Food Banks That Churches Count On Are Challenged By Rising Demand, Spoilage Issues

Becky Shearer, who manages a lodge in Tusayan, said she kept about 10 employees on during the first week of the shutdown but will be closing the 20-room lodge. The state highway into Tusayan is now a dead-end street with everyone but park employees and residents of Grand Canyon Village being turned away. Town Council member Craig Sanderson, an air tour pilot, called on Congress to act soon to open the canyon to sightseeing. “We’re not telling the Park Service how to open it. We’re saying ‘here’s the money, do it,'” he said. “By not opening the park, that tells me it’s political.” Clarinda Vail, whose family owns businesses and property in Tusayan, called the situation a crisis. She said the community is suffering economic loss resulting from the shutdown and the Obama administration’s refusal to accept offers of private and public money to keep the park open. Vail said she hopes efforts by Arizona’s U.S. senators, legislative leaders and Gov. Jan Brewer “will change some minds” within the Obama administration. Brewer and state legislative leaders have sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to approve funding for the Arizona park and other national parks. Brewer’s staff previously called Grand Canyon Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga (yoo-bur-AH’-gah) and offered to find a way to pay to keep the park open, but he politely rejected the overture. “Some feel I can open the gate,” Uberuaga said. “I cannot open the gate.

Top chefs review America’s toughest food critics

State Department as our main source, and advise anybody planning to visit a destination in these “culinary danger zones” to always look out for the most recent warnings and advisories before your trip. However, if high crime, risk of terror attacks, and political riots are not stopping you from craving new, thrilling, food adventures, continue browsing through our countdown of the 15 Most Dangerous Food Destinations in the slideshow. 1Syria With an ongoing civil war, violence, and threat of terror attacks and bombings, visiting Syria is highly dangerous, and should be avoided. But despite the current unrest, Syria is still famed for its culture and cuisine, and in 2007 the capital Aleppo was awarded with a cultural gastronomy prize by the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris. The regional cuisine blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and includes many varieties of kebab Halabi, or spiced kebab, traditional mezze dishes such as hummus and baba ghanoush, and za’atar, a dried herb and spice mixture, often eaten by dipping it with bread in olive oil. According to Khaled Yacoub Oweis, writing for Reuters, the best place to enjoy za’atar is restaurant Qubrusi in Aleppo, which “is a favorite among locals.” Another restaurant well worth a visit is Beit Sissi, rated as “Aleppos finest” by Lonely Planet. Located in a restored house from the 17th century, the restaurant servers French and Syrian cuisine, including items such as sujuk, spicy pork sausage rolled in bread, and ratatouille. 2Yemen Reuters You should really not be in Yemen, even on a visit. The U.S State Department is clear with the message, as terrorist activities and civil unrest have pushed the security threat level to “extremely high.” But for daredevils, Yemen can also provide plenty of unique food experiences, distinct from the more commonly known Middle Eastern flavors. Simple stews and breads might not sound intriguing, but spices such as ginger, cardamom, and aniseed give Yemeni food a unique aromatic touch. Each region has a slightly different version of the national dish, saltah, a meat stew with chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, and usually mixed with potatoes, scrambled eggs, or even rice. Chicken, goat, and fish are other typical proteins, and dairy products, such as butter and cheese, are rarely used. The capital Sanaa is home to several restaurants, from high-end to budget eats. Freelance journalist Adam Baron, based in Sanaa, recommends Matam Taiz for the peculiar Yemeni specialty aseed a doughy dumpling of fish meal, covered in gravy. 3Cote DIvoire Peeter Viisimaa/iStock Cote DIvoire is yet another country stricken by civil war and political unrest, and its capital, Abidjan, is recognized as the third most dangerous city in the world.

Food bank helps furloughed Grand Canyon workers

We prepare bags for 130families a week that includes a meat, fresh greens, canned goods and other items, Bailey said. But the distribution of fresh food means extra attention must be paid to ensuring that the donated perishables dont spoil. Nearly 36 million tons of food were wasted nationally in 2011, said Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank. Roman recently helped organize a summit in Alexandria to address how local churches and organizations can reduce food spoilage. Participants included Ben Simon, founder of the Food Recovery Network at the University of Maryland; Elise H. Golan, director for sustainable development at the Department of Agriculture; Tom ODonnell, an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency; and Meghan Stasz, director of sustainability for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents such major brands as Kraft, General Mills and Nestle. Food waste is getting some attention from federal agencies, but [the summit] really connected it to people serving in the communities to begin a conversation that is needed in our region, Roman said in an interview. We are committed to fresh food and vegetables, but we have to pay attention to waste. As panelists talked about how more and more companies are allowed to give out food because of Good Samaritan donation laws, Gerri Magruder, coordinator of the food pantry at First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights , stood in frustration. I want real-life specifics. I would like to leave here with real solutions, said Magruder, who told the panel that there was a shortage of fresh produce when her volunteers recently went to the main food bank to pick up items for their weekly community giveaways. Marian Peele, senior director of partner relations and programs for the Capital Area Food Bank, said that although the system isnt perfect, the food bank has worked hard to improve the quality of what it distributes. Some people think that this entire system is antiquated and that we need to focus on the systemic problems of poverty: education and unemployment, Peele said.

Replacing Food Stamps With Cash Is a Terrible Idea

And Craig Laban, who has been reviewing restaurants for The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1998, also joined the party. Several of the nation’s most prominent food writers, while not regular critics per se, do write about restaurants and have the same power to make or break them that regular critics do, so we’ve included these in our list. Once again, we granted anonymity to the chefs and restaurateurs who responded to our questions. We can assure you, though, that they’re all elite industry figures, and most are household names. (We could tell you who they are and where they come from, but then you’d have to kill them.) So which critics do chefs think dont know kimchi from kombu? Which ones write prose lacquered with more cliched adjectives than there is miso on Nobu’s black cod? Who writes objectively and can be trusted not to be getting his or her wedding catered for free? And which writers would these restaurant professionals want to eat or have a beer with? OVERALL CRITIC SCORE For the second year, Jonathan Gold took top honors while the Orange County Register’s Brad. A. Johnson garnered the lowest overall score (though first-timer Steve Cuozzo nearly took that distinction). Gold, who last year was described as, “Perhaps the best of them all,” was once again noted as a one of a kind. As for Johnson? One chef refused to mince words, We wrote a long letter to the editor about Brad and how disparaging his reviews have been in Orange County, but they didnt publish it. Lets just say hes not my favorite and Im in good company on that one. Brett Anderson, Andrew Knowlton, and Tim Carman made the biggest gains (9 places), and Carman jumping 7.

The world’s 7 most dangerous food destinations

Studies suggest that fraud is modest, equal to about 1 percent of the program’s spending. That’s still a lot of money, but as a percentage of the total it’s minor. Furthermore, fraud has gotten harder ever since benefits have been issued on electronic-benefit transfer cards, which operate like debit cards at the grocery store. What’s more, drawbacks to doling out cash are real and fly in the face of the moral component of receiving a government benefit. Aid comes with strings attached as part of the goal of inducing behavior that’s deemed socially beneficial. That’s why food stamps can’t be used to buy tobacco or alcohol. If a cash handout is easier for a store to administer, the same is true for a cash benefit used to buy dope on the street. Yes, there is an element of paternalism in food stamps. Yet it’s hard to justify the government using taxpayer money to subsidize iPhone purchases instead of spending on a necessity such as food. And what about those parents who lack the discipline or willingness to make good decisions? Food stamps prevent them from shifting spending on food for their children to other less-essential goods. If we want to alter the food-stamp status quo, a better idea is to cut the program and roll the money into an expanded earned-income tax credit, which provides a tax refund that’s especially valuable for working couples with kids. The credit has fewer negative incentives and seems to encourage work.