7.3.17

 

activism: Why It’s Important To Challenge Gatekeepers
This is from last year but continues to be important. Gatekeepers are totally unaware that they’re taking part in silencing and oppressing others so if you read this and hear your own voice in the examples given of what gatekeepers say and do, challenge yourself to do better,please. Thanks.

podcast: Ep 4 The Spending Clause of What Trump Can Teach About Con Law
This episode explains what the spending clause is and how it works to withhold federal funding to sanctuary cities.

disabilty/wages: A new bill could boost pay for the disabled–to at least the minimum wage. Right now employers do not have to pay disabled workers minimum wage. For real.

labor: Truck driving is a modern form of indentured slavery

Trucking companies force drivers to work against their will – up to 20 hours a day – by threatening to take their trucks and keep the money they paid toward buying them. Bosses create a culture of fear by firing drivers, suspending them without pay or reassigning them the lowest-paying routes.

* To keep drivers working, managers at a few companies have physically barred them from going home. More than once, Marvin Figueroa returned from a full day’s work to find the gate to the parking lot locked and a manager ordering drivers back to work. “That was how they forced me to continue working,” he testified in a 2015 labor case. Truckers at two other companies have made similar claims.

* Employers charge not just for truck leases but for a host of other expenses, including hundreds of dollars a month for insurance and diesel fuel. Some charge truckers a parking fee to use the company lot. One company, Fargo Trucking, charged $2 per week for the office toilet paper and other supplies.

* Drivers at many companies say they had no choice but to break federal safety laws that limit truckers to 11 hours on the road each day. Drivers at Pacific 9 Transportation testified that their managers dispatched truckers up to 20 hours a day, then wouldn’t pay them until drivers falsified inspection reports that track hours. Hundreds of California port truckers have gotten into accidents, leading to more than 20 fatalities from 2013 to 2015, according to the USA TODAY Network’s analysis of federal crash and port trade data.

* Many drivers thought they were paying into their truck like a mortgage. Instead, when they lost their job, they discovered they also lost their truck, along with everything they’d paid toward it. Eddy Gonzalez took seven days off to care for his dying mother and then bury her. When he came back, his company fired him and kept the truck. For two years, Ho Lee was charged more than $1,600 a month for a truck lease. When he got ill and missed a week of work, he lost the truck and everything he’d paid.

* Retailers could refuse to allow companies with labor violations to truck their goods. Instead they’ve let shipping and logistics contractors hire the lowest bidder, while lobbying on behalf of trucking companies in Sacramento and Washington D.C. Walmart, Target and dozens of other Fortune 500 companies have paid lobbyists up to $12.6 million to fight bills that would have held companies liable or given drivers a minimum wage and other protections that most U.S. workers already enjoy.


 

 

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Meal planning for this week

I’m trying to make sure we have rent by the end of the week so I was crossing my fingers to be able to do decent meal planning with what the food pantry offered yesterday. No such luck,honestly. Two cabbages and a bag of carrots were the only produce they had. I came away with lots of canned fruit, as much bread as I could take, ground turkey, hot dogs,turkey burger, rice, and some stale “spicy cheese flavored” taco shells. I’m sure I’ll manage some hellacious acts of pantry anarchy with some of it but it’s still disappointing. I think rent will be a little late. We need some grocery basics and gas for the car.
Yeah, that plan of mine to keep money in savings for groceries has not gone well.

On a more uplifting note, there’s a cute little garden happening behind the community center the food pantry is held at. I see rhubarb, oregano, some other herbs.
I have no idea who manages this garden or what it’s used for. My understanding is that once upon a time there was a large garden that served the food pantry but it was at someone’s house and that person has since sold the house and moved out of the area. If I felt like we had any secure permanency in this house, I’d organize a replacement garden on the acres here.

 

 


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the diabetes situation

I lay in bed this morning listening to my husband get ready for work. I heard him take a pill bottle down from the top of the fridge, open the cap. The pills skitter down the plastic amber cylinder.  He pops the top back on, replaces the bottle to it’s home. The process repeats three more times. Then a few seconds later I hear the beep of his glucose meter reading off his morning number. He walks in to where I’m sleep-waking, leans down and whispers, “190”.  Not surprising after goulash dinner the night before but not as bad as it has been some days.

He came home from another diabetic counseling session about two weeks ago. He hands me various papers that he was specifically told to give to his wife when he gets home, like he’s a child who needs to hand over papers to Mommy when he gets home from school. Would they do that to me if I was the diabetic? Take these home to your husband. Highly unlikely.
“No more pasta at all”, he says. He says other things about food that I couldn’t even hear right then. I flipped out and threw the papers everywhere, yelling, “Are they going to pay our grocery bill now so that can happen?” If  only I could swipe our insurance card at the register.

Later I picked all the papers up and tossed them into the woodstove, feeding them to the fire. I know what they all say anyway. Knowing what they say and making it happen on the Cheap Carb Grocery Budget are two incompatible things that aren’t going to get married anytime soon.

 

 

 

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This week at the food pantry

Mood: frustrated yet still grateful and motivated to commit creative acts of pantry anarchy.

The highlight of this week’s visit to the food pantry was definitely the 14 lb turkey. I should be able to make that stretch a bit after the holidays.
Other than that, it was weirdly unholiday like. No typical holiday dinner trimmings, although we did bring home an apple pie. Our food pantry doesn’t do cookie or baked goods usually and if they do, they don’t have enough for everyone so you roll a die when you come in and if you roll whatever number they pick that day, you get to choose one thing. The last time we rolled and won was on husbeast’s birthday last January and yay, they had a whole cake!

There was also just pears and carrots for produce. Oh, and a melon! My boys enjoyed that.
I have my vegetarian daughter home from college for the holidays so I was disappointed but we’ll figure it out.
pears

I think I might make a spiced pear and carrot cake for our Yule dessert tonight.

The food pantry was also really slim on other protein picks this week , I’m guessing because they had whole turkeys. We brought home some ground turkey,too (had last night as meatballs with penne) and canned beans. No dry beans,even. We did get shredded cheese, which they never have, and a thing of cottage cheese. Lots of canned fruit and pasta,though.

Anyway, please don’t listen to the GOP when they say that people who have their food stamps cut will be fine because food pantries will take care of hungry people. That isn’t going to work. The end.

 

 

 

 

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.


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 or one time donation via Paypal to luckyfishhomestead@gmail.com

[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