Not that visitors should be embarrassed, Rose said. In a town with a wide and growing affordability gap, the Truro Food Pantry has become an increasingly relied-upon service for dozens and sometimes hundreds of year-round Truro residents each month. In July, the pantry served 74 households consisting of 112 adults, 16 children and 16 seniors. The pantry provided these residents with 329 bags of groceries across 89 orders in the month. Those numbers are a significant jump from last January, when the pantry provided 61 households with 222 bags of groceries in the month. The number of children served also spiked this year to 40 in a single month. The statistics are going up every month, Rose said. If the trend continues, the pantry could be in store for a record-breaking winter as seasonal jobs dry up and more residents turn to support programs during the bleaker months. Its really hard to say what will happen, but for now I think were meeting the need, Rose said. The Truro Food Pantry was founded in 1998 along with seven other food pantries from Provincetown to Harwich by the Lower Cape Outreach Council. The council still supports the pantries, giving each a $200 monthly stipend for supplies. But the Truro Food Pantry has also thrived thanks to a generous monthly donation from another Truro-focused cause, the Dexter Keezer Fund.
But the humble peanut butter has the potential to save millions of lives every year. Sound like a far fetched pipedream? Then consider the possibility that malnourished children could be saved from death just by eating a food source that was easily accessible and cheap. Enter Project Peanut Butter , which is aiming to save two million children by 2015. According to pediatrician Dr. Mark Manary it isnt just a pipedream but a reality. Dr. Manary stumbled across peanut butter as a solution to saving the lives of severely malnourished children while working in a Malawi village in 1999. It was during his time that he noticed people struggling with inadequate farming methods and nutrition and devised a food substance which was bacteria-resistant, easy to make and source, as well as being full of vitamins and nutrients. The answer, to him, was obvious. Two years later the American conducted a series of tests with peanut butter to see if it made a difference in reversing the effects of severe malnutrition without children requiring a hospital stay or travelling hundreds of miles for treatment. He made a ready-made mixture, or ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF), and found 95 per cent of children had recovered from malnutrition within six weeks of eating the peanut butter paste. A child before treatment (left), two weeks into treatment (center) and six weeks after treatment started (right).Photo: http://www.projectpeanutbutter.org/ Dr. Manary told news.com.au from west Africa that the evidence was overwhelming that the food has the potential to save millions of lives.
Is There Life After Food Stamps?
Unsurprisingly, the program’s expenditures have grown from $38 million to over $75 million. So while these cuts would undoubtedly be felt, they would not bring spending anywhere close to 2008 levels. As I have written before, much of this expansion is due to the aggressive outreach efforts of the Department of Agriculture. Decades ago, internal publications from the USDA boasted about persuading “too proud” blacks to enroll in the program. Now the USDA runs radio ads in Spanish, urging that people who care about their children will enroll in SNAP. Furthermore, there has been no demonstrated nutritional benefit to food stamps, with a large percentage of the lower income population suffering from obesity rather than from consuming too few calories. The original idea behind food stamps was that they would function as emergency food aid, or a “safety net,” not a permanent subsidy. To this end, able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 and 50 were required to work or to perform work-like activities in order to obtain the aid. This was only if they did not have children to support, and if they used the aid for more than three months over the course of three years. Since 2009, those requirements have been mostly waived, but would be reinstated with the new spending cuts. The measure states that the work requirements can be met with community service if the individual in need cannot obtain employment. Interestingly, no grocery store chain that receives money from food stamps for its customers has protested the proposed SNAP cuts. Could it be that they do not expect expenditures on food to drop in any significant way? That would mean that the recipients would spend about the same on groceries, but less money on other things.
Food safety hampered by shutdown
This week, a mother called us about her child hospitalized with a Salmonella poisoning from his day care’s chicken lunch. The child’s condition was tenuous, with a blood infection, and treatment was especially challenging as the bacteria was antibiotic resistant. The mom turned to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, for information and help because key government’s public health agencies and websites are shut down. Does this have an impact on food safety? You betcha! Regardless of whether this illness is related to the outbreak linked to Foster Farms chickens , it illustrates that each case of illness is important to track, and protecting our families from unsafe food should be considered an essential function of government. When the shutdown began, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would have to halt most of its food safety activities, including routine inspections of food manufacturers and monitoring of imports. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shuttered some of its key activities, including outbreak detection and infectious-disease surveillance. The U.S. Department of Agriculture kept its meat, poultry and egg inspectors on the job, but furloughed more than 1,200 other food safety workers.