In wealthy Orange County, a campaign to waste less to help feed hungry kids

California’s Orange County is home to some of the wealthiest Americans, as well as more than 150,000 children who don’t know where their next meal will come from. This is a report on how the county is trying to address and combat the serious health effects of malnutrition for the OC’s neediest residents.

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“Hunger, obesity and stress – three things that go hand in hand for low income families”

“Studies suggest that hunger — even if it’s only experienced for brief periods during childhood and adolescence — can lead to outcomes that last a lifetime, including… obesity…When you look at dietary indicators, and what households are eating, we find that those who are food insecure are more likely to eat high calorie, dense foods — your chips, potatoes, processed meats — and much less fruits and vegetables. And it’s not hard to realize that it comes down to finances. Lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables are much more costly and perishable. It’s easier to stretch your food dollars much further if you have the inexpensive, high-calorie, dense foods.”

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7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up will be held April 15-18, 2014 in Austin, TX. The Conference convenes a diverse group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement- more than 1,000 food service professionals, farmers, educators, youth leaders, policy makers, advocates, state/federal agency professionals, entrepreneurs, public health professionals and others- working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Cafeterias in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals and childcare centers serve more than 40 million Americans every day during the school year, placing the farm to cafeteria movement at the forefront of the fight to end obesity and strengthen local food systems.

For more information and registration: .

Strengthening SNAP for a More Food-Secure, Healthy America

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the fundamental safety-net program in the United States. Over its fifty-year history, it has effectively reduced hunger and buffered American families against economic downturns. This paper provides an overview of SNAP’s shortcomings, and a proposed detailed policy agenda to improve SNAP’s effectiveness.

The author proposes subsidizing healthy foods in order to encourage better nutrition among SNAP recipients and reforming eligibility and payment rules to enable SNAP to better fight hunger and support program beneficiaries.

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Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

“Faith, the White House, and the Public Square”, held in McCord Auditorium of Southern Methodist University, was a panel discussion on the work of the White House Faith-Based office to form partnerships between the Federal Government and faith-based and neighborhood organizations to more effectively serve Americans in need. For video of the discussion, see

US Conference of Mayors Hunger and Homelessness Survey 2013

This report presents the results of a survey of 25 of the cities whose mayors serve on The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Task Force on Hunger and Homelessness. Officials were asked to provide information on the extent and causes of hunger and homelessness in their cities, and the emergency food assistance and
homeless services provided, between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013. They also were asked for their assessment of the demand for services and the resources available to them in the year ahead. This year’s survey found continuing increases in demand for services and continuing shortfalls in meeting service needs. Among its key findings:


  • All but four of the survey cities (83 percent) reported that requests for emergency food assistance increased over the past year. Three cities said requests remained at the same level as the previous year and one said they decreased. Across the survey cities, emergency food assistance requests increased by an average of 7 percent.
  • Among those requesting emergency food assistance, 58 percent were persons in families, 43 percent were employed, 21 percent were elderly, and 9 percent were homeless.
  • Unemployment led the list of causes of hunger cited by the survey cities, followed by low wages, poverty, and high housing costs.


For the rest of the report, go to

From mangoes to zucchini, Irving ISD asks students to broaden their taste buds

By Avi Selk, Dallas Morning News, September 27, 2013

Let’s just call the test a success.

Kids in the lunch line got something extra Friday. And while one girl covered her mouth and searched for a trash bin, most of her schoolmates at Brandenburg Elementary wolfed the mango down and liked it.

That was good news for Irving ISD’s nutrition chief Michael Rosenberger, who paced the cafeteria on the first day of a campaign to slip new fruits and veggies into students’ diets.

One day a month for the rest of the year, every student in the district will be offered a new fruit or vegetable cup at lunch. The Sample Something New campaign starts out easy with mango but ramps up to squash and zucchini by the spring — a prospect that had at least one cafeteria worker nervous.

Besides exposing the district’s 28,500 low-income students to healthier diets than they might get at home, the campaign doubles as a taste test. The most popular fruits and vegetables might end up in the regular lunch lineup.

Read more here.

All Dallas ISD students will now get free breakfast and lunch

By Matthew Haag, Dallas Morning News, October 1, 2013

Every Dallas ISD student will be able to eat meals at school for free, the district announced Tuesday.

The district got approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which manages the free and reduced school meals program, to let all DISD students no longer have to pay. The change is expected to save the district money by eliminating about 40 temporary positions and reducing paperwork.

“It’s a wonderful benefit,” said Dora Rivas, DISD’s executive director of food and child nutrition services. “It’s about paperwork and efficiencies, but I think the biggest winners in this are going to be students.”

Read more here.

Feeding the Hungry

It is egregiously shameful that in this country of economic and agricultural abundance nearly 50 million citizens and their children go to bed hungry, not having eaten properly during the day nor secured the necessary food nutrients that will keep them well and prevent premature death.  Click here to read.