Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

16 posts from August 2010

Top Hunger News: Congress' Serial Hits on Food Stamps

Domestic

Congress’ Serial Hits on Food Stamps. With some shabby sleight of hand, Congress has begun tapping into the food stamp program for the hungriest Americans to help pay for lawmakers’ higher election-year priorities. [The New York Times]

Landmark Child Nutrition Bill Clears Senate‎. The Senate unanimously approved child nutrition reauthorization [last week], a big step forward for a bill fighting for time amidst a busy legislative agenda. [Food Safety News]

U.S. Official: Poor Nations Must Learn to Grow Food. Governments and aid organizations must help the world's hungry develop sustainable agriculture systems so that they can feed themselves ... [Associated Press]

Private Growth is Tepid as U.S. Economy Sheds Jobs Overall. With the departure of thousands of temporary Census workers and thousands more let go by state and local governments, businesses could not rescue the American labor market in July. [The New York Times]

Pres. Obama Announces Nominees for Two USAID Leadership Posts. Donald Steinberg has been tapped as USAID deputy administrator and Nancy Lindborg as assistant administrator for the USAID Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Affairs Bureau. [Kaiser Family Foundation]

Senate Approves $600 Million in Emergency Border Security Funds‎. The U.S. Senate approved $600 million in emergency funding to help secure the U.S.-Mexican border. [CNN]

International

Wheat Price Jump Revives Concern Over Food Crisis. The world may face another food crisis if the surge in wheat sparked by Russia’s export ban drives the prices of other staples higher … [Bloomberg]

Analysis: Food Squeeze Next Worry for Emerging Markets‎. A food price crisis may be the next stumbling block for emerging economies … [Reuters]

Initiative Aims to Improve Africa's Food Security . Improving Maize for
African Soils (Imas) aims to improve food security and the livelihoods of people across Africa by developing
better maize varieties that can thrive on the little fertiliser being used on the continent’s farms. [Creamer Media's Engineering News]

Climate Change

Coal: The Cheap, Dirty and Direct Route to Irreversible Climate Change. The global dominance of industrial interests dependant on cheap energy sourced from coal mean climate change is inevitable. [The Guardian]

A New Look at Dry Areas. Countries in the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere, with vast dry tracts threatened by increasingly frequent droughts as the climate becomes more capricious, will have to rethink food production. [IRIN]

U.S. Envoy: Climate Talks Slipping Backward. Global climate talks appear to have slipped backward after five days of negotiations in Bonn, the chief U.S. delegate said Friday, adding that some countries were reneging on promises they made last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions. [The Associated Press]

A Grim Future for Tropical Forests. A new study reveals that continued deforestation and logging, coupled with the effects of global warming, will devastate precious tropical environments and the plants and animals that live there by the end of the century. [Discovery News]

Harvest Time in Bungoma, Kenya

Bungoma, Kenya — It’s maize harvesting time in western Kenya. Tearing the husks off her corn, Jentrix Mesache can hardly believe her eyes—or her ears.

The ears of corn are thick and long, perhaps three times larger than the ears she harvested last year. As proof, she retrieves an ear of corn from the previous harvest and holds it up next to one she has just picked. It is a stark contrast, scrawny (last year) versus strong (this year).

“It’s like a miracle to me,” she says. Last year her maize harvest from her half-acre plot didn’t even fill two 90 kg bags; that, says the 30-year-old mother of three, was barely enough to feed her family for two months.

This year, she’s expecting to fill at least 10 bags. That will mean the difference between feeding her family all year or struggling through the traditional “hunger season”—the period that begins when the food of the previous harvest runs out and agonizingly stretches until the next harvest comes in.

Continue reading "Harvest Time in Bungoma, Kenya" »

Top Hunger News: Senate to Cut Food Stamp Benefits

Domestic

Senate Cutting Food Stamps to Pay for Medicaid and Teacher Funding. It's the Sophie's choice of budget decisions: Should we cut Medicaid? Fire teachers? Or slash food stamps? [The Washington Post]

Help End Child Hunger in U.S. School food systems are one of the few ways we have to provide good nutrition to all of our kids. [TimesUnion.com]

More Health Woes for Hungry Kids. Children and youth who experience hunger appear more likely to have health problems, and repeated episodes of hunger may be particularly toxic, according to a report in Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. [Health24.com]

Fuel To Fight World Hunger. Researchers are joining the fight against world hunger by tapping into a local renewable resource. [Keloland.com]

International

The Price of Bread Could Rocket. Wheat prices have doubled in the last two months, notching up the fastest food price rise an economist said he said seen in the last 20 years. [IRIN]

U.S. Government Pledges $95M to Fight Hunger. Two U.S.-funded programs signed agreements with the Government of Bangladesh on August 3 as part of a newly expanded effort to reduce hunger and improve nutrition in Bangladesh. [The Weekly Blitz]

Poverty is About More Than Money. The new Multidimensional Poverty Index is an important tool for understanding the many savage ways of the beast [The Guardian]

Asian Ministers Fret Over Millennium Goals. Ministers from Asian countries expressed "grave concern" Wednesday about persistent high levels of infant and maternal mortality and pledged to reinvigorate efforts to achieve UN development goals. [Mysinchew.com]

Top Hunger News: SNAP Benefits May Shrink

Domestic

To Get Medicaid and Education Aid to States, An Unprecedented Cut to Food Stamps. Congress poised to cut billions from food stamps, resulting in an unprecedented cut in monthly benefits for the poorest Americans. [The Washington Independent]

The Plight of America's New Poor. The economic recovery in the US has stalled and for the 15 million unemployed Americans, the land of opportunity seems anything but. Almost 50% of the unemployed have not had a job for at least six months, double the level of previous downturns. [BBC]

Fighting Generational Poverty in Richmond's Iron Triangle. A new federal program called Promise Neighborhoods has economically disadvantaged communities all over the Bay Area scrambling to be included. This year, the program is giving out $500,000 awards to organizations in neighborhoods around the country that struggle with low educational achievement, violence and other effects of poverty. [KALWNews.org]

International

Samasource, a Cyber Solution to Global Poverty. Leila Chirayath Janah was well on her way to becoming another cog in the wheels of multinational big business. Then she decided it was wrong to let the world's poor people's massive talent go to waste. [The Daily Maverick]

Niger's Markets are Full Yet Famine Shadows the Dusty Roads. Nearly 12 million people in Niger – about 80% of the population – are now affected by food insecurity, a status that indicates they have as few as 10 days' food supplies remaining with all other income-generating activities exhausted. [The Guardian]

The Brits Have Us Beat on Child Poverty. In the past 10 years, the United States and the United Kingdom have been through a lot of the same economic troubles. But somehow in this past decade, Britain has made major inroads in reducing child poverty while the U.S. has stagnated. [The New America Foundation]

Climate Change/Environment

Is Climate Change Creating More Environmental Refugees than War in Africa? Climate change is rapidly emerging as one of the most serious threats that humanity may ever face. The impact of climate change on livelihoods is creating a new kind of casualty: environmental refugees. Rising sea levels, desertification, weather-induced flooding, and frequent natural disasters have become a major cause of population displacement. [ReliefWeb]

Bread Member Records Album about Hunger

If you attended Bread for the World's National Gathering in 2009, or if you had the good fortune to attend Lobby Day in 2010, you might remember that worship included music from a singer named Bryan McFarland. (Bryan even appears in the CBS documentary on religion and politics that featured Bread's 2009 National Gathering).

Bryan, a Bread member and Presbyterian pastor from North Carolina, is also a songwriter who has made music a major part of his ministry, sharing his talent not only through live performances and CDs but also at retreats.

He has put together a couple of albums about faith and hunger. His latest work, titled "...until all are fed...," is due out in October. Click here to learn more about the album.

Bryan is funding production of the CD with small donations from ordinary folks from around the country. You can help too. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Presbyterian Hunger Program, which works with Presbyterian congregations and partners around the globe to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes.   

Below is the title song of the album "...until all are fed..."

Top Hunger News: Focus on School Lunches

Domestic

Clock Ticking on School Lunch Legislation. As the clock ticks down on the 111th Congress, child and health advocacy groups are lobbying furiously for lawmakers to reauthorize the nation’s school lunch program with an expansion that would provide free, healthy meals to tens of thousands of additional children and tackle the problem of childhood obesity. [Education Week]

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: Education is the Key Missing Link. While the Administration’s outline includes useful ideas on tracking development outcomes and increasing transparency and accountability, it also represents a missed opportunity to deliver on Obama’s commitment to invest $2 billion in a Global Fund for Education to achieve universal primary education. [The Brookings Institution]

[Blog] A Many Headed Beast. This week, we carried a piece about a new cross-country poverty index devised by a group of researchers at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, which is designed to capture several dimensions of poverty at once. [The Economist]

Technology Still a Barrier for Food Stamp Clients Hoping to Shop at Farmer's Markets. Progress has been slow in New Hampshire and Maine. [Fosters.com]

International


Fighting Poverty and Enhancing Rural Development: The Contribution of CBRDP. Ghana’s fight against poverty to make progress towards the Millennium Development Goals has seen various successive policies introduced to accelerate national development, with a special focus on rural development. [The Ghanaian Chronicle]

Maize Project ‘Breaks the Barriers’ of Rural Poverty. More than 200 residents of Saphukanduku Village in Transkei have broken the barriers of poverty with help from a R1.6million investment by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA). [Daily Dispatch Online]

1.3 Million Villagers Face Hunger. More than 1.3 million people in Zimbabwe’s rural areas will require food assistance during the peak hunger season in early 2011, according to the latest UN estimates shown to ZimOnline at the weekend. [The Zimbabwean]

Climate Change/Environment


Food Production Must Double. With the global population expected to top 9.2 billion by 2050, experts say the world will need to repeat the Green Revolution that saw food production double between 1960 and 1985. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

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