Food Stamp Debate Gets Personal In Hawaii

Almost all parts of the country have received very good rainfall. The initial estimates are always conservative. Food-grain output reached an all-time high of 259.29 million metric tons in 2011-12, according to farm ministry data. Higher food-grain output would allow the nation to continue exports of wheat and rice and help curb global food costs that the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization says fell in eight of the past 11 months. Agricultures share of total Indian exports increased to 13.8 percent in 2012-13 from 10.2 percent in 2008-09, Pawar said. India will continue to export the commodities which are in surplus, and it may even export more than the previous year, Faiyaz Hudani, an associate vice president at Kotak Commodity Services Ltd. in Mumbai, said by phone. It is not only Indian production which will determine exports, it is also the international market that determines how much quantity can be shipped. More Rain Monsoon rainfall in the three months through August was the highest since 1994, data from the India Meteorological Department showed. Rains since June 1 exceeded the average by 5 percent as of yesterday, according to the weather bureau. Production of monsoon-sown food grains, which also include corn, barley and lentils, is estimated to rise to 129.3 million tons in the year begun July 1, compared with 128.2 million tons in the prior period, Pawar said as he released the first official estimates of 2013-14 crop output. The government updates the estimates every three months. Production of monsoon-sown rice in India may be 92.3 million tons for 2013-14, Pawar said. Though rice output is seen trailing last year, it will improve in subsequent estimates, according to the minister. A dry September would help the rice crop mature well in India s north, Pawar said. The nation may harvest record quantities of cotton, soybeans and corn, he said.

Trader Joe’s ex-president to turn expired food into cheap meals

Grocery store sells expired food to combat food waste

There is no question we must continue to work to address fraud and abuse within the system, but this bill is not the way to do it. Beyond the efforts to shrink the food stamps rolls, the actual monthly payments for those who receive them in Hawaii and elsewhere could drop by $29, when a temporary increase built into the 2009 stimulus package runs out at the end of October. Changes Too Harsh? Its unknown how much of the increase of the caseload in Hawaii and nationally resulted directly from the broader eligibility rules. The state human services department declined to provide an estimate. But nationally, the GAO report estimated that in fiscal year 2010, 2.6 percent of people who received food stamps would have been disqualified for having too much income by the old standards. And the cost of all those additional people came to about $460 million for the year, the GAO report said. That price tag and the symbolism of people feeding from taxpayer largess has helped to make the program a target for Republicans, particularly Tea Party conservatives who bristle at the cost of nearly all welfare programs. Megan Whittemore, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told Civil Beat , House Republicans are working to restore the integrity of this safety-net program and protect it for those who need it most. We want to help provide jobs and opportunities for those who are able to work in order to get government benefits. By encouraging people to engage in job training or workfare we can help those in the program build the skills and gain the experience they need to become self-sufficient in the future.” Sheffield, in a policy paper , wrote that food stamps should be reformed to focus on people truly in need. Who those people are, though, is the question. Hawaiis human services department declined to make anyone available for an interview to discuss the changes in eligibility. Rosenfeld, in an email, said only that the states decision to make it easier to qualify fit with the programs mission, which she described as being to provide access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education to every eligible person” who seeks assistance.

View gallery The DailyTable is making use of fruits and veggies that may be a bit blemished, that won`t sell so well in the retail markets. Claudine Zap 19 hours ago Maybe theres a use for expired milk and brown bananas after all: A plan by Trader Joes former president, Doug Rauch, would turn expired food into cheap and nutritious meals, according to a story from National Public Radio . The retail concept, which Rauch calls The Daily Table, would involve preparing and reselling edible food slightly past its sell-by date at superlow prices. The market, aimed at lower-income consumers in the Boston area, will open early next year in Dorchester, Mass., according to NPR. The idea, perhaps unappetizing to some, taps into a larger issue: Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. According to a recent report from Harvard and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), its estimated that as much as 40 percent of food is tossed due to confusion over expiration dates. Thats 160 million pounds of food needlessly thrown away every year. “Confusion over food expiration dates for example, ‘best by,’ ‘use by,’ and ‘sell by’ labels is a key cause of the high and rising rates of waste in the United States, write the report authors in a blog post . Because of the lack of federal oversight, states regulate the use of these labels in a wide variety of ways, causing great confusion. Meanwhile, Rauch told the Boston Globe that 50 million Americans are food insecure, that is, struggling to put food on the table. It’s the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities. It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted, Rauch told NPR. The ex-Trader Joes head isnt the only one to tackle the issue of food waste. Charities tend to accept food that could have been headed for the trash and there are plenty of leftovers on college campuses. A relatively new organization, Food Recovery Network , formed out of the University of Maryland, moves uneaten food from campus cafeterias to local charities that feed the hungry. An amazing amount of food gets thrown into a trash can, Ben Simon, the organizations founder, told Yahoo News in July.