or elaborate irrigation system.

So, adding to my $88 worth of rhubarb, I now have chives and chive infused vinegar.
15 oz dried chives-$28 (I arrived at this price by looking at the bulk spice prices at 2 local markets plus what’s available online)
16 oz of chive infused vinegar – $10
several bundles of fresh chives -$8

My husbeast has been fishing a lot lately,too. Having terrible luck catching anything worth keeping but this week another fisherman gave him a nice bass he didn’t feel like cleaning. That was a nice free dinner. I have no idea what a whole bass costs. A 12 oz package of sea bass is $23 where we usually shop but this isn’t exactly sea bass.
I need to remember to add the cost of his fishing and hunting license into my food production expenses tally. So far without that figured in, I’ve spent $120 on seeds,tools,and other gardening things.
I need to keep better track of time spent in the garden. Once I have a good idea of this,I’ll start putting a monetary value to that time,too. Two separate rates – migrant farm worker wage and living wage.

 

 

 

 

 

“The Sioux Chef” Sean Sherman on “oppression foods” and bringing back “pre-reservation food”

Daily Dozen isn’t working for me. Sometimes 12 is too much and sometimes I don’t have time to do it every day. Welcome to  “However Many Links I Happen To Have Posted At Random Frequency”.

As someone who gives everything a name, even inanimate objects, it’s going to bother me to not have a better, definitive name for link round ups but I’ll live.

[Contents: California, homeless rights, renter’s rights,housing, indigenous foods,commodity foods, Native American, Minnesota, Sioux Chef, Lakota, food on reservations]

California Bill Defends the Right of the Homeless to Rest in Public • SJS – “SB 876 asserts that homeless people cannot be discriminated against simply because they are unhoused. This means that they have the right to “to use and to move freely in public spaces, the right to rest in public spaces and to protect oneself from the elements, the right to eat in any public space in which having food is not prohibited, and the right to perform religious observances in public spaces.”


via Community Tenants Union. The general idea here is that housing is a basic human right and people NEED housing. That human need shouldn’t trump an owner’s desire to build a portfolio.Renters are highly exploited to benefit others and that shouldn’t happen.
Community Tenants Union explains in the comments,too : “I think the point is that people shouldn’t have to rent. Creating a market for housing means that people get rich off what should be provided as a basic need. And what people *choose* to rent is oft-times substandard, without a basic licensing system for landlords, or a rigorous system of controls to ensure that rental properties are maintained to a high standard.”

 


This Native American Chef Is Championing Food Justice in the Most Innovative Way – “Food commodities — like flour, lard and sugar — are whatChef Sean Sherman (popularly known as “The Sioux Chef”), a member of the Oglala Lakota peoples in South Dakota, called “oppression food” in this week’s episode of The Movement.

Sherman advocates for a return to “pre-reservation” indigenous foods used by Native American peoples prior to colonization and displacement from their lands. His activism comes in the form of culinary arts. His protest takes place in the kitchen.

The Minneapolis-based caterer and food educator provides cooking classes, offers speeches and food demonstrations with the purpose of restoring traditional Native American foods and flavors to prominence in Native communities and beyond”
Watch: 8+ minutes . Worth the time.


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[contents: fast food,food accessibility,race,class,veterans,elderly,Boston,income inequality,housing inequality, Angela Davis,Planned Parenthood, birth control,low income women, child poverty,Texas, criminal justice system, foster care system]

    1. McDouble is ‘cheapest and most nutritious food in human history’ –   “The double cheeseburger provides 390 calories, 23 grams of protein – half a daily serving – seven per cent of daily fibre, 19 grams of fat and 20 per cent of daily calcium, all for between $1 and $2”.
      I’m just leaving it at that.


    2. Why Food Belongs in Our Discussions of Race | Civil Eats – I believe I shared this months ago but it showed up on my twitter tl this week and it’s always worth a reshare. I may have to stash it somewhere I can get to it easily for one of those times people ask me why I address racial issues.

    3. After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies –  Planned Parenthood gives low income women access to birth control. Birth control prevents pregnancy. How WEIRD that Planned Parenthood losing funds that enabled them to provide birth control didn’t keep women from getting pregnant! I’m shocked.

    4. Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: An Interview with Angela Davis… – everything Angela Davis says is worth sharing here

    5. Dolores Westfall, 79: ‘I’m Too Poor To Retire, Too Young To Die’ – I’m not supposed to swear here but this is getting fucking ridiculous

    6. Why Therapists Should Talk Politics -The personal is political. It makes no sense to not include that as therapy.

    7. Poor white kids are less likely to go to prison than rich black kids – STFU if you try to say “it’s not a race issue, it’s a class issue”

    8. Report Finds Sharp Increase in Veterans Denied V.A. Benefits – This is based on 70 years of data.

    9. Boston’s struggle with income segregation – The Boston Globe– “In 1970, just 8 percent of families in Boston and the surrounding cities and towns lived in the poorest neighborhoods. Now, the figure is more than twice as high — 20 percent. Over the same period, the proportion of families living in the wealthiest neighborhoods has nearly tripled, from 6 percent to 16 percent.

      The surge in affluence in some areas and poverty in others has wiped out scores of mixed-income neighborhoods. In 1970, 7 in 10 families lived in these places. Now it’s just 4 in 10.”


       

    10. Majority of US Public School Students Are In Poverty – for the first time in 50 years, the majority of kids in public school nationwide are considered low income with the highest concentration being in the southern and western states

    11. Broken foster care system may be  contributing to homeless crisis in San Francisco – I’m done. I cant even make it to twelve today

 

Daily Dozen: More on #FlintWaterCrisis

Current news and developments happening in Flint this week. Check out last week’s link round up here.

Let me preface this collection of links by giving a little personal background that fuels my outrage. My youngest daughter had lead poisoning when she was small. Her lead levels were very high but were discovered through a routine lead screening at her well visit. The very next day after receiving the results, the health department was contacted by our pediatrician and the process began to find out where the lead was coming from and how to fix the problem (and the landlord was told succinctly that if he didn’t fix the problem immediately, he wouldn’t like the consequences). A county health nurse came to our house to set up a treatment plan. Developmental assessments were scheduled. I already had concerns over developmental delays and there in the lead screening was my answer.

Through this process, no one tried to hide the lead contamination from me. It wasn’t brushed off as something I would have to put up with. No one ever told me it was “just a few IQ points…. it’s not the end of the world.” The response was rapid. The concern was genuine. This is how it should be for everyone. Lead poisoning causes brain damage, for fucks sake. Brain damage. The longer undetected and untreated, the more profound.

I don’t even want to think about what life would be like for my daughter today if this had happened during the years we had no insurance and totally skipped well visits because we couldn’t afford to go.

I think about the impact lead poisoning had on my family when just ONE child had it. In Flint, it’s an entire generation that will be affected, especially if the proper plan of action is not set up to handle services children and families will need and what the school system will need to deal with ongoing issues. How this is handled from here on out is crucial.  At the time this happened to us, we were financially stable. We had health insurance and money to buy food. The course of treatment to lower lead levels is nutritional. We fed her a diet high in calcium, vitamin C, and iron. He lead levels dropped to normal within a year. We could afford to specialize her diet like that  at that time. 40% of Flint is “poverty level”, which doesn’t mean only 40% are struggling. That just means 40% is at or below federal poverty level statistically. I’m betting more are struggling to get food in the fridge than that 40%. Food, period. Even if treatment is in supplement form and not actual food, that’s still expensive for people struggling. Is Michigan going to expand a food program to Flint residents to meet these needs?

I have seen some commentary that completely writes off the children of Flint. People are already making predictions as to what percentage of these kids will grow up to be incarcerated or mentally disabled.   My daughter is almost 15. She has no serious detriments now from the lead poisoning. That’s completely due to the fast response and intervention with services that followed.  Don’t write these kids off. MAKE FLINT & MICHIGAN ACCOUNTABLE. Not just for fixing the water. Push the city and state to get intensive services to families NOW. 

  1. Intersection Episode 14: Fighting for Black Lives, in Flint and Beyond – The 1st part of this episode focuses on Flint and for anyone who needs a refresher on what’s goi go, Jamil Smith summarizes how this started and where we are now. Discussed is the role this crisis is playing on current presidential race and what the candidates are saying. It’s mentioned that Hillary Clinton has responded voluntarily but honestly,folks…Hillary has political advisors who told her it would be a great idea to say something and involve herself. At the end of the link is a good reading list.
  2. FBI joins Flint drinking water investigation. List of agencies on case that investigate criminal wrongdoing grows. freep.com/story/news/loc…  . I don’t know what that means. Do FBI investigations ever lead to arrests?
  3. GUEST POST: “No Words” – A heartbreaking report from the trenches in the #FlintWaterCrisis By Eclectablog on… fb.me/4xZBfeEfj – “Across the street we go and knock, knock, knock. A young mother of four races out to greet us in her driveway. “Oh, my god, I’m so glad to see you guys, I just had a baby 3 weeks ago and I’ve been drinking water from the tap my whole pregnancy. I don’t have a car because someone stole the ignition out of it. I have some water for the formula but I have to wash his bottles with the tap water.” We give her a filter, a test kit, and extra jugs, breaking the rules of how much water we can deliver to each house. My heart breaks. I work with infants, I know the effects of neurotoxins during pregnancy. This baby likely has had massive lead exposure that is yet to be discovered. This mom may have known the risks but HAD NO CHOICE but to use her only source of water for the last 9 months.”

  4.  Do Not Send Us Bottles Of Water. Instead, Join Us In A Revolt.– really,really important
  5. It’s not just Flint and it’s not just in the water: Baltimore warns that children are at risk of lead poisoning from paint gu.com/p/4g9k4/stw
  6. Flint water victims can’t sue the government. That’s another crime. – yeah.
  7. Analysis: How Flint, Ferguson, New Orleans and Baltimore are all connected
  8. It’s not just clean water: Flint’s undocumented immigrants can’t access medical lead testing grist.org/cities/its-not…
  9. The cost of replacing Flint’s lead water-service lines could cost as much as $1.5 billion. mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/us/…
  10. I Grew Up in Flint. Here’s Why Governor Snyder Must Resig via @TalkPoverty talkpoverty.org/2016/01/27/fli…
  11. 300 Union Plumbers Took To Flint And Installed Water Filters FOR FREE Over The Weekend via

  12. via  : “

    Just saw 6 cars with water from Jewish community pull up to Latino church in Flint to help undocumented get water: pic.twitter.com/JlSB7oRXcx

Media preview

Heart-tugging daily reality from Flint schoolkids, via @Local4News.


 

 

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Daily Dozen: Links galore.Well, 12 to be exact.

 

Trying something new here. I always have soooo many links to share that I get overwhelmed when I try to do it just once a week. And honestly, I can imagine when it’s a ton of links at once, it’s a lot to take in. So, I’ll try this. I’ll share 12 links every day. I’ll probably do some on topic (like food/recipes, SNAP,current events,gardening,budgeting,etc).

[content: parenting while poor,doulas for low income women,homelessness,transgender homeless people,homeless shelters,nice rappers doing good things for poor families and homeless people, teachers don’t get paid enough,wealth inequality,food insecurity]


 

 

  1. How it feels to be a poor mother living without heat during a blizzard – short answer: fucking miserable
  2. The Myth of Low Cost Doula Support – this was a heated discussion over at the FB page one day after I said I wanted to become a doula just to provide services to low income women. I understand in some areas, low cost doulas are totally a thing but it’s not the norm. Also, some people don’t seem to get that some low income women need it to be “no cost”
  3.  In North Carolina, Teachers Work Second Jobs to Make Ends Meet [via Raise Up]- “…16 percent of teachers nationwide are forced to work a second job outside the school system. In North Carolina, however, that number is closer to 25 percent — third-highest in the entire country. When you include teachers who take second jobs within the school system, more than half of North Carolina educators — a full 52 percent — work second jobs to supplement their salaries.”
  4. Travesty: It Is Now Illegal To Feed The Homeless In Thirty-Three Cities – ugh
  5. Chris Hedges: If You’re Poor, Justice in America Doesn’t Look the Same-nope
  6. Chance the Rapper Raised 100k to Make Coats for Chicago’s Homeless– they double as sleeping bags
  7. 2 Chainz Gives Family of 11 Facing Eviction a New Home – this guy❤
  8. Study: Low wages drive up government costs– makes sense. You dont pay people a living wage, they will need to rely on government assistance
  9. Police: Homeless Woman Smashed Window to Escape Cold – she wanted to go to jail so she didn’t have to freeze
  10. Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession -yup
  11. via TalkPoverty: “I can’t afford to fill up my freezer, but I’m denied food stamps” –Kim bit.ly/22oqUBM
  12. Tll HUD to house trans people in shelters according to gender identity – This is a big deal. The number of trans people on the street has gone up and it’s harder for them to find shelters that accept them. (this does not address SAFE shelters for trans people,though)