Category : Dieting/Food/Nutrition
(Local Paper) As holiday weekend approaches, Charleston-area restaurant workers fear what it might bring
By now, just about everyone in South Carolina is familiar with the graph charting the state’s new coronavirus cases. The trend line looks like a child’s drawing of a mountain cliff or a letter ‘L’ in repose, with a plateau followed by a sharp vertical flourish.
It also perfectly mirrors the fear and anxiety that food-and-beverage employees across downtown Charleston say they experience at work.
With positive tests for the coronavirus progressively thinning out local restaurant staffs, workers say they have less time to keep up with new sanitation protocols and more reason to worry about contracting the potentially deadly virus.
In interviews conducted over the past week by The Post and Courier, multiple employees at half a dozen leading Charleston restaurants have shared a remarkably similar story: They feel abandoned by public officials who championed reopening without restriction and endangered by patrons who mock their masks and flout social distancing rules.
Many front-of-house workers are so tired and stressed that they wish restaurants would revert to offering takeout exclusively, even if it would cost them tips.
“The restaurant industry feels unsafe,” says a former Leon’s Oyster Shop server who last month quit after learning co-workers who were exposed to the virus at a dinner party were still on the schedule.
“The restaurant industry feels unsafe. A lot of people want to get out of there, but it’s so hard to find another job,” a former Leon’s Oyster Shop server said.https://t.co/gU3ORr6ZBT
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) July 2, 2020
(Local Paper) As COVID-19 wallops hospitality sector, Folly Beach restaurateurs develop safety strategy
Approximately 40 restaurants in the Charleston area have now closed temporarily as a result of an employee testing positive for the deadly disease, exposure to an infected guest or concern about the spread, although industry members reiterate many more restaurants are continuing to operate in the face of known cases.
Rich says the Folly Beach meeting, scheduled for the Loggerhead’s parking lot to facilitate social distancing, will cover table spacing, bar seats and employee masks. Rich believes strongly that every restaurant in the city needs to mandate masks for front-of-house workers.
“There’s no regulation on it, so everybody is doing something different,” he says. “We’re just going to tell everyone, ‘Hey, guys, this is what we recommend.’ We need to make sure somebody’s burger or beer isn’t as important as our health.”
“Especially on this island, we’re all friends with each other. If one of us gets sick, we’ll all get sick.”https://t.co/gKbBcgIVrl
— Charleston Scene (@chasscene) June 23, 2020
On a crisp May evening, Wendy Baur had earned a rest by the time dusk fell on a middle school gymnasium that was transformed into a supersized food pantry for the pandemic. Responding to a 630% increase in need since mid-March, she and her team of 55 volunteers had just handed out full grocery bags to about 375 families reeling from this gateway city’s economic collapse. It was time to go home.
But Ms. Baur, who’s directed the First Congregational Church of Revere food pantry in Massachusetts for 18 years, wasn’t relaxing as she leaned on a stack of canned soup cases. She was worrying. If even one volunteer tests positive for COVID-19, she said, the operation might grind to a halt as all contacts would have to quarantine. Just as concerning: the prospect of running out of food.
“Every week it’s a struggle to resupply, to get more food,” says Ms. Baur, who also runs a research lab at Tufts Medical Center. “All of the food pantries are competing for a time slot at the food bank warehouse. Some days I can’t even get a slot. … I get online at midnight when you can pick your slot, but when I get on, they’re all taken. They’re gone within one second.”
— Earl Anthony Wayne (@EAnthonyWayne) June 3, 2020
(Local Paper) Mounting hostilities over masks in Charleston-area restaurants take toll on food community
As diners’ opinions on the suitability of masks for restaurant settings this weekend hardened into bayonets to aim at their opposite number, the founder of a Facebook group which has emerged as the leading clearinghouse for Charleston restaurant information came close to shutting down her site.
“The mask-and-glove debate has become a third job,” Christine England of Lowcountry Eat Out! said on Tuesday in an announcement streamed on Facebook Live, during which she revealed new rules to get the group’s 23,000 members back on topic.
“If you’re going to comment ‘How do we eat with a mask on?’ or ‘Stay home if you don’t like it,’ there are like 3 million COVID groups where you can do that,” she continued. “The goal of this group is to support restaurants.”
“People are getting more vocal and people are getting more threatening. I had a couple dozen restaurant (people) reach out, and they all said the same thing: This last week has been the worst week of their lives.”https://t.co/ELwBGjO5N4
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) May 27, 2020
As child hunger soars to levels without modern precedent, an emergency program Congress created two months ago has reached only a small fraction of the 30 million children it was intended to help.
The program, Pandemic-EBT, aims to compensate for the declining reach of school meals by placing their value on electronic cards that families can use in grocery stores. But collecting lunch lists from thousands of school districts, transferring them to often-outdated state computers and issuing specialized cards has proved much harder than envisioned, leaving millions of needy families waiting to buy food.
Congress approved the effort in mid-March as part of the Families First act, its first major coronavirus relief package. By May 15, only about 15 percent of eligible children had received benefits, according to an analysis by The New York Times. Just 12 states had started sending money, and Michigan and Rhode Island alone had finished.
The pace is accelerating, with millions of families expected to receive payments in the coming weeks. But 16 states still lack federal approval to begin the payments and Utah declined to participate, saying it did not have the administrative capacity to distribute the money. Many Southern states with high rates of child hunger have gotten a slow start.
Child hunger in the U.S. is soaring. A program to replace school meals has left out millions, and exposed the patchwork logic of America’s safety net.https://t.co/JQQMCGSRDy
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 27, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic hit the world at a time of plentiful harvests and ample food reserves. Yet a cascade of protectionist restrictions, transport disruptions and processing breakdowns has dislocated the global food supply and put the planet’s most vulnerable regions in particular peril.
“You can have a food crisis with lots of food. That’s the situation we’re in,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or FAO.
Prices for staples such as rice and wheat have jumped in many cities, in part because of panic buying set off by export restrictions imposed by countries eager to ensure sufficient supplies at home. Trade disruptions and lockdowns are making it harder to move produce from farms to markets, processing plants and ports, leaving some food to rot in the fields.
At the same time, more people around the world are running short of money as economies contract and incomes shrivel or disappear. Currency devaluations in developing nations that depend on tourism or depreciating commodities like oil have compounded those problems, making imported food even less affordable.
“In the past, we have always dealt with either a demand-side crisis, or a supply-side crisis. But this is both—a supply and a demand crisis at the same time, and at a global level,” said Arif Husain, chief economist at the UN’s World Food Program. “This makes it unprecedented and uncharted.”
Up to 36 nations could face famines by the end of the year https://t.co/OOhZmji1hd
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 13, 2020
(News2 Charleston) Exclusive poll: Many not ready to return to restaurants, gyms during COVID-19 pandemic
While most of the country has started the process of reopening, a majority of people surveyed in three U.S. states aren’t yet ready to return to restaurants and gyms, according to new polling from Nexstar Media Group and Emerson College. People in Texas, California and Ohio indicated they aren’t ready to return to places they frequented prior to the pandemic — even with social distancing and other precautions in place.
In California, 65% said they would not feel comfortable going to a restaurant with some spacing precautions. Similarly, 60% of surveyed Texans weren’t ready to dine-in.
To contrast, a majority of people in Ohio are more ready to return to restaurants. Of those surveyed, 51% said they were comfortable returning to restaurants with precautions.
As states across the country reopen, many feel they just aren’t ready to visit restaurants or the gym. https://t.co/FLlaotswrS
— WCBD News 2 (@WCBD) May 11, 2020
The world is facing multiple famines of “biblical proportions” in just a matter of months, the UN has said, warning that the coronavirus pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation.
The world is facing multiple famines of “biblical proportions” in just a matter of months, the UN has said, warning that the coronavirus pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation. https://t.co/TBqEwfbqPw
— CNN (@CNN) April 22, 2020
American Hero Burnell Cotlon–one of the ordinary people helping to hold our country together in this difficult time
Take the time to watch it all.
(Local Paper) Publix, Bi-Lo, Harris Teeter, Food Lion to install plexiglass in all stores for protection during pandemic
Customers at Publix, Bi-Lo, Food Lion and Harris Teeter supermarkets will soon notice plexiglass panels in areas of the store with direct interaction with shoppers.
Florida-based Publix will begin installing the acrylic plastic partitions this weekend at cash registers, customer service desks and pharmacies in all of its stores, according to spokeswoman Maria Brous.
The company expects every store to have plexiglass installed within the next two weeks.
.@Publix expects every store to have plexiglass installed within the next two weeks.
— The Post and Courier (@postandcourier) March 26, 2020
Aa parts of East Africa face the worst plague of locusts for decades, the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has made a plea for international help. It described the situation as “unprecedented” and “devastating”.
At the same time, the Christian relief and development agency Tearfund, which works with hundreds of rural self-help groups in the region, has urged people to pray for an end to the crisis.
In Kenya, the insect swarms are the worst for 70 years, destroying staple food supplies and farmers’ livelihoods. In Somalia, where the invasion is the worst for a quarter of a century, a state of national emergency has been declared. This week, locusts were reported to have reached Uganda. Tanzania and South Sudan have been added to a watch list.
In Ethiopia, the influx is the worst for 25 years. Tearfund’s Emergency Officer, Tewodros Ketsela, said: “The region is already struggling after several poor harvests, due to either drought or excess rain. As such, farmers are particularly vulnerable to this new threat. Anyone who is fortunate enough to have food reserves will have to use them up earlier than expected.
“The region is already struggling after several poor harvests, due to either drought or excess rain. As such, farmers are particularly vulnerable to this new threat.”https://t.co/Jlizb9INkB
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) February 14, 2020
Wanda Dench and Jamal Hinton are a pair of unlikely friends. All it took to bring them together was a couple of texts to the wrong number.
— Matt Marciano (@MattMarciano4) November 30, 2019
Foodbank demand has rocketed by 3,772% under a decade of Tory rule, the Mirror can reveal.
Bombshell figures show a surge in need from hungry families after nine years of gruelling austerity.
Britain’s biggest foodbank network had 57 outlets open in the final year of the Labour government in 2009/10.
They provided 40,898 aid packages – the equivalent of 368,082 meals. Of those parcels, 13,959 went to children.
By the end of March the network had 425 foodbanks – a 646% increase.
Their volunteers gave away 1,583,668 packages – 14,253,012 meals – in 2018/19. Some 577,618 parcels went to children.
People from all faiths, denominations and backgrounds are invited to take part in Weardale’s first bread church.
The idea came from a church in Liverpool which invited people to bake bread.
Each person would bake two loaves of bread, one for themselves and one for a stranger.
You don’t need any experience in baking, it will be for most people a chance to try something new.
Some of the bread would be handed out to the homeless or to foodbanks.
Whilst waiting for the bread to bake people have a chance to reflect and pray.
— Michael Sadgrove 🇪🇺 (@MichaelSadgrove) November 9, 2019
What are the main reasons that hunger exists in America?
Underemployment is the biggest factor. If you’re employed but only making minimum wage, there’s no place in America where you’ll be able to pay for all your expenses. And underemployment is chronic, meaning that typically families have experienced some measure of unemployment for generations.
Educational attainment is another major factor. Beyond a high school diploma, in most cases you need an additional two-year degree or a technical degree to escape hunger and poverty. But if you’re living in hunger and poverty, you’re much less likely to get the education you need.
A third factor is family structure. Common sense—and simple math—says that two gainfully employed adults are going to be better than one. My wife and I have three kids. We both have graduate degrees, we are Anglo, and we grew up in middle-class households. We’ve had every advantage that anyone could have, outside of inheriting large sums of money. But despite all these advantages, raising kids was still difficult, and it’s difficult to pay the bills. Imagine being a single parent trying to work, take care of your kids, and make sure everybody gets to school on time and gets fed on a regular basis. You have to be superhuman to pull that off while getting an additional degree.
— Stan Winder (@WinderStan) June 30, 2019
[David] Portalatin says that industry experts agree that the biggest distinguishing feature for Chick-fil-A is the customer experience.
“The level of customer satisfaction is highly differentiated from many of their fast-food peers.”
Chick-fil-A’s customer service is legendary, prompting rafts of memes enumerating real and imagined over-the-top polite employee interactions.
Global restaurant consultant Aaron Allen says some of this is about the speed of the drive-through and a culture of saying “please” and “thank you.” Some of the positive customer-service experience can be linked to an embrace of technology. In 2016, the chain debuted what it called Mom’s Valet, which let parents order at the drive-through, then go inside where a Chick-fil-A employee would have a table ready.
More recently, the company launched a successful app, and it is routine for employees to walk the drive-through line taking tablet orders to expedite.
The sky is falling for fast food, but not for Chick-fil-A. Here’s why. https://t.co/LN5YWQhuQn
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 19, 2019
Hunger among senior citizens is in many ways an invisible crisis, but the troubling reality is that 5.5 million older Americans are skipping meals or going entire days without eating anything. And with more Baby Boomers leaving the workforce every year, the problem is getting worse, not better, even with a strong economy.
“Oftentimes, all food insecurity is under the radar, but this is a really, really important topic,” said Craig Gunderson, the lead author in The State of Senior Hunger report released Tuesday by Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit that operates 200 regional food banks and 60,000 food pantries around the country,
“I don’t think we’re talking nearly enough about this issue,” said Gunderson, also the director of undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois, who has spent his career researching issues of food insecurity and making policy recommendations on how to curb it.
For these senior citizens — your parents and grandparents — aching questions about the availability of food never go away, and many go at least a day without eating to stretch their limited incomes farther, Gunderson said. As with America’s hungry kids, depression rates and medical costs soar when older Americans don’t have enough nutritious food in their pantries.
— New Orleans Patch (@NewOrleansPatch) May 14, 2019
As Baltimore was convulsed by protests in 2015 over the death of a young black man in police custody, a handful of people in the eastern US city started worrying about a related issue: food.
Thousands of demonstrators thronged the coastal city’s streets to protest the death of Freddie Gray, forcing shops and schools in some neighborhoods to close – creating sudden food deserts, particularly for many people without a vehicle.
“People didn’t have access to food,” said Darriel Harris, a Baptist preacher, noting that many in the impoverished community where the protests hit hardest ate hand to mouth, relying on convenience stores or school lunches.
“If you’re getting your food from school or if you’re getting your food from the corner stores, and then the schools and the corner stores close – then how can you eat? It became a huge issue,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
In response, Mr. Harris and two others quickly began to organize, drawing on contacts who had access to farms in nearby states and bringing supplies into affected neighborhoods to distribute via a local church, one of several groups doing so.
— G. Jeffrey MacDonald (@gjmacdonald) November 27, 2018
For Rosh Hashana, more than 350 members of Uganda’s Namutumba Synagogue dressed in white, chanted their prayers and feasted on a slaughtered cow to mark the beginning of a new Jewish year last week.
“We are so happy that we entered the new year with such joy and happiness,” said Namutumba’s spiritual leader Shadrach Mugoya Levi by telephone from Uganda.
It hasn’t always been easy for Levi or his community; in fact many years there was almost nothing eat because of drought. But this year the rains have been plentiful. There was ample food for the new year celebration and for dinner on Tuesday, before the 25-hour-long Yom Kippur fast that begins at sundown.
That’s not always been the case. There have been many times that Levi began the fast on an empty stomach. And a day without food didn’t seem that different from any other day….
The tables at the Tsubaki Salon are slightly wobbly. No more than a couple of millimetres off kilter, but enough to be noticeable.
This is puzzling because, in all other respects, this highest of high-end pancake houses, nestling among the haute-couture flagships of Tokyo’s Ginza district and fitted out in bracingly minimalist decor, is perfection. The plates and cups are the definition of Japanese ceramic elegance. The spindly handled spoons and forks have been created by one of the country’s most famous designers to fit the pinnacle of pancake Epicureanism. When it comes to the edible stars of the show — made using a complex technique — they too, in the view of the pancake cognoscenti, are flawless.
But what about that wobble? “It’s deliberate,” says Yukari Mori, nudging the table a little to demonstrate that even this imperfection is perfection. “They were designed this way to show off what makes these pancakes so good.”
Read it all (subscription).
The Anglican Church of Burundi has been training farmers to improve rice yields as part of efforts to combat food insecurity in the country. The two-year project has been run in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, the overseas development agency of the US-based Episcopal Church. Growing rice has been the main activity for people living along side Lake Tanganyika for many years; but the lack of improved techniques and seeds has caused low production and farmers could not expect to gain much from it.
Through the project, farmers have been trained and equipped with agricultural techniques and materials to improve rice production. “Already the farmers are seeing changes in agricultural production and consequently in their daily lives,” the province said in its newsletter.
“Our situation has improved since we no longer cultivate the rice just for consumption,” farmer Esperance Ndayishimiye, said. “I’m now able to meet easily my family’s needs. I pay school fees for my children. I have bought lands and built houses.” she said.
The Church of England’s General Synod has called upon the Government to tackle food poverty and take steps to minimise waste throughout the supply chain.
Members backed a motion brought by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich outlining ways retailers and Church of England members can attempt to tackle food poverty in Britain.
The motion calls for the Government to consider steps to reduce waste in the food supply chain. It also urges parishes to help lobby retailers on food waste.
Speaking on behalf of the Church of England, which is a member of the UK End Hunger UK campaign, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, said: “That nearly a quarter of parents are saying they cannot reliably afford to feed their families shows that it is time to take a serious look at what
we are doing about the growing problem of household food insecurity in the UK.
“I am amazed by the generosity of the volunteers who run food banks in churches all over the country, helping those in the most acute need, but it is now clear that we need to do much more to reduce the need for food banks in the first place, starting with a commitment from Government to measure the scale of the underlying problem.”
A Norwich church is thought to have become the first in England to own a pub after the vicar decided it was the best way to spread the Word.
St Thomas’s Church in Norwich bought the pub next door for £500,000 after the Reverend Ian Dyble remembered seeing a vicar behind a bar many years earlier.
“It was in the Lake District on holiday, in my pre-vicar days. I remember thinking what a good idea it was to engage in the community in that way, because as we all know, people’s interest in church is waning. It’s a way for us to reach out into the community,” he said.
(CT Pastors) Small Church, Big Ministry God is using 124 people from this historic congregation to feed 145,000
“When your income is not that great, and prices are going up, how are people supposed to survive?”
For the last year, Charles Johnson and his family of five have been caught in an insecure no man’s land. Their family’s low income can’t always stretch to cover everything they need, yet they don’t qualify for public assistance in Georgia. So in his words, “We’re trying to look for any kind of help we can get.”
That’s where Hillside Presbyterian Church comes through. Whoever said small churches can’t do big things?
This small church in the Atlanta area has found its calling in Decatur, Georgia, by meeting tangible needs of people in the community. Over the last 20 years, this church of 124 members—80 active members, most of them between the ages of 50 and 90—has distributed around 800,000 pounds of food to nearly 145,000 people. Hillside has become well known for its food pantry, and people from outside its service area—often sent by other churches—come looking for help.
The United Nations is warning that more than 1.4 million people in northeastern Nigeria could face famine by September because of a severe funding shortage. To date, only 28 percent of the U.N. appeal for more than $1 billion to provide humanitarian aid for nearly seven million people has been received.
Since Boko Haram militants began their armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria in 2009, the United Nations estimates more than 20,000 people have been killed, nearly two million are internally displaced inside the country, and about 200,000 have taken refuge in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
Government forces have recaptured much of the territory held by Boko Haram, but the security situation remains fragile.
(CT) DL Mayfield–How Government Support Saved Me; Signing up for food stamps changed my view of poverty in America
Just a few months ago, my family stopped qualifying for government cheese.
It came as a little bit of a surprise to me—I had, after all, been a part of the WIC (women, infants, and children) program for almost seven years, starting with my first child. My daughter was born two months early due to life-threatening complications and I was never able to breastfeed. WIC supplied the formula, an expense that would have been a huge blow to our family’s finances. As my husband and I took turns getting our graduate degrees, WIC provided us with milk, cheese, eggs, and a few other essentials, and when we were support-raising missionaries living in immigrant and refugee neighborhoods for three years, we used our WIC vouchers along with all of our neighbors.
Two years ago when my second child was born, I wasn’t able to work, and while moving across the country, our only car broke down. By the time we finally found an apartment to live in and a job for my husband, we didn’t even have enough money to buy curtains for our windows. We applied for food stamps, or SNAP, along with WIC, and I don’t know what we would have done without it for those few months. I felt sweet relief being able to go to the grocery store, swipe my card, and purchase food for my family. Each time, I was incredibly grateful for my country.
In light of where my family is now, it’s important for me to take a moment and remember those feelings—both the stress of not having money to buy essentials and the gratitude for any small breaks.
Two million people are teetering on the brink of famine in northeastern Nigeria but efforts to reach some are being thwarted by Boko Haram jihadists, the UN’s food agency said Thursday.
More than 20 million people across Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen, are in areas hit by drought and are experiencing famine or are at high risk of famine in “the biggest crisis we have seen in the past 50 years”, said Denise Brown, emergency coordinator for the UN’s World Food Programme.
“While they are all in difficulty, northeastern Nigeria is one that has got under our skin at WFP,” she added.