Summer 2016 Volume 23 Number 2 About this Issue Before we get to the articles that appear in this issue, we thought that this was a good time to d

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Summer 2016

Volume 23

Number 2


About this Issue

Before we get to the articles that appear in this issue, we thought that this was a good time to discuss the newsletter and elicit your help. As you know, the KIDS Newsletter is a quarterly publication and is dependent on articles submitted to us by our readers and others interested in finding solutions to hunger, poverty & inequality. We have been fortunate over the past 22 years to have authors come forward and write articles about what they or their organizations are doing to make this world a better place for all.

As a reader of this newsletter, you are among those people who have the potential to not only “read”, but to step forward and let the writer that lurks inside you burst out. We are interested in spreading the pool of authors to those who want to share their experiences with others. If you are one of those who want to let others know what you are doing to make a difference, please contact Larry at

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Bee Well...By Jason Woods

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Jason Woods

Bee Well: A project in the Yucatan revives the art and traditions of stingless beekeeping to yield prized medicines and precious cultural memory. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, people say you have to talk sweetly to the bees, or they will fly away.

“The bees are very sensitive,” keeper Maria Torres Tzab explained. “Be happy when you see them. Have a good aura,” Torres’ husband, Nicolas Castillo Ucam, said. “They will leave if people fight—they are sad because they understand.” Sensitivity is just one characteristic that sets this particular genus of bee, Melipona, apart. While honeybees of the more common Apis genus fiercely protect their hives with their stingers, Melipona bees are commonly known as stingless bees for an obvious reason—they have no stingers.

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Changing Lives Through Food: Elijah's Promise…By Siena Chrisman

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Siena Chrisman

The sense of respect and camaraderie in Chef Pearl Thompson’s culinary school kitchen at Elijah’s Promise in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is as palpable as the smell of baking bread. Chefs come and go, pushing carts of dough and cakes, picking up threads of old conversations and goodnatured teasing, talking logistics for today’s meals.

Most of them work for Elijah’s Promise, cooking and baking the many meals the organization serves and sells—and nearly all of them are former students of Chef Pearl’s. They come from dramatically different backgrounds: one chef had a successful but unhappy career as a phlebotomist; one spent time in jail; one used to be homeless and a drug user; one was downsized from a major food distributor. Now they work side by side making food for others, just as Chef Pearl intended when she began the school. “What we try to do is break down barriers, [so that] people who would normally not interact are able to sit across the table from each other,” she says. “That has been the most remarkable part of this school.”

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Fair Prices. Local Jobs. Fresh Foods...By Andrianna Natsoulas

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Andrianna Natsoulas

Experts claim that the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 is over and the United States is rebounding. Unemployment rates have officially decreased, yet do they reflect reality? The reality is that the rich get richer as the poor get poorer. Income inequality existed before the Great Recession and continues to today. Consumer confidence is low. The global economy is shaky, as we become more and more dependent on financial uncertainty and the latest trade deals. Farmers are farming in the red. Fishermen are fishing in the red. Everyone along the supply chain feels it – from the harvesters, processing, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

So, what is the solution? Fair prices. Local Jobs. Fresh Foods. During the National Family Farm Coalition’s annual 2016 winter meeting, members agreed that is the most unifying response. Everyone deserves fair prices, local jobs and fresh foods. We are talking about a shift in our political, social and economic systems. A moral economy that values the ecological and social fabric of our communities. A system that defends a life with dignity for all people, rather than corporate free trade platforms that depend on servitude.

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Rise Up! Organizing Emergency Food Programs...By Suzanne Babb

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Suzanne Babb

Here’s where we are: As of 2012, 46.5 million people (15 percent of Americans) live in poverty, including 16.1 million (22 percent) children under the age of 18; 49 million Americans live in food-insecure households, including nearly 16 million children. Based on annual income, 72 percent of all Feeding America client households live at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line. More than half of these client households (54 percent) report at least one employed person at some point in the past year. At WhyHunger, when we speak with our partners around the country, we hear the same thing: the number of people who rely on emergency food providers for food is increasing, not decreasing, and we can’t solve hunger solely through food distribution.

We know hunger is a symptom of poverty. Among the root causes of poverty are income inequality, lack of affordable housing, high cost of living, structural oppression, the list goes on. If these are the real issues then as organizations, advocates and individuals who are committed to ending hunger we must work at the source of the problem while helping to alleviate the results of its symptoms. And by advocating for food as a right, we assert the responsibility to respect, protect and fulfill those rights. Advocacy efforts at many anti-hunger organizations tend to focus on protecting federal nutrition programs that stem the tide of hunger. We cannot emphasize how important it is to protect these vital safety net programs; however, these programs do not fundamentally attack hunger at its root cause. Social movements throughout history have shown that sweeping systemic changes are most effectively advocated for and then protected when those most affected organize.

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