Food Security Council creates plan of action

first_imgThe West Side Food Security Council — a coalition of 16 community leaders and six Notre Dame students — met Jan. 28 to create a plan of action in addressing the problem of food insecurity in South Bend. Student government’s eND Hunger campaign, an initiative of the student body president Catherine Soler and student body vice president Andrew Bell’s administration, led the council’s formation. Beth Simpson, chair of the campaign, said residents are not having trouble with the amount of food so much as the type of food they have access to. “There’s a high percentage of South Bend residents who experience food insecurity. Food security is the more proper way to describe hunger in America today,” she said. “Americans today aren’t struggling with a lack of food in general but rather a lack of healthy food options.” Simpson said a crucial initial step in addressing the issue was soliciting community feedback. “We sought first of all to gauge what it is the community articulates as its needs,” she said. This feedback was fielded during three meetings with the council, the third of which resulted in two solutions for food insecurity, the first of which is in the form of direct aid for families eligible for food stamps. “The fund will double the value of purchases made by food stamps and WIC [Women Infants Children] on local, healthy produce,” she said. “Our council, right now, is seeking to articulate the exact structure of this fund as well as beginning to look into funding opportunities.” The second facet of the plan is a community center focused on nutrition-related issues. The Student International Business Council will be heading up the business planning of the center, which will be constructed in the LaSalle Square area — an area of high poverty. “It’s one of the regions of highest poverty, around LaSalle Square. It’s an identified food desert, so there is no access to a grocery store,” she said. “Within the two mile radius of LaSalle square, 28 percent of the residents have a [household] income of less than $15,000, and 50 percent have an income of less than $28,000 a year, meaning 50 percent of them are food-stamp eligible.” The community center would house the Urban Garden Market, one of the non-profits whose leaders serve on the council. The center could also hold a small-scale grocer and possibly house the Purple Porch Co-op, another member of the council, which could potentially vend produce to residents. Simpson said the center would also serve as a place for residents to engage the problem of food insecurity personally. “Our center will have a kitchen in it. That kitchen will be used for cooking demonstrations and nutritional education,” she said. “We’re also looking into how to incorporate micro-venturing within the center. We recognize sustainability is key but most important is that the community has ownership and is invested.” The council’s work, Simpson said, is a unique opportunity for the Notre Dame community to work with the South Bend community in a multitude of ways. “It’s exciting for Notre Dame students because this is an entirely organic initiative. The council arose because of the vision of Notre Dame student government and the Center for Social Concerns coming together,” she said. After the council meets on the Feb. 18 to break into subcommittees, Simpson plans to hold an informational meeting for students looking to get involved, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 21. “I encourage interested students to attend the meeting on the 21st and also just to contact me at [email protected]” Simpson said the council’s work is a natural extension of the University’s mission as a Catholic institution. “It’s Catholic identity is one thing that distinguishes this University, in particular that our academics are driven by a core set of values, among them service to the community,” she said. “This initiative represents a means by which students can engage through service, academics and direct involvement in the community to live out the University’s Catholic mission.”last_img read more

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World pledges aid for Lebanon, to be delivered ‘directly’ to population

first_imgCalls for calm Trump also called for calm, according to the White House, which said he agreed with other leaders to “work closely together in international response efforts.””President Trump also urged the government of Lebanon to conduct a full and transparent investigation, in which the United States stands ready to assist,” it said.”The President called for calm in Lebanon and acknowledged the legitimate calls of peaceful protestors for transparency, reform, and accountability.”Apart from heads of state and government ministers, Sunday’s conference was attended by UN aid coordinator Mark Lowcock, representatives of the World Bank, the Red Cross, the IMF, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Israel, with whom Lebanon has no diplomatic relations, did not participate, though Macron said it had expressed a wish to contribute, nor did Iran which wields huge influence in Lebanon through the Shiite group Hezbollah.Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and the UAE were represented, as were Britain, China, Jordan and Egypt.Macron said Russia and Turkey, with which France’s diplomatic ties have been icy over the Libyan conflict, had indicated their support for the initiative, though they did not take part in the conference.According to the UN, at least 15 medical facilities, including three major hospitals, sustained structural damage in the blast, and extensive damage was caused to more than 120 schools.Thousands of people need food and the blast interrupted basic water and sanitation to many neighborhoods.Pope Francis called Sunday appealed for “generous help” from the international community.France has been sending tons of medical and food aid, dozens of search and rescue personnel and forensic experts to aid the investigation, as well as reconstruction materials.On top of cash aid pledged by nations, Egypt and Qatar have promised field hospitals, Brazil said it would send 4,000 tons of rice, and Spain 10 tons of wheat.”In these horrendous times, Lebanon is not alone,” concluded the conference statement. “The participants agreed that their assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people, well-coordinated under the leadership of the United Nations, and directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency,” it said.USAID acting administrator John Barsa also said Sunday that American help, some $15 million announced so far, “is absolutely not going to the government” of Lebanon.Donor nations urged Lebanon’s authorities to “fully commit themselves to timely measures and reforms”, both politically and economically, in order to unlock longer-term support for the country’s economic and financial recovery.And they said assistance for “an impartial, credible and independent inquiry” into Tuesday’s explosion “is immediately needed and available, upon request of Lebanon.” Topics : Lebanon’s future ‘at stake’ The UN said some $117 million will be needed for an emergency response over the next three months, for health services, emergency shelter, food distribution and programs to prevent further spread of COVID-19, among other interventions.Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who was on Sunday’s group call, thanked Macron for the initiative.”Much is needed to rebuild what has been destroyed and to restore Beirut’s luster,” the Lebanese presidency quoted him on Twitter as saying.”The needs are many and we need to address them quickly, especially before the arrival of winter, which will accentuate the suffering of homeless citizens.”Macron was the first world leader to visit the former French colony after Tuesday’s devastating explosion which killed more than 150 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.While it is not known what started the fire that set off a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, protesters say the disaster could not have happened without the corruption and incompetence that have come to define Lebanon’s ruling class.At least 21 people are still missing, and the Lebanese army said Sunday hopes of finding survivors are dwindling.Lebanese people enraged by official negligence blamed for the explosion have taken to the streets in anti-government protests that have resulted in clashes with the army.Macron said it was now up to the authorities of Lebanon “to act so that the country does not sink, and to respond to the aspirations that the Lebanese people are expressing right now, legitimately, in the streets of Beirut.””We must all work together to ensure that neither violence nor chaos prevails,” he added. “It is the future of Lebanon that is at stake.” World leaders on Sunday pledged “timely, sufficient” emergency aid for disaster-struck Lebanon which they vowed to deliver “directly” to a population reeling from the deadly port blast in Beirut.Fifteen government leaders including US President Donald Trump took part in a virtual conference hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and the UN, pledging solidarity with the Lebanese people and promising to muster “major resources” in the coming days and weeks.A joint statement issued after the emergency meeting in which nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League participated, did not mention a global amount, but individual nations announced pledges amounting to tens of millions of dollars.last_img read more

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2014 Kansas State General Election dates to remember…

first_imgSubmitted to Sumner Newscow — Here are dates to remember as far as the 2014 Kansas State General Election is concerned:·Advance voting by mail begins Oct. 15, 2014.·Advance voting in person begins Oct. 28, 2014.·Last day to mail ballots Oct. 31, 2014.·Advance in person ends at noon Nov. 3, 2014.·Election Day, Nov. 4, 2014.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. There are no comments posted yet. Be the first one! Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

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