“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)

 

The food people get from the food bank

A couple of weeks ago, I asked readers to tell me what they get from their food bank. I got hundreds of answers and what I heard was exactly as I expected but maybe not what a lot of people would expect?

And that was absolutely why I wanted to do this post.

I’ve been writing about food insecurity for long enough to have encountered recurring conversations and remarks. I would say it’s a common occurrence to see a person say they don’t have enough food to eat and the overwhelming response they get is, “Go to your local food bank.”. The advice might be coming from someone who thinks this is helpful advice but they’ve never been to a food bank themselves OR they have used food banks before and they’re experience has been excellent. “Excellent” is not what most people would describe their experience as and it’s also important for people to understand that sometimes food banks are not accessible for everyone. But mostly, I want people to understand the limited capacity of what “go to the food bank” might mean for someone.
I want to clarify here that this is in no way a diss to food banks. Food banks are an incredibly valuable asset. The people who manage and volunteers at food banks are tirelessly compassionate and caring people. They want people to get enough food and they would rather it be good food. As more states impose restrictions on SNAP and limit who can get it, food banks are crucial but as the number of people who need them increases, the ability to truly help people decreases. You’re hearing from GOP candidates that the best thing we can do for “the poor” is to just get rid of the SNAP program altogether on the federal level and let the states decide how to allocate money for safety net programs. This will have a massive impact on already struggling states where food banks are maxed out on their helping potential.

Right now there are people who are trying to feed themselves exclusively from food banks. These people usually are just over the limit to qualify for SNAP (I keep telling ya’ll…SNAP works exactly how it should and needs to be expanded). Some people do get SNAP but the amount is small. People will sometimes have to go to several food banks in their area to make it work. Two people told me they couldn’t use the food bank where they live because the eligibility is based on whether or not you qualify for SNAP and they didn’t. Some food pantries do not deliver and people without transportation can’t make it there.

Produce is rare for some,especially in the winter months. This is an important point for foodists to take note of. If you’re advising poor people that it’s easy to eat healthy, you need to be aware that their options are limited. 

 

[in photo: bag of apples,bag of white potatoes,3 onions,1 cabbage, 5lbs wheat flour, 5lbs cake mix base, red thai curry seasoning,shelf stable milk,1 lb macaroni,2 lbs dried lentils,2 cans black beans,1 can chickpeas,1 can blackeyed peas,1 can chili beans, 1 can kidney beans,2lbs white rice,1 lb brown rice,2 cans pineapple,2 cans mandarin oranges,2 cans fruit cocktail,1 can peaches,1 can tuna,2 cans cream of mushroom soup,juice,1 lb pasta,1.5 lb egg noodles,2 lbs ground turkey,1 lb hot dogs,veggie chips, contact lens solution,1 loaf of sourdough bread]

This is what we brought home last Monday from our food pantry. Our’s is a “self serve” pantry and clients get to choose what they want. The amounts are based on a point system for family size. These guidelines are supposed to be a 3-day supply of food per person. This food pantry is open twice a month. What’s available changes.

img_2048

Sorry this photo is blurry but I think you can get the idea. When we go in, we take the card with our family size on it (6 that week because 1 kid went back to college). On the tables, the food is labeled with points. Canned food is usually 1 pt, as are grains. Meats are more….I think the ground turkey was 4 pts.  I know a bag of chicken is the costliest at 10 pts. Some items are only 1 per family (especially produce). Occasionally they have non-food items like toothpaste and those are always one per family.

From my perspective, this is pretty good. I have never had expired food. Nothing has ever made us sick. I can usually figure out ways to make meals from it , although sometimes it takes a lot of creativity and strict management of resources available.

So, that’s my experience with the one we use right now.

Here is some of what other people wanted to say about their experiences:

Amy, Central NY-   We have a food bank and a fresh food giveaway.  The fresh food giveaway is bread and produce, every once in a while dairy products or eggs.  The food bank is toilet paper, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruit, canned vegetables, mystery poptarts (They’re out of the box and the wrappers aren’t labelled, so you don’t know what kind they are until you get them home and open them.  I can’t have peanuts, but so far I have been lucky and have not gotten the peanut butter ones), pancake mix, syrup, tuna fish, rice, beans, lentils, and some vegetable soup that’s bizarrely nasty on its own but that can be put into a stew or something similar.  One time the food bank had body spray.  And they’ve had agave nectar a couple of times. 

Elizabeth, Southern PA -…my experience has been mixed. Some only give enough for two days for four.
I’ve had produce, frozen meat, canned meat ( once the chicken was bad and made my daughter ill). I’ve seen nothing but bags of stale soft pretzels at one place

Becky, Vermont (volunteer) – We purchased a walk in cooler for meat and other frozen foods. The amount you get depends on family size. For example, a family of 4 would get around 12 cans of veggies, 12 soup, 12 various types of macaroni, 12 tuna, 10 other meat cans. Two bags of rice, 4 frozen packs of meat…etc. You can come once a month. Fresh produce comes in from the food bank once a month. You would need to be in that week to get it. Eggs we have too.

Peggy-  Our foodbank also allows only one pickup a month. The only time I ever received meat was the first time that I went. I was turned away by the foodbank itself. A lady came out and told me that the woman in front of me was the last person they would serve. It was two days before Christmas, a snow storm was forecast. I had driven 15 miles to get there…I was nearly sure to almost starve before they opened back up in the new year. A kind woman gave me one of her family’s four boxes. It had a pork roast in it.

Brooke,MI-Last time my husband was off work…they asked for paycheck stubs…haven’t been back unfortunately. We did get all the staples. Never any fresh stuff. I can get baby food..diapers and wipes also. 

Chris, FL- I haven’t been back since we all had food poisoning. I know the bad food came from the food bank because it was the only food we had in the house.

Sheila, CT- I went to the FB today in the neighboring city. I”m allowed to go only once every 3 weeks since I no longer get SNAP, this is about it for me… I also go to the food bank in my town (once a month, when I am not scheduled for work I am able to go to this)  and the food truck is once a month  but I have Fibromyalfia and so can only go during good (not really bad) weather. Today at the FB in the neighboring city I was given: 

1 turkey breast frozen
1 chicken pot pie “use by 1/5/16….  (not so sure about this, it was not frozen, it was fresh. 9 days past it’s use by date and it has poultry in it.. : ( Not feeling like I will use this… 
1 box of cereal (contains almost- I am super allergic to…) 
large box of pound cake
box of stuffing mix
peanut butter
grape jelly
2 cans beans
1 can apricots
1 big can (28 oz) tomatoes
can of cream of mushroom soup
can of cream of chicken soup
2 boxes pasta
3 individual servings size coconut water mixed with juice
1 can of carrots
8 or 10 bagels
2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
trial size fabric softener.2 small cans Vienna sausages : ( 
2 dozen eggs
32 oz skim milk
16 oz chocolate milk
16 oz hazlenut meal- says it can be used in place of flour
So that is suppose to do me for 3 weeks, for 3 people…
Wendy, SLC,Utah- I live in a low income senior apartment building with 80 apartments. Once a month the food bank brings both state and federal boxes. Even the guy who has been distributing the food for many years does not know why some people get state and others federal. I get the state box. Each one is decorated by kids. Sometimes they are quite clever! Boxes were distributed yesterday. I got 4 cans of tuna, 2 small cans of salmon, 3 cans of cranberry juice concentrate, peanut butter, 2 cans fruit cocktail, a box of honey graham crackers, a loaf of oat bread and 6 strawberry Activia bottles. I gave back 2 cans of beef stew, a jug of grape juice and a brick of plastic cheese. We have a free table in the community room, so we can put what we don’t want on it and take something else. I took a bag of powdered milk and an old guy gave me his 6 bottles of Activa Everybody here wishes we got things like fresh meat, veggies or fruits!

Anon, MI- The pantry I used to volunteer at in the next town over  a few years ago
that was supported by several local churches, who did not have pantries
of their own and chose to consolidate resources.  The requirement was
residence in the local school district.  Customers were allowed one trip
a month and were given a general listing with quantities in various food
groups.  “Day close” produce and bakery was donated by the local grocery
store and could selected according to their needs/preferences.   Meat
was typically donated from a local butcher shop, frozen.  Never things
like butter, eggs, cheese or milk.   They always referred to it as
supplementing their customers groceries, not providing everything.
Extra trips were allowed on a case by case basis.  Customers grabbed a
shopping cart and chose their own items.  That worked soooo much better
than throwing stuff in a bag and handing it to them, not having a clue
about personal tastes.  A free clothing closet was available as well as
bill assistance.

From my recollection, I can’t find the actual lists on my computer.

1-2 people (then kinda double or triple or 3-4 and 5-6)  There were
allowances made depending on how deep the shelves were.

3 cans of veggies
2 cans soup
2 cans meat (usually tuna)
2 boxes mac & cheese, pasta,  hamburger helper, rice or potato mix
2 cans of fruit
1 can spaghetti sauce
1 box cereal
1 fruit juice
Baking supplies if we had them, if requested.
1 peanut butter  (but for instance an elderly woman might not use this
and could select something else)
1 jelly
2 personal care items which might include 1 laundry soap, 1 toilet paper
a package of frozen beef, pork or chicken (no fish ever)
1-2 Snack items, cake mix, pancake mix/syrup etc., jello, pudding were
usually available

Various things like canned or powdered milk were usually available if
requested.
Things like unusual vegetables or canned goods that had been donated
were free for the picking if they could be used, as well as dry beans.
Usually there were diapers, feminine hygiene products and formula
available.

I think we estimated $30-40 worth of product per trip for 1-2 people

Pam, Chattanooga-  The food Bank delivers to a local church once a month. We usually get a frozen 10 lb bag of chicken legs and thighs 5 or 10 lb bag of potatoes some fresh produce a couple of canned veggies some donated baked goods and some other random stuff. In late fall I received a huge amount of end of season produce. Carrots onions and peppers that are in my freezer. This month got a cabbage and a lb of older carrots that cooked up fine in a soup. Last month not much produce but peanut butter and cereal were appreciated.

Connie, Lake County ,Ohio- Most of the good pantries are run by churches, and usually the Catholic churches. They divide the community into sections. You have to go to your assigned church. The one we went to for several years, before our recent eviction/move was once every 30 days. Clients choice from each food group. Three day supply for however many people. For the two of us (adult son and I) we usually got 3 soups, a breakfast (pancake mix/syrup or cereal) two pasta, sauce, 3 canned fruit, pb&j, 3 canned veggies, tp, 1 snack, and something frozen- sometimes bagged entree, sometimes hot dogs, chicken, whatever they have. Other items depend on store donations- if they had close date yogurt/dairy, sometimes eggs. Lots of bakery donations, wry depends on how much they got- 1 or 2 bread, a couple cookie/cake/pastry. Occasional “fresh” produce, but lots of times borderline spoiled.

Current church seems to have more/better donations. We got quite a lot and also got milk, eggs, frozen leftovers from on site caterer, frozen meat, bread, dessert. They had a snack shelf, coffee/tea, baking products.

There is also a produce give away the first Saturday. Last time we got 10 lbs of potatoes, cabbage, onions, apples, watermelon, carrots, grapefruit, squash and some baked goods.

Another church does “taxables”. Last Saturday of the month. One month deodorant, shampoo, shaving supplies, along with toothpaste and TP. Next month laundry and dish soap with TP.

MJ, Southern IL- We don’t go all the time but sometimes we need to. Usually there is a frozen chicken, or a lb of hamburger, once we got a pork loin, pancake mix, syrup, a few cans of fruit and veg, soup, box of cereal, and spaghetti noodles and a can of tomato sauce. I am always grateful that I can cook. I can turn a sows ear into a silk purse. Sometimes there are out of date things. I always check things out well…we have also gotten sick from chicken. About twice a year they have a thing where they load your trunk. Once we got a case of frozen pineapple chunks…lol…it was summer so they were good frozen treats.

Most all of the food pantries here are run by churches…I don’t know of any town around that has a food bank.

Lydja- We haven’t been there for 6 months, but when we went it was usually this;
2lb bg macaroni
1 can veggies usually green beans
1 can soup
1small jar jelly
1 small jar peanut butter
4 to 5 day old full size cakes or pastries
4 loaves breads usually I was given more because most folk didn’t want the whole or multi grain healthy bread. I took all they would give and freeze.
Sometimes there would be a stick of margerine, or a pack of hot dogs or bologna, maybe a couple of rolls of toilet paper.
At Christmas or Thanksgiving the first 25 or so got hams or turkeys.
That food bank gave out 2x a month. There were others, but they were in bad areas, and only did evening hours.
I found an outlet store that sold dented, close to date food, I was able to make what they had into passable meals cheap.
There were too many folks in need,and not enough to go around.

Ramen Noodle Nation (great blog, btw) shared these links related to their food pantry excursions- Blog entries on food pantries and gave this update… The mobile food pantry has been better since these were written, last time got a bag of peppers, a pound of sliced ham, stale French bread, some ranch dressing, hummus and chips, lettuce and a few other things.
Found a second church community meal.
One church food pantry in November 2015, gave us frozen thanksgiving turkey breasts with corn, stuffing, noodles, a box of biscuit mix, cranberry, and soups. We got a similar box in December.
Meat seems to always be in short supply and since these were written Squawker can eat dairy if she has a glass of Lactase milk that day.

An, Minnesota-

I am a student-parent at a community college in Minnesota. I have a work-study position in which I facilitate Poverty 101, a training program I designed to break poverty stereotypes amongst our student employees (this is needed…just wait for it–the pictures speak volumes). We just opened a new Resource and Support Center this week. The center will help students get connected with basic needs, and houses our food pantry. While we have had a food pantry for awhile, it was located in an empty store closet with no heat.

I have included a few photos. The one titled, “Pantry,” is what we used to give out to students–snacks to get them through the day. The photo titled, “Food Bags,” is from our holiday break packs, which were packed with the hope of supplementing a student over winter break. They consisted of a few cans of generic soup, dehydrated veggies, unlabled tuna, pasta, and a couple cans of fruit. Some had sauce and beans, but there wasn’t enough to go around. The photo titled, “Screenshot,” is what was on the posters advertising the break packs. (As you can see, the marketing team hasn’t taken Poverty 101.) Students were upset about the difference between the advertisement and the actual items, but what do you do when it’s your only option? The lack of cultural sensitivity is real, and I am having a rough time breaking down the poverty stigma on campus.

Don’t get me wrong, faculty is trying  and finally we have administration behind us. But the struggle is real. The distributor the pantry gets their food from recently told our contact that they are having trouble securing food at the prices they need to keep supplying the many food shelves they serve. This pisses me off to no end. We all are painfully aware that food not sold eventually goes into dumpsters, not hungry stomachs. There is no reason, in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, that we can’t feed everyone nutritious food.

But that’s another story.

 


If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please consider being a supporter at Patreon! Your support will keep content on the blog free and available to all on the internet as well as help me develop printed publications.  Donate here:  Poor as Folk on Patreon

 

Links That Matter: 1.11.16

[Contents: public housing,water contamination in Flint, sexual harassment,Native-American homeless veterans, affordable housing,children in poverty,homeless college students,Wisconsin,Scott Walker, Right to Work, Richmond, Jobs after prison, gender wage gap,depression in women ]

Housing 

Baltimore Housing Authority settle “sex for repairs” lawsuit with female tenants – Maintenance workers at housing projects refused to make repairs unless women gave them sex. For refusing, these women had to live without working appliances ,exposed electrical wires,mold,etc. There were 19 women in all who were plaintiffs in the case. They will split the $8M settlement and BHA has relocated the women to new housing. 50 employees were fired but no criminal charges filed.

Federal funding now allocated to end homelessness for Native American veterans– $5.9 M will be distributed to 26 tribal governments in 12 states, allowing stable housing for 500 Native American veterans.

Relevant: 

image via Idle No More

How a union built integrated,affordable housing in San Francisco – really interesting history of St francis Square, a housing development built by the ILWU with the intention of having affordable housing for the working class that was also racially and ethnically inclusive

Flint water protesters demand Gov Rick Snyder resign and face charges – Snyder knew he was subjecting Flint citizens to contaminated water. My daughter asked how this guy isn’t in jail right now. Coincidentally, this same daughter had lead poisoning as a child from contaminated soil at a house we lived at.

 

 

Education

56,000 college students identified as being homeless last year – this number doesn’t even include the students couch surfing or who can’t really verify homelessness. This goes along with the recent study of community college students who are unable to buy food

How to help kids in poverty adjust to stability of school after break -I wish two things about this article: 1) That NPR had published it before the holiday break was over and 2) that it asks instead what can be done to help kids in poverty have things more stable during school breaks. No lie…it was rough here. The backpack program sends home one extra bag of food for the break but it can’t make up for all the meals. A lot of families have to scrape together childcare for breaks that is not the best childcare available and that messes with a kid.

Teaching a public history of public housing – Libby Germer developed a curriculum for her AP Gov class at Richmond’s George Wythe High School focused on public housing. Nearly all the students in this school are black and low income, many in the class have lived in public housing.

Germer: I want them to be leaders. I want the students of today to be our city’s leaders in the next generation.

Libby Germer hopes the class shows students how to connect housing, poverty and school achievement. She wants them to take notice when federal, state and local leaders make policies that affect schools and housing. It’s a justice issue, says Germer, that these students may have a role in reshaping in the years to come.

Germer: I really want them to go to college and I want them to come back to Richmond because they choose it, it’s an incredible place to live. I want them to be school teachers here and lawyers here and doctors in Richmond City and not to be afraid of public housing or its residents but I also want them to speak truth to power and when they see injustice in public policy to name it.

Jobs & Economy

A Pennsylvania judge ruled that it’s unconstitutional to deny someone a job after leaving prison – this should be the law of the land.

Wisconsin loses 10,000 more jobs after passing “Right to Work” – Scott Walker is a menace to society

Study finds that the wage gap contributes to depression and anxiety in women -Makes sense to me.

The study, conducted by Columbia University, makes the connection between that and the gender wage gap that so often plagues women in the workforce. What it essentially says is that because women are so often only paid a fraction of what men make, and because society ties your value into what you do make, the undervaluation of women in the workforce leads to undervaluation of women in general.

The study looked at the statistics around women who were underpaid and found that they were just about twice as likely to develop major depression and 2.5 times as likely to develop generalized anxiety. The damning evidence (such as it is) comes in when it looked at women who were paid just as much or more than their male counterparts, and found that the likeliness of developing depression and anxiety disappeared. At that level, women were equally as likely to develop these things as men.

 

And that’s all I have for today….

 


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Jan 5: Yays,Boos,and Goals

Here’s what’s happening in our world.

Starting with the bad stuff….

BOOS

  • We’re late with the rent because we had to pay car insurance
  • We had no water from Friday night until Saturday afternoon. I lived in a house without running water once and forgot how much I love running water and indoor plumbing.

    melting snow on the woodstove for toilet flushing

    Eventually, I figured out that it was a small issue with the pump and fixed the problem myself which was a super good thing since I called the landlord’s rental agency, left a message for the “on call emergency” person ( a person took the message, not a machine) and here it is Tuesday and never have heard a word back. I suppose I should have called them to say I got the water running again but I was honestly curious to see how well they respond to issues. I think they failed that test and now I don’t feel as bad about being late with rent.

  • THIS:   Ok, I LOVE my boys but I did not enjoy winter break at all. Not only was there never (well,hardly ever) peace, it’s so hard to work at home and have kids home from school. It’s not like you can really get a lot of work done, which of course adds to stress and frustration when you really have to be making money.
  • Winter showed up. I was just kinda boasting yesterday morning about how awesome I did at winterizing and how toasty warm it was inside but I didn’t wait for the temperature to drop low enough. Holy Elsa, it’s fuh-reeeezing in here. Wood stove roaring and the temp this morning inside is barely 60. It’s the wind. If the wind isn’t blowing, it’s fine.

YAYS

  • Well, running water was welcomed back. I will never under appreciate it again  
  • I just complained about winter break but we actually did manage to have some good fambly time. We had some good movie nights ( thank you , library), baked( banana bread,of course), played games, and general fun stuff. We made these birdfeeders from my out of control dishes-to-craft-with stash  that I’ve acquired from free piles and yard sales to use for mosaics and various crafty stuff.

    the chickadees love it

  • Food pantry food. Seriously. What would we be eating without it? I guess a pluckier gal would use some of her thrifted tea cups to start an indoor garden!
  • The boys went back to school. I can get back to work. HALLE-effing-lujah
  • My ex (my twins’ dad) bought us a pallet of Envirobricks. With our wood supply running low, this will help a lot. So far, I think they’re awesome and I’m noticing that the bricks are definitely more efficient than the wood. img_1770

GOALS THIS WEEK

  1. pay rent ,obviously
  2. Figure out how to not have garbage. Not even kidding. We have to pay $18 a month for garbage plus $10 for a sheet of garbage tags that go on each garbage can. We barely have any garbage. We compost and recycle everything we can so all of our actual garbage is packaging and the few things that cant be reused or recycled somehow. I want to cut that $18+ out of my budget entirely (I didn’t even pay that bill last month,actually)
  3. Stay warm. Keep stalking all the drafts with non-expanding spray foam and scraps or rags. Make some more draft dodgers for along the floorboards? I don’t know what else I can do. Doorways are covered with drapes or blankets. Windows sealed with vinyl. Just so much ugh
  4. Figure out what to make with this.img_1944 Garlic Piastra? Even Google didn’t help me much. I asked my oldest son because he knows a ton about food plus works at a food bank in another city and he had no idea either. The best I can figure it it’s a dry seasoning for a rub or marinade?  Yay,flavor! I’m nearly out of every herb and spice in my pantry. My Taxmas shopping list looks ridonkulous. I will buy a year supply of ginger if someone doesn’t stop me.
  5. See if we can do our taxes ,like,now. I need Taxmas to be here.