Food & Dining
What Sad Statistic Do More than 20 Percent of American Children Share? PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 13:18
4 Ways You Can Help Alleviate the Problem

While most Americans will worry about eating too much this holiday season, 16 million of our country’s children live in households that struggle to afford food, according to a 2012 report from the United States Department of Agriculture.

“We hear about ‘food insecurity’ quite a bit, especially after the 2008-09 economic crash, but I think most people don’t have a clear picture of what that means,” says Lois Brandt, a former Peace Corps volunteer and author of “Maddi’s Fridge,” (www.MaddisFridge.com), a children’s picture book that asks the question: what do you do if your best friend’s family doesn’t have enough food?

“Food insecurity means an empty refrigerator. Food insecurity means soda instead of milk. Food insecurity means a child coming to school hungry and unable to focus. Poverty may not look exactly the same in our country as it does in a war-torn region or a developing country, but it is affecting our children and their futures. Sometimes, working parents have to choose between rent and food, medicine and food, or gas and food.

Brandt suggests four things you can do to help prevent childhood hunger.

•  Support non-profit organizations like Feeding America (www.FeedingAmerica.org). Previously known as Second Harvest, Feeding America is a national network of food banks that feeds more that 37 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. It’s the nation’s leading organization for countering hunger and educating the public about this crisis.

“Public awareness is important,” Brandt says. “Many people simply do not know that we’re surrounded every day by hungry children.”

Or you can support local hunger relief groups like Churches United of the Quad City Area (www.cuqca.org).

•  Talk to your children about childhood hunger and how they can help. “When I was a child I opened my best friend’s refrigerator to get a snack and was shocked to see it held almost nothing,” she says. “I didn’t know what to do.”

As an adult, Brandt says she’s amazed by the number of people who share with her their own stories of childhood food insecurity.

“Rather than sheltering your children from this sad fact of American life, talking to them about it can help nurture their compassion and empathy,” she says. “And there’s plenty they can do to help, from making posters to raise awareness, to organizing a food drive at school.”

Taking action teaches children that they do have the power and ability to change the world for the better.

•  Don’t make childhood hunger a political issue. Of course, childhood hunger doesn’t exist in a vacuum; issues like welfare, minimum wage, income inequality and access to health care – all of which are heavily politicized – surround the problem. Whatever your take on these topics, realize that no matter the decisions a parent has made in his or her lifetime, children are innocent and have no control of their family’s circumstances.

•  Volunteer with your family at a shelter or food pantry during the busy holiday season. While serving or cooking food for a holiday-themed meal at a shelter during Thanksgiving or Christmas does not solve the larger problem, it will affect every person whose life you touch that day. Your efforts and kind words can become a fond, lifelong memory for a child, or remind adults that others care and they’re not alone.

Volunteering also has personal benefits, not the least of which is knowing that, despite whatever problems you’re facing, you were able to help someone else.

About Lois Brandt

Lois Brandt is a children’s fiction writer whose work has appeared in Highlights and other fine children’s magazines. Her new book “Maddi’s Fridge,” (www.MaddisFridge.com), illustrated by Vin Vogel, is the first picture book to address child hunger in the United States. It was inspired by Brandt’s childhood memory of opening her friend’s refrigerator and finding only condiments and a lunch milk carton her friend had saved from school for her little brother. Ten percent of proceeds from sales of “Maddi’s Fridge” go to hunger solutions. Brandt, who holds an MFA from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa.

 
Loebsack, Local Officials to Announce Major Federal Grant for QC Food Hub PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Joe Hand   
Friday, 03 October 2014 13:50
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that he will join local officials in Davenport , Friday, October 3rd to award a major federal grant to the Quad Cities Food Hub. The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families/Office of Community Service and will provide funding to establish the Quad Cities Food Hub Healthy Food and Farms Project. Congressman Loebsack has been a longtime supporter of the Food Hub and wrote a letter of support on their behalf to help obtain this funding.

 
USDA Announces up to $31 Million to Empower People to Make Healthy Eating Choices PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by USDA Office of Communications   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:49

Richmond, VA, Sept. 29, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Secretary Vilsack made the announcement with Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe in Richmond.

"Too many struggling families do not have adequate access to nutritious food," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "Helping families purchase more fresh produce is clearly good for families' health, helps contribute to lower health costs for the country, and increases local food sales for family farmers. Public-private partnerships with non-profit organizations and other community groups are already proving to have great success across the country. These resources will allow partnerships like these to help even more families."

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, a new Farm Bill program, brings together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and fosters understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. Under FINI, applicants may propose relatively small pilot projects, multi-year community-based projects, or larger-scale multi-year projects. Funded projects will test community based strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants through incentives at the point of purchase, supported by effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies, that would inform future efforts.

NIFA will give priority to projects that:

  • Maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants
  • Test innovative or promising strategies that would contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants, which would inform future efforts
  • Develop innovative or improved benefit redemption systems that could be replicated or scaled
  • Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing
  • Demonstrate a track record of designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers
  • Provide locally- or regionally-produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally-appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience
  • Are located in underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities.

All FINI projects must (1) have the support of a state SNAP agency; (2) increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase; (3) operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and be in compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements; (4) agree to participate in the FINI comprehensive program evaluation; (5) ensure that the same terms and conditions apply to purchases made by individuals receiving SNAP benefits as apply to purchases made by individuals who are not SNAP participants; and (6) include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may be replicated in other states and communities.

Applications are requested in each of the following three categories: (1) FINI pilot projects (awards not to exceed $100,000 over one year); (2) multi-year, community-based FINI projects (awards not to exceed $500,000 over no more than four years); and (3) multi-year, FINI large-scale projects (awards of $500,000 or more over no more than four years).

FINI is a joint effort between NIFA and USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, which oversees SNAP and has responsibility for evaluating the impacts of the incentive projects. This solicitation combines funds for fiscal years 2014 and 2015. There will not be a solicitation in fiscal year 2015. Applications are due Dec. 15, 2014. NIFA will host a webinar for applicants on Oct. 2 at 2 p.m., EDT.

Funding for the FINI program is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.

SNAP - the nation's first line of defense against hunger - helps put food on the table for millions of families experiencing hardship. The program has never been more critical to the fight against hunger. Nearly half of SNAP participants are children, and 42 percent of recipients live in households in which at least one adult is working but still cannot afford to put food on the table. SNAP benefits provided help to millions who lost their jobs during the Great Recession. For many, SNAP benefits provide temporary assistance, with the average new applicant remaining on the program 10 months.

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the nation's future. More information is at www.nifa.usda.gov.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).


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Citispoon Partners with Quad Cities Dining Guide PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Dapo Kolawole   
Friday, 26 September 2014 15:33

We're excited to announce that Citispoon has partnered with Quad Cities Dining Guide; the essential guide to restaurants, helping its readers to prepay for their dining experience and provide real time table availability to top dining spots through our dining apps coming out this fall. Now Quad Cities Dining Guide readers can access restaurant tables easily via the magazine’s website.

Check out Citispoon on Quad Cities Dining Guide.com here.

Quad Cities Dining Guide.com shares in our mission of making it easy for everyone to have access to that highly desirable table. Together we can reach an even wider audience of passionate diners who seek the convenience Citispoon offers.

Please tell your friends to check Citispoon out on Quad Cities Dining Guide.

 
Barley & Rye says "Thanks!" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Chef Jared   
Friday, 26 September 2014 09:25

We would like to thank you for making our first summer in downtown Moline a great success! Without all of our great farmers and our guests who are as excited about the farm to table concept as we are this summer would not have been so much fun and exciting for us! We started participating in the grower's market this year and from that has come some great partnerships for our restaurant that helps us achieve our goal of using local fresh ingredients.

Party season is right around the corner and we already have begun taking reservations!   We can take reservations for smaller parties for your friends or large parties for the whole office. We have had great success lately with some larger groups and are excited to plan some more great events with you. Call us now and let's get the party started.

Barley & Rye Bistro

1320 5th Ave

Moline, IL 61265

 
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