Thanksgiving Day meal

Thanksgiving Day meal
By Jacqueline Devine – 27 Nov.14 – Alamogordo Daily News

tgsyjohnsJacqueline Devine — Daily News Volunteers at Our Savior Lutheran Church serve up Thanksgiving dinner for the community. The church and Otero Hunger Coalition served up to 100 people.

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks and sharing memorable stories around the dinner table, that’s exactly what Our Savior Lutheran Church did Thursday afternoon as they hosted a free Thanksgiving dinner for the community at their Fellowship Hall.

The church generously provided a hearty Thanksgiving meal to those in need, those who didn’t want to cook, and those who just wanted to be in good company.

Our Savior Lutheran Church Secretary Nancy Frazier said they had quite a few volunteers, about 20 in total, to help serve food to the community and was very pleased with the turnout.

tgpiesJacqueline Devine — Daily News Volunteer Elsa Koester, helps put away pies at the pie potluck at Fellowship Hall on Thanksgiving eve after the community Thanksgiving service of worship at Our Savior Lutheran Church. The church provided all the pies and offered a variety to choose from.

“We have Roadrunner Food Bank here quite frequently and there’s a lot of people that come to that because they can’t cook their own meals and I think that’s a big important factor for most people,” said Frazier. “We don’t just want to give people a turkey and then they go home and then what? What do you do with it? This is a place for them where people know each other, and it’s a nice way to commune and have Thanksgiving dinner.”

Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico has been serving New Mexico’s hungry since 1980. According to their website, they are leaders in creating solutions to end hunger in New Mexico. As the largest food bank in the state, they distribute more than 26 million pounds every year to a network of partner agencies and four regional food banks.

In turn, these agencies provide food directly to the less fortunate in communities across the state. Agencies they serve include food pantries, shelters, group homes, soup kitchens, low-income senior housing sites and regional food banks.

Frazier said the church had an abundance of Thanksgiving goodies to share like turkey, stuffing, cranberries, green beans and biscuits. For dessert, the church provided a variety of pies.

Our Savior Lutheran Church had help from the Otero Hunger Coalition which serves the needs of low income and homeless people in Otero County by nurturing, supporting and advocating for them through the provision of food and connecting of community resources.

Chairman of Otero Hunger Coalition and Head of Social Ministry at Our Savior Lutheran Church Janett Quick said they served 75 people in 2013, this year they have served over 100, plus delivered 33 to go meals.

“I have 88 places to sit here at the hall and we’re full. We’ve served over 100 people at the moment,” said Quick. “I run two soup kitchens. One on Monday at New Beginnings Church and one here at Our Savior Lutheran Church on Wednesday so this is just wonderful. Everybody deserves a Thanksgiving meal.”

She said it’s the second year the church and the coalition has served meals on Thanksgiving Day. Quick said she is happy and thankful to be able to give back to the community.

She said the idea came from some church members who couldn’t afford to have a Thanksgiving meal or did not have a place to go on the holiday.

“That’s what the idea was and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. This is our second year doing it and I’m really glad we’ve done it,” said Quick. “Thanksgiving is a tradition about family and friends, and everyone that comes to my kitchens are family and friends to me.”

Volunteer Nicole Coreil said she wanted to help out as soon as she heard of the opportunity because she is new to the area.

“My husband is in the military, and we’re originally from Florida. I heard about this through them and I asked them where I can sign up,” said Coreil. “I haven’t been here long but I thought this would be a great way to meet new people at the same time help in any way.”

On Thanksgiving eve, the church hosted a special community Thanksgiving worship service. All offerings at the service went to the Otero Hunger Coalition. After the service the church hosted a pie potluck in their Fellowship Hall.

“The service was the first part of the community Thanksgiving,” said Frazier. “The dinner is the finale for the end of the service. It ties the whole thing together.”

Frazier said the Lutherans are a very generous bunch. She said Lutherans always try their best to not only accommodate the needs of their church members but also the needs of their community. …source

Occupy Madison Tiny House Village


OM Build Tiny House Village!

10 Jan.14 – Brenda Konkel

By Occupy Madison, Inc. . . . a new place for our workshop and a place to park 11 tiny homes. It is at 2046 E Johnson St. (Sanchez Motors) where Johnson splits and goes past East High, North Street and towards E. Washington. Next to B-cycle and near the PDQ.

Occupy Madison Inc. is a not-profit registered with the state since December 2012. Center for Community Stewardship is our fiscal agent. We are in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status on our own. We are a membership organization with about 40 members. We have a board of directors made up of roughly half people who have experienced homelessness or are currently experiencing homelessness and half who are and have been more traditionally housed. Our current main project is OM Build, which is the project where we are building tiny homes. Our plans for the future are much bigger than this, but we are an entirely volunteer group that sometimes moves slowly as a result.

US Children in despair – Food Insecurity Rampant

Pope Francis’s latest act of kindness: Installing showers for the homeless


Three showers will be installed near Bernini’s Colonnade in St. Peter’s Square to cater to homeless men and women, says the pope’s chief alms-giver.

Pope Francis’s latest act of kindness: Installing showers for the homeless
By Nicole Winfield – Associated Press – 13 Nov.14

Vatican City — Homeless people around the Vatican are getting more than just handouts from charitable passers-by. They’re getting a shower.

The pope’s chief alms-giver, Monsignor Konrad Krajewski, says three showers will be installed in the public restrooms off Bernini’s Colonnade in St. Peter’s Square to cater to homeless men and women.

Krajewski, whose small acts of charity in Francis’ name are well known, told La Stampa’s Vatican Insider website that he came up with the idea after meeting a homeless man named Franco while coming home from confession one day.
Recommended: In Pictures Pope Francis: a unique pontiff

Krajewski said he offered to take Franco to dinner after learning it was his 50th birthday, but he declined because of his stench.
In Pictures Pope Francis: a unique pontiff
Photos of the Day Photos of the Day 11/13

“I brought him with me anyway. We had Chinese,” Krajewski was quoted as saying. “While we were at the table, he told me that you can always find something to eat in Rome. But what is missing are places to wash yourself.”

Krajewski told reporters last year that he envisages his work as the papal “almoner” as being a hands-on extension of Pope Francis, who as cardinal used to visit the slums of Buenos Aires and minister to the homeless. Since Francis can no longer do so in person, he tasked Krajewski with carrying out “emergency” acts of charity in his name.

Krajewski’s coffers are funded by the sales of papal parchments, hand-made certificates with a photo of the pope that the faithful can buy for a wedding, baptism, priestly ordination or other occasion, with the name of the recipient and an apostolic blessing written in calligraphy. …more

Florida tumbles down slippery slope of Criminalizing Homelessness

Arnold Abbott, left, prepared plates of food for the homeless – NYT

Florida Finds Tricky Balance Over Feeding of the Homeless

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — As dusk settled over the city’s main beach, Arnold Abbott, frail but determined, broke the law late Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Abbott, a 90-year-old World War II veteran, stood on the pavement and piled tilapia and rice and beans on plates for dozens of homeless people. A crowd stood and watched, waiting to see what the police would do.

“I am trying to allow homeless people to have the same rights as everyone else,” said Mr. Abbott, who has ignited a skirmish with the city over new restrictions on feeding the homeless in public places. “There is no rug big enough to sweep them under.”

Once again the police issued him a notice to appear in court for the criminal violation of an ordinance — the third one in nearly two weeks — and then allowed Mr. Abbott, who has worked to help the homeless for decades, to resume serving food to those waiting in line. And once again Mr. Abbott, who has become a cause célèbre, vowed to continue to feed the homeless “as long as there is breath in my body” — be it at the beach or in a park. To press his case, Mr. Abbott also said he took the city to court on Wednesday, a tactic he used successfully nearly 15 years ago to beat back a similar local ordinance.

Mr. Abbott’s stance against the city’s newest restriction on the homeless has put him at the center of an escalating debate in cities across Florida: How to feed, help and handle the ever-present homeless population in a state that, with its balmy winter climate, draws an outsize share of the dispossessed. In 2012, the state had nearly 55,000 homeless people, ranking third behind California and New York.

“We have no desire to fight with Mr. Abbott,” said Jack Seiler, Fort Lauderdale’s mayor, who has spent days trying to counter reports that Mr. Arnold had been arrested (he was not) and that his city is harsh on homeless people.

On one side of the debate are local businesses and the chambers of commerce, which would like the homeless population to be less visible. On the other side are increasingly vocal homeless activists who want to ensure that homeless people are dealt with humanely. The balancing act is particularly tricky in Florida, where tourists blanket the state and tourism officials cringe at the thought of scared tourists.

“Florida has had a sorry history of criminalizing the homeless,” said Michael Stoops, director of community organizing for the National Coalition for the Homeless. “That war is being played out all around the country. Florida leads the pack.” …more

50% Increase in U.S. Cities Advancing Laws Against Feeding Homeless


50% Increase in U.S. Cities Advancing Laws to Restrict the Sharing of Food with Homeless People
24 Oct.14 – All Gov. – Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff

Every year, feeding the homeless is getting a little bit harder to do in the United States.

Since 2010 there has been close to a 50% increase in the number of American cities that have passed or introduced laws imposing restrictions on the sharing of food with homeless people.

Fort Lauderdale has become the latest to do so. The Florida city is the 22nd since January 2013 alone to approve such a law or restrict such practices through community pressures, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Another 10 U.S. cities are in the process of passing such legislation.

Cities that already have these laws on the books include Houston, Texas; Costa Mesa, Chico and Hayward, California; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Olympia, Washington.

The Coalition, which is an advocacy group for the homeless, began tracking this kind of legislation in 2010. It discovered that there has been a 47% increase in U.S. cities’ efforts to pass such laws in the last four years.

Fort Lauderdale’s law mandates that soup kitchens must be at least 500 feet away from homes. They also must be 500 feet apart from each other, and there can only be one homeless food site located per city block.

The ordinance, which city commissioners passed by a vote of 4-1, does not restrict churches from providing food to the homeless as long as it is done indoors.

A number of organizations that provide weekly meals to the homeless may be forced to halt their operations as a result of the new rules, according to The Sun Sentinel. One in six food charity organizations are already concerned that they’ll have to close up shop soon, according to a recent study (pdf) released by Feeding America.

City lobbyist and Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust chairman Ron Book supports the ordinance. “Feeding people on the streets is sanctioning homelessness,” he told the newspaper. “Whatever discourages feeding people on the streets is a positive thing.”

“One of the most narrow-minded ideas when it comes to homelessness and food-sharing is that sharing food with people in need enables them to remain homeless,” counters a new report (pdf) from the National Coalition for the Homeless. “In many cases food-sharing programs might be the only occasion in which some homeless individuals will have access to healthy, safe food.”

Fort Lauderdale commissioners who passed the restrictive ordinance said they participate in other efforts to help the homeless, including projects to provide housing and one-way tickets to reunite the homeless with family members in other parts of the country. …more

One-Third of American Children Now Live in Poverty


One-Third of American Children Now Live in Poverty
2 Nov.14 – All Gov – Noel Brinkerhof

The wealthiest nation on earth has somehow allowed a third of its children to slip into poverty, according to the United Nations.

Thirty-two percent of all U.S. children reside in households that have annual incomes below 60% of the national median income for 2008, or $31,000, UNICEF reported (pdf). In some states, the rate is even higher. New Mexico’s is 41.9%, the worst in the country. New Hampshire has the best rate, at 12.5%. Regionally, the South has the highest child poverty rates. In terms of population, more than 24 million American minors live in poverty.

UNICEF chose 2008 to show how bad things have become in the U.S. since it was before the Great Recession. Since then, the percentage of American kids living in poverty increased by 2% while 18 other nations lowered their child poverty rates.

“Extreme child poverty in the United States increased more during the Great Recession than it did in the recession of 1982, suggesting that, for the very poorest, the safety net affords less protection now than it did three decades ago,” the report says.

The United States’ high rate of child poverty earned it a poor ranking by UNICEF, which listed it at 36th out of 41 wealthy nations. In contrast, top-ranked Norway’s rate is only 5.3%. …more

Here’s Why Wasted Food Doesn’t Get To People Who Need It


Here’s Why Wasted Food Doesn’t Get To Poor People
Harrison Jacobs – 16 Oct.14 – Business Insider

Every year, the US throws away one-third of all the food it produces — wasting 133 billion pounds of food. And 10% of that food is lost at the grocery stores, restaurants, and vendors that sell it.

Last week, we headed to major grocery retailers in the New York City area with a couple of “dumpster divers” and saw the food waste first-hand. Many wondered why that food doesn’t get to those who need it, namely the 49 million Americans who don’t have access to enough food to be healthy.

Patty Larson, the executive director of the “food rescue” group Food Finders explained to us why good food doesn’t get to the hungry.

The first reason is liability. Many vendors mistakenly believe they’ll get sued for providing food that gets somebody sick, even if they think that food is safe. The vendors may decide giving away their leftovers isn’t worth the legal risk.

What these vendors may not know (or fully understand) is that in 1996, Congress passed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, thus protecting good faith food donors from civil and criminal liability. The law specifically protects individuals, corporations, wholesalers, caterers, farmers, restaurateurs, and others from liability for donating food in good faith.

“People are always so worried about someone getting sick, but its never been an issue for us,” said Larson.

The second issue is logistics. Stores often don’t have the space to store leftover food while they are waiting for agencies to pick it up. And food banks may not have the capacity to transport or properly store the food if it’s highly perishable. Even worse, many stores don’t even know they should be donating their leftover food or where to donate it.

Organizations like Feeding America and Food Finders try to make it easier for vendors to donate food by acting as middlemen between food vendors like grocery stores, produce markets, restaurants, and hotels and food providers like food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.

Feeding America alone feeds 37 million Americans every year through its associated food banks and other organizations. Feeding America is the largest network of food banks of its kind. Food Finders, on the other hand, works locally in Los Angeles and Orange County, California to provide food to 270 agencies in the area.

Wana seriously slow the burn down of the planet – Stop Eating Meat


Why Does Less Meat Mean Less Heat?
By Josh Balk, The Humane Society of the United States – 16 Aug. 2014

After long focusing on fuel economy and energy production, environmentalists and scientists are now promoting a diet of more plants and less meat to slow climate change — but why?

It’s a problem with efficiency. Industrial farm-animal production — getting animals from farms to our plates — is inherently inefficient. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global animal agriculture produces vast amounts of crops to feed billions of farm animals long before they are themselves consumed. The animals eat this food for months, sometimes even years, before being slaughtered — they are the world’s most under-recognized “middle men.”

The scope of animal agriculture’s impact on climate change has, for decades, been underestimated. The raising and slaughtering of farm animals is just one component. Raising animals for food also includes feed-crop production — which requires extensive water, energy, and chemical use — as well as energy for transporting that feed, live animals and animal products. The total process for bringing such vast quantities of meat, egg and dairy products to our plates comes at a substantial cost to the environment.

As a result of animal agriculture’s impact on climate change , organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club support eating more plant-based meals. The power of making such a subtle change in our lives is remarkable. A Carnegie Mellon University study found that eating plant-based meals — even just one day a week — reduces more greenhouse gases than eating exclusively local foods every day (a practice some people admirably, though mistakenly, think leads to a major environmental impact due to the reduced travel miles to transport the food).

Americans are taking note: Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Agricultural Statistics Service show that our meat consumption is at its lowest level in years. About a half-billion fewer animals are now being raised for food than just several years ago, reducing animal agriculture’s global impact.

This is the result of countless people choosing to reduce their meat consumption and participating in efforts like Meatless Monday, becoming “flexitarian,” or what New York Times columnist Mark Bittman calls “Vegan Before 6.”

According to Gallup, millions of Americans also have become vegetarian or vegan. Dietary strategies have taken hold that further this impact, such as the “Three Rs” endorsed by The HSUS: Reducing or replacing consumption of animal products while refining diets (switching to products from sources that adhere to higher animal-welfare standards). …more

Why You Should Eat Ugly Fruit

WWF – 18 August, 2014

In January 2013, several hundred officials in Kenya sat down to dine on a very particular type of food: “ugly” produce. The five-course meal was made with 3,500 pounds of Kenyan-grown fruit and vegetables that had been rejected by British supermarkets due to cosmetic flaws.

Those rejected items are part of the more than 1 billion tons of food that go to waste around the world each year. In developing countries, most of that loss stems from lack of infrastructure, storage and refrigeration; in North America and many industrialized countries, a huge portion is thrown away despite being perfectly good to eat.

The dinner in Nairobi was held to mark the launch of a global initiative designed to help consumers and retailers save food and cut costs for themselves, producers and the environment.’

So help ripen a new standard of beauty by purchasing and eating homely produce. Search out or create a recipe to turn them into something that tastes great.   …source