Lisa Deaderick: Advocates looking at longer term solutions as food insecurity grows during pandemic
The number of households that don’t have enough food to eat is growing. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggesting that more than 10% of American households experienced food insecurity in 2019. Since the pandemic started, that number is estimated to have doubled, according to research from Northwestern University. This lack of reliable access to food is even more severe for Black and Latinx households.Food insecurity — defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle — has been connected to employment, wag...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Bulldozers were ready to fight California fires. Why did Forest Service turn them away?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Loyalton fire was 2 days old and starting to pick up momentum in a heavily forested area 50 miles north of Lake Tahoe. That’s when Jeff Holland offered to help.Holland’s logging company, CTL Forest Management Inc., happened to have an array of firefighting equipment — bulldozers, water trucks, a wood-chipping machine called a masticator — parked on a property he owns in Loyalton, just west of where the fire started in mid-August. He proposed hiring out the equipment to the U.S. Forest Service, which was in charge of fighting the fire.He was turned down.“I had several p...
The Sacramento Bee
Tough fire season takes toll on firefighters' mental health
Josh Baker just got home from a 50-day deployment to three California wildfires. Although his job wasn’t dangerous — he worked on a support team, making calls to track down equipment such as port-a-potties and bulldozers — the hours were long, the stakes were high and the work was exhausting.He’s still feeling tense. “I’m anxious, nerves are kind of frayed, things that would normally not be a big deal — kind of water off a duck’s back — hit a little harder,” said Baker, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) fire captain who spoke to Stateline as a member of the age...
First 'murder hornet' nest in US is found near Canadian border
SEATTLE — After weeks of trapping and searching, entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) have found an Asian giant hornet nest on private property in Blaine. It’s the first such nest found in the U.S., and the agency will set out to destroy it Saturday.Four live Asian giant hornets, known to some researchers as “murder hornets,” were caught in two traps this week and tagged, WSDA spokesperson Karla Sapp said Friday.One was followed back to its nest on Thursday.“The nest is inside the cavity of a tree located on private property near an area cleared for a reside...
The Seattle Times
Pa. college plans to power two farms from cafeteria waste, cow manure, and brewery scraps
The Dickinson College dining hall serves up a varied menu ranging from Monte Cristo casserole and cranberry chicken to, of course, pizza.But the 1,000 pounds a day of food waste produced by the Carlisle, Pa., campus is a hidden energy source that school officials say they plan to tap into.That waste, along with local cow manure, scraps from local schools, and grain from local brewers, can create enough energy to power operations at the school’s 80-acre, USDA-certified organic farm, and an adjoining dairy farm it leases, said Matt Steiman, energy projects manager at Dickinson’s farm.Not only th...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: Farms need more than 'Trump money'
There’s a term swirling around the countryside these days: “Trump money.” It refers to the growing pile of subsidies hitting farm country during this election year.At a recent campaign rally in Wisconsin, President Donald Trump announced a new $13 billion federal aid package. It will benefit farmers through another round of payments from the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, a $16 billion relief package overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Coupled together, we’re entering record-breaking territory on farm subsidies.Don’t get me wrong, these payments are deeply appreciated. Here i...
Tribune News Service
Life in a food desert, where fresh produce is 2 bus rides from home
FORT WORTH, Texas — Willie Brown carefully guided his cart of groceries off the Trinity Metro Bus. The cart thumped on the ground, and he slowly pushed it across an empty parking lot toward home.Thirty years ago, that empty parking lot would have been filled with shopping carts and families buying groceries. It would have been where Brown shopped. Now, the Stricks Food Store is empty. Its parking lot at East Jefferson and Evans avenues is used as a gathering place for people who use bus stop No. 5.The building is a reminder of what the Hillside neighborhood used to be.“This area is dying,” Bro...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The Bear Fire 'smoldered for weeks,' then destroyed a town. Was Forest Service slow to fight it?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Started by a lightning strike in mid-August, the Bear Fire had been burning for weeks in the rugged mountain terrain of the Plumas National Forest — attracting comparatively little attention from the public or media as much larger wildfires burned elsewhere in Northern California.And then on Tuesday, with fierce Diablo winds blowing, it turned into a monster. By Wednesday, it had destroyed much of the tiny community of Berry Creek, had killed three people and was threatening the city of Oroville.The sudden devastation left some local officials irate and defeated Berry Cree...
The Sacramento Bee
Commentary: US food system needs reform
According to the USDA, Americans spend less on food as a percent of their incomes than anyone else in the world.This may seem like a good deal, especially for people who struggle to make ends meet. But, in fact, our cheap food economy is really a crooked one, with family farmers and food system workers underwriting a system that disproportionately benefits corporations.The COVID-19 pandemic has brought this into focus more than ever, by highlighting how the system cheats rural and urban working people out of a decent life.Mario Ramirez, the lead organizer of the Voces de la Frontera Essential ...
Tribune News Service
Trump Administration Proposes $4.5 Billion Spending Cut On Food Stamps
The Agriculture Department proposed budget cuts which would slash $4.5 billion of spending on food stamps over five years. The cut would affect 19 percent of families who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), trimming their benefits by as much as $75 per month.The proposal would increase benefits for 16 percent of users, but would force nearly 8,000 families to give up their benefits. Currently, just under 40 million Americans rely on SNAP for their nutritional needs.SLIDESHOW: TOP DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020Under this plan, the average loss in benefits woul...