Food Security Made A Right, Not Welfare Measure: K.v. Thomas

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Fresh food thats the key to lowering high blood pressure and diabetes, said Jeri Bailey, director of the food pantry at the Dupont Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church, who was at the food bank the same day as Nwaneri. We prepare bags for 130families a week that includes a meat, fresh greens, canned goods and other items, Bailey said. But the distribution of fresh food means extra attention must be paid to ensuring that the donated perishables dont spoil. Nearly 36 million tons of food were wasted nationally in 2011, said Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank. Roman recently helped organize a summit in Alexandria to address how local churches and organizations can reduce food spoilage. Participants included Ben Simon, founder of the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland; Elise H. Golan, director for sustainable development at the Department of Agriculture; Tom ODonnell, an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency; and Meghan Stasz, director of sustainability for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents such major brands as Kraft, General Mills and Nestle. Food waste is getting some attention from federal agencies, but [the summit] really connected it to people serving in the communities to begin a conversation that is needed in our region, Roman said in an interview. We are committed to fresh food and vegetables, but we have to pay attention to waste. As panelists talked about how more and more companies are allowed to give out food because of Good Samaritan donation laws, Gerri Magruder, coordinator of the food pantry at First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights , stood in frustration. I want real-life specifics. I would like to leave here with real solutions, said Magruder, who told the panel that there was a shortage of fresh produce when her volunteers recently went to the main food bank to pick up items for their weekly community giveaways. Marian Peele, senior director of partner relations and programs for the Capital Area Food Bank, said that although the system isnt perfect, the food bank has worked hard to improve the quality of what it distributes. Some people think that this entire system is antiquated and that we need to focus on the systemic problems of poverty: education and unemployment, Peele said. But having a strategy to combat hunger isnt going to help somebodys child that is hungry today. On Monday, Magruder was back at the food bank picking up items for her Tuesday and Thursday distributions. As she inspected containers of green apples and cabbage, she smiled and said, Everything is fine today. No spoilage.

Thomas Monday Oct 07, 2013 Tweet New Delhi, Oct 7 India’s new food security law has made food security a right of the people instead of a welfare measure taken by the government, Food Minister K.V. Thomas said Monday. Enacting the food security legislation is a landmark achievement in giving right to food to millions, Thomas said at the opening session of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on World Food Security at Rome, according to an official release. “It (the food law) marks a paradigm shift in approach to food security in India — from being a welfare measure to a rights-based approach,” he said, adding that with this legislation, India has shown its commitment to ensuring food security for all. Thomas asserted that with recent trends in higher food grain production and sufficient stocks, the country would be able to implement the act successfully. Reiterating India’s commitment to contain food prices volatility, he said the government has taken several measures – both administrative and fiscal – to contain price rise of essential commodities and these are “showing promising results”. The recent analysis of Indian market data shows declining prices of food during August 2013 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, he said. Extending India’s support to international efforts for achieving food security, the minister said it is always at the forefront to contribute to the food aid programmes to needy countries. “India has removed restrictions on export of cereals especially rice and wheat. By this measure, during 2012-13, more than 10 million tonnes of rice and 5 million tonnes of wheat have been exported from India. This has helped many nations in meeting their requirements of food grains,” he said. The food security bill was passed by the Lok Sabha Aug 26 while the Rajya Sabha cleared it Sep 2. The largest such scheme anywhere in the world, the food security law gives two-thirds of India’s 1.2 billion population the right to subsidized grains. Under the legislation, beneficiaries would get five kg of grain per person per month, including rice at Rs.3 per kg, wheat at Rs.2 per kg and coarse grains at Re.1 per kg. IANS

So one sick person – after coming in contact with only four people – has potentially infected 16 others. Here’s where the math gets really mind-boggling — or as math geeks say “exponential” — let’s say, each of those six to 16 people then makes contact with four more folks. And let’s say that this all happens in the first half-hour that our X-axis works their shift at some fast-food restaurant or fancy bistro. Now if you loved math and went on to calculus, you’d know that there’s a Z-axis, which represents time. Because there are more statistics for fast food chains than for fancy bistros lets look at what this would mean at a McDonald’s . We know that more than a quarter million hamburgers are sold each hour. Now those hamburgers don’t cook or package themselves. We also know that McDonalds employs about a million workers each year. And according to a U.S. Senate inquiry , 30,000 of their workers, 3%, are insured. So imagine that some of those workers aren’t feeling so well and imagine what our three-dimensional graph will look like by the end of a week. Now before you throw your hands up in the air and blame all communicable diseases on McDonald’s, bear in mind that there are lots of fast food joints, and the average American eats out about 5 times per week with only 19% of those people call themselves fast food junkies. Besides, it’s not like you’re helpless.