Nearly half the people on our planet do not have safe water to drink. Friendly Water for the World is a nonprofit organization, founded by Quakers, whose mission is to help expand access to low-cost clean water technologies, as well as information about health and sanitation, to people in need. They teach communities how to construct simple biosand water filters, which remove nearly 99% of all parasites, disease and water-borne pathogens.
North Carolina’s city of Asheville is the most recent town in our nation to create a Food Action Plan. These sensible strategies address difficult issues, such as food deserts, community health, food insecurity, nutrition knowledge deficits, barriers to local food production and distribution, as well as food sovereignty. The plan was approved 6-0 on January 21, 2013 by the city council; this legislation will play an active role in improving healthy food access, and will also help to build a more sustainable local food infrastructure.
Ron Paul is one of the rare elected officials who has the integrity to highlight the crippling economic costs of our massive military industrial complex, as well as the need to decriminalize drugs and audit both the Pentagon and the Federal Reserve. His adamant support for personal privacy, Bradley Manning and civil liberties also shows leadership, but unfortunately like most men in his party, Paul still rabidly opposes a woman’s ability to safely terminate a pregnancy. He wants small unobtrusive government, except when it applies to all female bodies?
Last year at the Slow Money Gathering in San Francisco, I was really impressed with a presentation that I heard from one of the founders of Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery in Washington. Her idea was simple and innovative — retrofit shipping containers to sell healthy food and produce in underserved neighborhoods. The easily portable container could be placed in industrial areas and regions where food deserts now prevail, instantly providing better access to fresh groceries.
Food insecurity is huge problem in our nation. More families are now in need of food stamps than ever before in the history of our country, and in many neighborhoods liquor stores far outnumber produce markets. However, in the barren food deserts of East Los Angeles, a few small oases of healthy food options are beginning to sprout.
Although our nation’s budget struggle is over for the moment, the extreme right’s repeated rabid attacks on Planned Parenthood funding have generated some unexpected consequences. All federal money for the vital health agency has remained in our national budget; but the republicans’ obsession with restricting abortion access, as well as ongoing threats from anti-abortion fringe groups, have now only served to greatly increase both public support and donations for Planned Parenthood.
It’s a challenge creating access to healthy, affordable food in many urban neighborhoods. The following inspiring story was published on Eco Etsy last week, and it features the efforts of Juanita Rivas-Raymer, who has been able to do just that. She has succeeded in combining the concept of a community garden with a food-swapping co-operative.
The social enterprise organization, Public Matters, is trying to tackle the complicated problem of how to sustainably transform some of our blighted food deserts in East Los Angeles. They are partnering with community groups to transform a few L.A. corner stores into healthy food oases. However, these market makeovers are more than mere physical changes to the retail stores; the coalition is also working to create positive, systematic and sustained changes in how people eat, cook and live.
After toiling all day long in the dirt, it’s natural to look forward to the crops that you harvest. Colorado Springs volunteers are anxious to begin the digging and planting so Dorchester Park Community Garden can become a thriving success. The Springs Rescue Mission has designated Ty Syperda one of several beneficiaries of the community garden, which is located on S. Nevada Ave. Although the garden still needs much work, its 60’ x 60’ plot now has water, amended soil…
A recent article published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research measures and maps the racial disparities in neighborhood food environments. Do communities of color have less access to healthful food sources like grocery stores and farmer’s markets?