Archive for the random Category

summertime blues

Posted in aafb, budget, food, food banks, fun, random with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by foodbankguy

Man, has it been hot lately or what?  Hot enough that this is just nuts! KIDS:  DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!  The heat always seems to get me dragging a bit even though I’m a native, and indeed I have been way too lax in blogging lately.  Certainly there have been worthy things to share, but it’s just finding the time to get to them all… enough wallowing though, and on to interesting things!  Yes?  Yes!

Do you like to eat breakfast for dinner?  I sure do, and I plan to take part in the Hickman’s Eggs PJs & Eggs event this Friday, August 14 at various restaurants around Phoenix… Kiss the Cook in Glendale is where I’ll be, as it’s close to my pad.  Get free eggs, donate pajamas to foster kids, and help benefit Arizona’s Children Association… what more could you want?  Plus you are encouraged to actually wear your pajamas, which on one hand might be a good idea since you’ll get some Halloween-esque practice in, while on the other hand the pajamas I’m wearing in this heat would get me arrested… just don’t get arrested, that’s all I ask.

can your read all this fine print? if not, visit www.thehotsheetblog.com for details and participating locations

can you read all this fine print? no sweat, visit http://www.thehotsheetblog.com for details and participating locations

Fun… or not so fun… factoid: AAFB member food banks distributed an amazing 42.2% more food throughout Arizona in the 2008-09 fiscal year vs. 2007-08.  It’s truly remarkable to see the food banks step up to meet rising demand, but it’s also a sobering indication of just how hard the economy has hit many individuals and families.  We’ve also started hearing more stories like this, which is not good news at all.  Help out if you can.

Did I mention it’s hot outside?  Donate bottled water to your local food bank or homeless shelter because it’s definitely needed, and as an added bonus you’ll feel warm and fuzzy inside, if not actually cooler…

What else… hmmm… oh yeah, the state’s budget situation remains unresolved with little hope of an agreement that actually benefits the majority of Arizonans, food stamp participation is up to record levels–this despite many eligible households not taking advantage,  and it’s still hot.  In the words of my man Conan, be cool my babies!

friday reflections

Posted in economy & politics, food, random with tags , , , on June 19, 2009 by foodbankguy

Just a few Friday reflections today… it’s been a busy week that has pretty much gotten by me. 

Perusing Yahoo News at lunch today, I see that world hunger has now reached one billion people.  Isn’t that amazing?  One billion people.  With all the advances in food production, supply chain, global logistics, awareness and compassion, this number has steadily risen to what it is being reported today.  I suppose it will be more tomorrow. 

I did a presentation on child hunger last night at the Valley of the Sun United Way offices, and found myself in conversation with one of the attendees, a middle-aged female instructor at one of the local community colleges in Phoenix.  She was explaining how the school had recently in essense set up a food bank for students, where they could grab a can of soup from a closet nearby and quickly microwave it in the next room over, no one the wiser.   College students are also increasingly turning to SNAP (food stamps), something that had never even crossed my mind when I was an undergrad a dozen or so years ago.  Between incredible tuition inflation and the economy, I suppose most of them genuinely need it.

My presentation had focused on the numerous resources and programs there are dedicated to fighting child hunger, and the instuctor surmised that the real issue was a lack of communication: so many programs, so many advocates, yet no one-stop shopping where people in the need or people wondering if they’re in the need could go.  I suppose if someone can crack that nut, they’ll have discovered the next big thing and profit handsomely.  But the internet–the key to recent communication innovation–eludes those who need these resources, as they oftentimes can’t afford access and may not know their local library is an access resource.

A commonly held view in food banking, and one I agree with, is that hunger is a distribution problem, not a food manufacturing one.  There’s plenty of food to feed those one billion, but it’s concentrated both by physical location and class that many go without.  That’s a supply chain problem, but it’s also a capitalistic one: people and companies that make food need to make a profit off of it.  But could they give more and sacrifice some profit margin?  Should they?  What is the obligation?  Oddly enough, if someone or some entity were willing do so and made huge in-roads, they would likely be greeting with fortune and celebrity that might offset the lost cash profits.  In today’s culture, I find it somewhat surprising that no one has truly taken that risk. 

But the instructor was right:  communication is a problem in the local here-and-now, and agencies and programs struggle to get the word out about how they can help those who need it.  Twitter connects those in the know, but what app connects those in the know with those who aren’t?