Food Policy: $400,000 for Pet Food Banks

So far this year, over 235,000 people signed a petition to include pet food in SNAP benefits. The petition asks the USDA to expand its SNAP food policy to include pet food. In reality, it’s not likely that the online petition will make a difference. Why? Because the USDA identified pet food as a “nonfood item” not eligible for purchase under federal law. Food policies are hard to change and even harder to implement. Fortunately, there are pet food banks and pantries emerging to help people feed their pets.

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Why Scholars Need a Clue About Good Writing: Part IV

For many people, writing is a challenge. Sometimes good writing can flow from your fingertips. Sometimes. But there are few writers who can write successfully in the stream-of-consciousness style. And academic writing has its own challenges. As I struggled through the doldrums of writing my dissertation, I made a promise: tell the reader a story. That’s it. Tell a good story and writing can be fun. How do you get out of your own head to think like a reader? Is there a secret to good writing? How do you write for other people?

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600,000 College Students Getting SNAP: 2.8 Million Qualify

What’s the latest food trend on college campuses? Food pantries. Colleges students are struggling not only with classes and financial aid – they can’t afford a decent meal. More than half of all college students are students of color, and food insecurity is a growing problem for many of them. America’s college campuses are recognizing that food insecurity is a real problem for their students. Why? Because food insecurity is not having a consistent food source to be active and healthy.

One source suggested that nearly 3.4 million low-income college students need food assistance, but only around 600,000 receive federal food assistance. And 82%, (2.8 million students) who qualify do not receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. While many people think that college life is parties, drinking and exams, it’s not the life experience for many students. From universities to community colleges, many students are turning to food banks and pantries as their primary food source.

The College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA) has over 600 member schools around the country. CUFBA is a growing network of campus food banks and pantries to help student who are food insecure.

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Myths About Adult Learners: Revisited

Many graduate programs are year round, with breaks for holidays and in between semesters. This month starts a new term for many graduate students. It’s a time for a fresh start, hope for the future, and time to get back to your studies. I’m reposting one of my blogs on adult learners. I believe you’re never too old to learn. It’s a mindset for good health and a happy life. In celebration of new adventures, I hope you enjoy my post on adults and life long learning!

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Foodmagz: The Next Generation

Asian cuisines, Indonesian sotoayam to Filipino pancit puso, and naked dinner parties. This week’s blog is about another side of food policy: foodie magazines. Foodies are people with a keen interest in food fads and trends. You might not think magazines have anything to do with food policy. But foodmagz (my original word??) like Naked Food Magazine, Ambrosia, Compound Butter, Jarry, Kitchen Toke, Peddler and Kitchen Work talk about more than just food. They explore:

  • Gardens
  • Plant-based dining
  • Nutrition
  • Local food
  • Farms
  • Local and regional dining
  • Wine cellars
  • Small kitchens
  • Food business
  • Immigrant-owned restaurants

And these magazines have really cool photos, too! An article explained that mainstream foodmagz are in decline and going through layoffs.

But a new crop of foodmagz are created by “a wave of small, sophisticated print magazines, produced on a shoestring by young editors with strong points of view and a passion for their subjects.”

There’s even a yearly event for independent magazines, called Foodieodicals.

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Rejection, Failure and Chasing a Dream

Three years ago this month, I received my doctorate in public policy. Yes, good for me! Graduate school was a lifelong dream for me. But it was a dream deferred. It was my hidden dream, buried in the task of making a living. And my dream didn’t reappear until later in life. It was a time when I was exploring options, asking myself, “Is this all there is?” I’d worked in different jobs for businesses, nonprofits, enforcement, legal to pay the bills.

At each stop on my journey, most people were doing the same thing. Working to pay the bills, waiting for retirement, hoping for a raise – a recipe for true unhappiness. Why unhappy? I was going through 9-5 grind of working without passion. No passion equals boredom and misery loves company. I couldn’t see myself spiraling into the doldrums of misery, looking into the dark abyss of waiting for a better life.

I jumped into graduate school to challenge my brain and rekindle my passion. Time to break out and get busy living. I also adopted a new nick name, Nuttah, the Algonquian name for My Heart (as in follow my heart).

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“Waste is Delicious”: Ending Food Waste

This week’s blog is an exciting follow-up to my blog, Stop Wasting Food: Start At Home. A supermarket in the Netherlands is promoting real-world solutions to end food waste.  Orange peels, stale bread, damaged fruits and vegetables – many people would think of this food as waste and throw it away.

Others would compost this food as a resource to help the soil, produce bacteria and fungi to break down organic matter, or reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. But there is another way to stop wasting food: use hurt apples for apple cider, make beer from stale bread, or soap from orange peels. How can people stop wasting food? Are there other ways to use food that is damaged or expired?
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