WBEZ | hunger http://www.wbez.org/tags/hunger Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en South Side ‘forward operating base’ serves more than just veterans http://www.wbez.org/news/south-side-%E2%80%98forward-operating-base%E2%80%99-serves-more-just-veterans-113739 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CV2-Doc.JPG" style="height: 405px; width: 540px;" title="Daniel “Doc” Habeel with a picture of his father William George II, who served as a lieutenant in World War II. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></p><p>Just inside the doors of the <a href="http://www.rtwvetcenter.org/">RTW Veterans Center</a> on S. Martin Luther King Dr. a long hallway is lined with a dozen framed pictures.</p><p>Ranging from abolitionist Frederick Douglas to Henry Flipper, the first black graduate of West Point, to General Colin Powell, it&rsquo;s literally a hall of fame of black servicemen throughout history.</p><p>That history includes RTW&rsquo;s founder Daniel &ldquo;Doc&rdquo; Habeel who served in Vietnam as well as his father, grandfather and other relatives who carried on a military tradition. It also now includes two of Habeel&#39;s children who&rsquo;ve served in Iraq and Afghanistan.</p><p>Habeel decided to open an outpost of the Muslim American Veterans Association several years ago. It was during a MAVA fish fry fundraiser in 2011 that he noticed something.</p><p>&ldquo;Some of the people that came to the fish fry they really didn&rsquo;t have the money that we were looking for $10 a plate all you can eat,&rdquo; said Habeel. &ldquo;What they came with was some change. But we fed them anyway.&rdquo;</p><p>Habeel says some of the same people came back the following day.</p><p>&ldquo;And they wanted to know if there was any fish left,&rdquo; remembered Habeel. &ldquo;And there was and we fed them again.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CV1-building.JPG" style="height: 385px; width: 320px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="RTW has been in the community since 2011. Habeel says they’ve served at least 2,000 people since opening. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></p><p>Then some showed up on the <em>third </em>day.</p><p>&ldquo;And that day we made a commitment that if anyone comes to this door hungry, they would never leave hungry,&rdquo; said Habeel.</p><p>Shortly afterward, he and his wife Arnetha started the RTW, which stands for Remaking the World. They originally intended to help needy veterans find food, clothing and a place to get out of the cold.</p><p>But they soon realized the needs of the neighborhood were much greater. Habeel said he began to think of their sturdy, three-story graystone as a &quot;forward operating base&quot; in a war zone.</p><p>&ldquo;We have to go in and rescue our neighborhoods,&rdquo; said Habeel. &ldquo;From poverty, gangs, drugs, crime, violence and urban terrorism.&rdquo;</p><p>Hazel Parker comes for lunch everyday at 1 p.m sharp. On this day, she&rsquo;s getting a plate of b-b-q chicken to go. Parker says she spent a year in the Army, not long enough to rack up benefits. Injured in a motorcycle accident in the 1980s, a stroke permanently slurred her speech. Now Parker says fluid behind her knees has forced her to use a wheelchair.</p><p>&ldquo;My leg hurts like hell, said Parker. &ldquo;I need two knee replacement surgeries.&rdquo;</p><p>Parker lives around the corner from the RTW and says it helps everyone in the neighborhood &mdash; no questions asked. There&rsquo;s a community garden on the vacant lot next door. Inside the greystone, one converted bedroom holds canned goods and another has long racks of clothing. On the third floor there&rsquo;s a computer lab for anyone who needs help finding a job.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CV3-Hazel.JPG" style="text-align: center; height: 551px; width: 540px;" title="Hazel Parker gets free meals from RTW every day. (WBEZ/Yolanda Perdomo)" /></p><p>Gwendolyn Washington, a former Army lieutenant, says the staff prepares anywhere from 75 to 150 meals a day for those in need.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re grateful they&rsquo;re here. Especially the little kids after school. They get pastries&rdquo;, said Washington, who recalled passing out hams a few weeks ago. &ldquo;A little boy came up and said &lsquo;could I take one?&rsquo; I said &lsquo;what are you going to do with that ham?&rsquo; He said &lsquo;I&rsquo;m going to take it to my mother.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>Habeel says they rely on volunteers and donations from the community to keep the pantry full.</p><p>In the meantime, he&rsquo;s also keeping an eye on what&rsquo;s brewing across the street. If Washington Park is chosen as the site of the new Obama Presidential Center, future commercial development could be built steps away. Habeel isn&rsquo;t opposed to the idea but worries it could displace the RTW and those it serves.</p><p>Habeel says it wouldn&rsquo;t be his first battle for survival. And he promised to follow the old Army Creed ... to never leave a fallen comrade.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">@yolandanews</a></em></p></p> Wed, 11 Nov 2015 11:47:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/south-side-%E2%80%98forward-operating-base%E2%80%99-serves-more-just-veterans-113739 The world is not as hungry as you think http://www.wbez.org/news/world-not-hungry-you-think-113385 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/hunger1.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Back in 1798, English philosopher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Robert-Malthus">Thomas Malthus</a>&nbsp;predicted that the world would eventually run out of food for its growing population.</p><p>&quot;The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race,&quot; he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.esp.org/books/malthus/population/malthus.pdf" target="_blank">wrote</a>.</p><p>The newly released&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ifpri.org/publication/2015-global-hunger-index-armed-conflict-and-challenge-hunger" target="_blank">Global Hunger Index</a>&nbsp;paints a different picture.</p><p>Deaths due to mass famine have plummeted, according to data from the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ifpri.org/">International Food Policy Research Institute</a>,<a href="http://www.welthungerhilfe.de/en/home-en.html">Welthungerhilfe</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.concern.net/">Concern Worldwide.</a></p><p>Between 1870 and 1970, about 1.4 million people died each year in what Alex de Waal, one of the Index report authors, calls &quot;epidemics of starvation.&quot; By contrast, about 40,000 people have died each year since 2000 from large-scale hunger.</p><div id="res447203419"><div id="responsive-embed-table-hunger-index-20151008" style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="740px" marginheight="0" scrolling="no" src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/table-hunger-index-20151008/child.html?initialWidth=582&amp;childId=responsive-embed-table-hunger-index-20151008&amp;parentUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fgoatsandsoda%2F2015%2F10%2F16%2F447157158%2Fthe-world-is-not-as-hungry-as-you-might-think%3Fft%3Dnprml%26f%3D447157158" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; border-style: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;" width="600px"></iframe></div></div><p>And hunger levels have dropped by about a third in developing countries&nbsp;since 2000.</p><p>&quot;All the doom and gloom population people would say population growth causes famine. Well, look at the data. It doesn&#39;t,&quot; says de Waal, who&#39;s the executive director of the World Peace Foundation and a&nbsp;<a href="http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Fletcher_Directory/Directory/Faculty%20Profile?personkey=6D6C9778-0DD9-4125-963C-62E636338014" target="_blank">professor</a>&nbsp;of international affairs at Tufts University.</p><p>Nonetheless, hunger is still a critical issue. About 800 million people are chronically undernourished, according to the report.</p><p>For a positive perspective, the report singles out countries that are making progress. Like kids on a soccer team, the ones that get the &quot;Most Improved&quot; award still have a long way to go. But they&#39;re trying.</p><p>Azerbaijan&#39;s oil boom is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.az.undp.org/content/azerbaijan/en/home/mdgoverview/overview/mdg1.html">one reason</a>&nbsp;for its dramatic improvement since breaking from the Soviet Union.</p><p>Hunger in Ukraine has decreased as the economy improves, though political unrest has made access to food unpredictable,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wfp.org/ukraine-crisis" target="_blank">according</a>&nbsp;to the World Food Program.</p><p>Brazil cut its hunger score by about two-thirds, largely due to national&nbsp;<a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joac.12131/abstract?userIsAuthenticated=false&amp;deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=">programs</a>&nbsp;like Bolsa Familia, which&nbsp;gives&nbsp;cash to poor households when they&nbsp;<em>meet&nbsp;</em>certain health and education requirements. Researchers at the Federal University of Bahia&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2960715-1/abstract" target="_blank">found that&nbsp;</a>child mortality declined as coverage of the program increased.</p><p>The end of large-scale civil wars caused hunger levels to drop in Angola, Ethiopia and Rwanda. Those countries saw the biggest reductions in hunger since 2000. After stagnating in the 1990s, the regional hunger score of sub-Saharan Africa has been improving in line with other regions.</p><p>And, says de Waal, &quot;China is really spectacular.&quot; The country used to be responsible for more than half the world&#39;s death toll from famine has plunged over the last 50 years, since the end of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/11/10/164732497/a-grim-chronicle-of-chinas-great-famine">Great Famine</a>&nbsp;that killed an estimated 30 million people.</p><p>But there&#39;s bad news, too.</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Not only a root cause of hunger, armed conflict can create a critical data blackout <a href="http://t.co/9jdXOp6r6J">http://t.co/9jdXOp6r6J</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GHI2015?src=hash">#GHI2015</a> <a href="http://t.co/KLrlMPKneR">pic.twitter.com/KLrlMPKneR</a></p>&mdash; IFPRI FSP (@IFPRI_FSP) <a href="https://twitter.com/IFPRI_FSP/status/654429363807588352">October 14, 2015</a></blockquote><p>Hunger levels are labeled &quot;alarming&quot; in the Central African Republic, Chad, Zambia, Timor-Leste, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Madagascar and Afghanistan. Due to conflict, some countries have gotten nowhere or grown worse in the last 25 years, including Burundi, Comoros, Iraq, and Sudan. An HIV/AIDS epidemic&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3121140/">crippled</a>&nbsp;Swaziland, bringing nourishment levels down with it.</p><div id="res448309714">Afghanistan just made it onto the map after a decade when data was not available, and when the country should have been marked dark red for &quot;extremely alarming&quot; levels of hunger, de Waal says. Some of the current grey zone countries, like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, could be in the same situation right now.</div><p>Piero Conforti, a statistician with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, says they undernourishment estimates can&#39;t be generated for countries with unreliable data. &quot;I don&#39;t want to name any countries,&quot; he says, but &quot;there are instances in which the government is telling you there is a lot of food around, and this seems not to be the case.&quot;</p><p>Conforti says the FAO is trying to switch to monitoring food insecurity with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.fao.org/economic/ess/ess-fs/voices/en/" target="_blank">a new measure</a>&nbsp;that would be less reliant on government stability.</p><p>In some of those missing countries starvation is still being used as a tactic of war, de Waal adds. Take the village of Keilak, Darfur. &quot;It was case of deliberate starvation,&quot; says de Waal,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2808%2961641-4/fulltext" target="_blank">who wrote</a>&nbsp;about the case in the journal&nbsp;<em>The&nbsp;Lancet</em>:</p><blockquote><p><em>&quot;Militiamen and soldiers torched the surrounding villages, forcing 17 000 people to flee to the town. Then the armed men surrounded the makeshift camp and stopped anyone leaving. They robbed families of their possessions and beat or shot them if they foraged for food in the remains of their homes or gathered roots and berries in the woodlands. An age-old siege tactic was applied to a defenseless civilian population.&quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>The case exemplifies a fact about hunger today, he says: that &quot;the extremes of starvation that we see are often man-made.&quot;</p><p>&quot;Not woman-made,&quot; he specifies. &quot;Man-made.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/16/447157158/the-world-is-not-as-hungry-as-you-might-think?ft=nprml&amp;f=447157158" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 16 Oct 2015 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/world-not-hungry-you-think-113385 Gaza's 'OneVoice' Movement believes in and works for Two-State Solution with Israel http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-05-12/gazas-onevoice-movement-believes-and-works-two-state-solution-israel <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/onevoice palestine web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Polls report that West Bank Palestinians are extremely skeptical about a two-state solution with Israel, but in Gaza, support is practically non-existent. We&rsquo;ll talk with Ezzeldeen Masri, director of the Gaza program for &#39;<a href="http://www.onevoicemovement.org/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">OneVoice</a>&#39;. It&rsquo;s a movement of Gazans who support and work for a two-state solution with Israel. They claim their movement is growing.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-gaza-s-onevoice-movement-works-for-a-two/embed?header=false&amp;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-gaza-s-onevoice-movement-works-for-a-two.js?header=false&border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/worldview-gaza-s-onevoice-movement-works-for-a-two" target="_blank">View the story "Worldview: Gaza's 'OneVoice' movement works for a Two-State solution with Israel" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 12 May 2014 11:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2014-05-12/gazas-onevoice-movement-believes-and-works-two-state-solution-israel Global Activism: One-third of the World's produced food is wasted http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-one-third-worlds-produced-food-wasted-110294 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ga-Jeff Cabbages scaled.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-ebf7408a-6d4d-06f4-923b-c7fd66663e3a">More than 1.3 billion tons of food goes to waste every year. That&rsquo;s one third of the total amount of food produced worldwide. The <a href="http://www.foodbanking.org">Global Foodbanking Network</a> is working to turn that waste into opportunities to feed the hungry. Jeffrey D. Klein, president and CEO of the Global Foodbanking Network, and Bill Rudnick a board member and 25 year veteran of food banking ,will join us to talk about their work.<iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142913118&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">Jeffrey speaks on critical role of one FoodBanking Network partner:</p><p dir="ltr">&quot;I have said this on many occasions when asked about DLA Piper&rsquo;s pro bono work for The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN). It&rsquo;s a strong statement about our close relationship, DLA Piper&rsquo;s generous support on many, many levels. Beyond that, it&rsquo;s a statement about the depth of passion DLA Piper brings to our shared mission of fighting hunger around the world.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>A Humanitarian Solution to Two Critical Issues: Hunger and Food Waste</strong></p><p dir="ltr">GFN is an international non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger and reducing food waste. We do that by creating, supplying and strengthening food banks and national food bank networks around the world, in countries outside the US. Currently, we support existing and developing food banks in more than 25 countries, home to more than one-third of the world&rsquo;s nearly one billion undernourished people.</p><p dir="ltr">Food banking is, in a sense, the business of logistics with a very important end result. We find and &ldquo;rescue&rdquo; perfectly nutritious, edible food that is non-saleable and get it to where it can be used to feed hungry people. It&rsquo;s a simplistic explanation, but it&rsquo;s really the core of what we do.</p><p dir="ltr">Many people are shocked when they learn that one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted so it never feeds a hungry person. We think this is a tragedy from a moral standpoint. It&rsquo;s also a huge issue for the environment because food in landfills breaks down very quickly and creates greenhouse gas in a ratio that&rsquo;s 20% greater than carbon dioxide. Food banking turns this problem into a solution to the problem of hunger.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>DLA Piper Helps Turn a US Idea into a Global Reality</strong></p><p dir="ltr">DLA Piper played a pivotal role in the creation of GFN and has remained an invaluable supporter of our mission and organization from the very beginning. In fact in the late 1990s, Bill Rudnick, a partner at DLA Piper, helped conceptualize the idea of global food banking with Bob Forney, who was the CEO of Feeding America at the time.</p><p dir="ltr">Bill had been actively involved with food banking in the US for a decade and realized the need for a global solution to problems of hunger and food waste. Bob, Bill, and a development team began working with food banking associations in Canada, Mexico, and Argentina to develop the global food banking model. In 2006, DLA Piper attorneys officially incorporated GFN and Bill became the founding Chairman of the Board.</p><p dir="ltr">Bill remains a member of the GFN board and stays involved from a professional and personal standpoint. Here is a story that shows how Bill and DLA Piper go the extra mile for GFN&hellip;</p><p dir="ltr">This year Bill joined a group of DLA Piper attorneys on a five-day, 364 mile bike ride through the Pyrenees before a global partners meeting. Always thinking of GFN, Bill turned this adventure into a fundraising opportunity for our organization. He completed the journey and exceeded his fundraising goal thanks to many DLA Piper staff and friends who contributed in support of Bill and his cause. Check out his fundraising page to learn more about Bill&rsquo;s<a href="http://www.razoo.com/story/My-Ridiculous-Ride-To-Fight-Hunger-Worldwide"> Ridiculous Ride to Fight Global Hunger</a>.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Insightful Legal Support around the World</strong></p><p dir="ltr">Since the very beginning, DLA Piper has worked tirelessly and enthusiastically with us helping us grow into a leading hunger fighting organization. They have supported our work and that of individual food banks in more than 20 countries and have helped us create food banks in places such as South Africa, India, Israel, and Hong Kong.</p><p dir="ltr">GFN projects are supported by New Perimeter, a subsidiary of DLA Piper that brings US Style pro bono work to international projects. What sets this legal team apart is that while they bring a depth and breadth of legal skills (in a variety of practice areas) they also bring sensitivity and deep knowledge of the issues surrounding the practice of food banking.</p><p dir="ltr">Food banking is different in every country based on the legal and political environments, the culture and the nature of the economy, and the food system. For example, the tax benefits for those who provide food or other donated items are different country to country. In some countries, businesses receive a charitable tax deduction for donations, in others there is no deduction, and in other countries businesses must actually pay a gift tax for the donation.</p><p dir="ltr">Along with their insightful international legal advice, DLA Piper donates office space in the Chicago office allowing us to do our work day in and day out. It&rsquo;s another show of generosity and a demonstration of our close relationship. We wouldn&rsquo;t exist without DLA Piper. We also wouldn&rsquo;t be able to continually grow and expand to bring more food to more people around the world.</p><p>Thanks DLA Piper for making it all possible.&quot;</p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 09:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-one-third-worlds-produced-food-wasted-110294 Non-profit sees greater need for food assistance http://www.wbez.org/news/non-profit-sees-greater-need-food-assistance-109276 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 9.53.20 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s been a holiday season of breaking records at <a href="http://www.ajustharvest.org/">A Just Harvest</a>, a Rogers Park nonprofit that feeds the hungry.</p><p>The organization serves hot dinner daily to anyone who shows up, but during the run-up to Thanksgiving and Christmas it also distributes &ldquo;holiday kits,&rdquo; uncooked turkeys and traditional fixings, to families that want to prepare the foods at home.</p><p>&ldquo;Saturday we gave away turkeys and kits, and we had folks lined up for two blocks,&rdquo; said Rev. Marylin Pagan-Banks, executive director of A Just Harvest. &ldquo;People lining up and standing in the cold and bearing the weather in order to provide for their families.&rdquo;</p><p>Pagan-Banks said the organization had never seen that before, and that by Thanksgiving week it had already distributed 305 of the kits, with four weeks to go until Christmas.</p><p>Last year, A Just Harvest gave away 380 kits for the two holidays together &mdash;a number that it seems certain to beat this year.</p><p>In part, Pagan-Banks blames <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/economy/illinois-residents-lose-220-million-dollars-snap-benefits-109035">cuts that kicked in this month </a>to the federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP, also known as the food stamp program.</p><p>Congress declined to renew an increase in funding to the program that had gone into effect in 2009 as part of the Recovery Act. For a family of four, this amounts to $36 less per month of food assistance.</p><p>&ldquo;Folks already struggle towards the end of the month, because the allotment wasn&rsquo;t enough to start with,&rdquo; said Pagan-Banks. &ldquo;And so it&rsquo;s the end of the month, and it&rsquo;s a holiday where traditionally there are different types of food that are eaten, they cost more, turkeys are not cheap, and there&rsquo;s just no way to make ends meet.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 08:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/non-profit-sees-greater-need-food-assistance-109276 Monica Eng's SNAP Challenge food stamp diary and shopping strategy http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/monica-engs-snap-challenge-food-stamp-diary-and-shopping-strategy-108660 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.51.50%20PM.png" style="width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Monday food diary</strong></p><p><strong>Breakfast: </strong>Two fried eggs in sauteed kale, two tortillas, 1 tbsp sauerkraut, beans and a cup of tea.</p><p>This meal mirrors what I normally eat for breakfast, but I had to go with factory farmed chicken eggs (99 cents a dozen) because eggs from chickens who live on pasture and aren&rsquo;t fed genetically modified grain cost me $5 to $6 a carton. I also had to swap my morning coffee and cream for Aldi tea. It&rsquo;s actually pretty tasty and I kept some of the concentrated tea at the bottom of the cup to make iced tea later.&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Lunch: </strong>Rice and beans, half an avocado, sambal chili sauce.</div><p>Growing up in a half Puerto Rican family, I was blessed with a love for good rice and beans, and &ndash; more importantly &ndash; a grandmother who taught me how to cook them. The secret is a good sofrito, which you would ideally make from scratch with garlic, onion, sweet peppers and cilantro.</p><p>But a great substitute is fresh sofrito sold in area stores like Cermak Produce.</p><p>Unfortunately we had to go with a jarred version, which didn&rsquo;t give up much flavor, so I added extra garlic, salt and sambal, which is technically OK for our WBEZ SNAP challenge because they are condiments.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.52.11%20PM.png" style="height: 276px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="" />Another delicious, money saving trick is buying dried beans, which require overnight soaking but save you tons of money and taste better than canned. The smoky fatty pork hock gives the beans added flavor.</p><p><strong>Snack:</strong> Piece of toast smeared with peanut butter and sliced apple.</p><p>As much as I wanted a sweet from the vending machines, I turned to the office toaster instead. Now that apples are in season, they are super affordable and paired with the protein-packed peanut butter they recall the peanut-sprinkled taffy apples of my childhood.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Snack:</strong> Piece of toast smeared with peanut butter and a nino banana</p><p>These tiny bananas delight my kids, but they&rsquo;re also good for the pocketbook when, in this case, I found very ripe ones discounted at a cost of 99 cents for 18 at Pete&rsquo;s. I like to eat them on a peanut butter and banana sandwich like a hot dog.</p><p><strong>Dinner: </strong>Raw kale tossed with lentils, rice and a mustard vinaigrette (vinegar, oil, dijon mustard).</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.52.34%20PM.png" style="height: 212px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="" /></div><p>On a hot September night, this made for a perfect cool dinner. I cooked the lentils in garlicky, salted water until just soft and then tossed them with rice, chopped kale and a mustard vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar and mustard). My daughter not only took seconds for dinner but asked me to pack more for her school lunch the next day. &nbsp;I wished my budget would have allowed for some chopped red pepper and scallions to brighten up the color and flavor but that wasn&rsquo;t in the budget.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.52.47%20PM.png" style="height: 201px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Tuesday food diary</strong></p><p><strong>Breakfast:</strong> Two eggs poached in a mug, two tortillas, rice and beans, sauerkraut, half avocado and cup of tea.</p><p>When you&rsquo;ve got kids to get dressed and off to school, you realize why so many people reach for pricey convenience foods. In our rush to get my daughter to early morning sports practice and a teenager to high school, I had no time to make breakfast. So I gathered all my ingredients and brought them to work. There, I microwave-poached a couple of eggs in a mug, heated tortillas and beans and made a cup of tea. Most people probably don&rsquo;t have office kitchens as well-equipped as WBEZ&rsquo;s and so missing breakfast at home might mean unhealthy convenience foods or zippo. &nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.53.04%20PM.png" style="height: 183px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="" /></div><p><strong>Lunch:</strong> Bowl of lentils tossed in mustard vinaigrette, half avocado and piece of toast.</p><p>I can do lentils for another day but I can see how they might get a little monotonous after a while.</p><p>The Intelligentsia coffee in the WBEZ kitchen was beckoning me but I&rsquo;m sticking to my Aldi inexpensive tea that I turned into iced tea for this afternoon.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Snack:</strong> Nino banana with peanut butter. &nbsp;</div><p>When I need something small, sweet, a little fatty and nutritious, this is my go to snack.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Snack:</strong> Peach and hard boiled egg</div><p>When it comes to cheap sources of nutritious protein, eggs are one of your best bets. Once considered an unhealthy food that should be limited, more recent studies have vindicated its health profile. Plus, you <img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-11%20at%2010.53.29%20PM.png" style="height: 259px; width: 300px; float: left;" title="Tuesday dinner" />can&rsquo;t beat the portability of a hardboiled egg. I got these peaches from the &ldquo;seconds&rdquo; box at the farmers market for 20 cents each. The pretty peaches cost $5 a quart. After they were ripened, trimmed and sliced the less attractive fruits were delicious.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><strong>Dinner:</strong> Rice and beans with kale salad.</div><p>If my meals are starting to look a little repetitive, it&rsquo;s because they are &ndash; and that&rsquo;s how they began to taste. As much as I love rice, beans and kale, I was longing for some of the grilled chicken and watermelon that the rest of my family was feasting on at the dinner table.</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-390d9ae9-103d-0926-ba18-6a4078184af3">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="710" scrolling="no" src="//instagram.com/p/eI8gckr-TV/embed/" width="612"></iframe><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="710" scrolling="no" src="//instagram.com/p/eI3VDTL-bt/embed/" width="612"></iframe></p><p><strong>Monica&#39;s SNAP shopping list</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Total cost: $9.99</p><p><strong>Pork hock $2.37</strong></p><p>(15 oz hock cost 9.50 but we split it, then halved the price again to account for the double value given to SNAP benefits at 61st Street Farmers Market.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>6 eggs .50</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(full carton at Pete&rsquo;s cost 99 cents)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>12 oz dry beans .70</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(I bought a plastic carton for $1.53 and used a little less than half to soak and cook)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Kale bunch $1.25 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(we bought 2 for $5 at the market that doubled SNAP dollars)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>8 oz dry lentils .65</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>4 oz sofrito .75</strong></p><p dir="ltr"><strong>2 peaches .20 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(bruised peaches cost 5 for $1 at 61st Street where SNAP gets double value)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>2 apples .69</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(price at Pete&#39;s)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>6 ninos bananas .33 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(bought 19 for 99 cents)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>2 tbsp peanut butter .20 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(container cost $2.59)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>1/3 loaf bread .83</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(whole loaf was $2.59)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>2.5 cups brown rice .35 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(bag cost 69 cents, I made half)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>12 tortillas .25 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(bought at Atotonilco Tortilleria on 47th Street)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>7 oz Greek yogurt $1</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(Fage was on sale for $1 each)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Avocado .79 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(Pete&rsquo;s price)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>3 tea bags .06 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(Aldi&rsquo;s Benner Classic Blend tea costs $1.89 for 100 bags)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>3 tbsp sauerkraut .06 &nbsp;</strong></p><p dir="ltr">(I made 2 huge jars of sauerkraut with one $1 cabbage head and salt)</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-390d9ae9-1074-8a87-dda8-af76aabce10d"><strong>SNAP Recap</strong></p><p dir="ltr">At the end of the two days, we didn&rsquo;t exactly know what it&rsquo;s like to live on food stamps. But we got a taste, and it wasn&rsquo;t very pleasant. It was time consuming, stressful and starting to get monotonous. We saw a world full of food that was beyond our reach and became more aware of how important motivation, consumer education and cooking knowledge is to creating healthy meals on a budget. We can only imagine how much harder it would&rsquo;ve been without our cars, kitchen equipment and access to great products.</p><p>The food stamp debate is a heated one with strong arguments on both sides. But most people who look at federal food consumption and health statistics tend to agree that the nation would be better off if we could all manage to regularly buy, cook and eat nutritious foods.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-390d9ae9-1072-4174-4ead-8547442c692c"><strong>For anyone who wants to take the SNAP challenge during September, here are the rules from the Greater Chicago Food Depository:</strong></p><ol><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Each person should spend a set amount for food and beverages during the Challenge week. That amount is $35/week or $5/day for all food and beverage.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">All food purchased and eaten during the Challenge week, including fast food and dining out, must be included in the total spending.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">During the Challenge, only eat food that you purchase for the project. Do not eat food that you already own (this does not include spices and condiments).</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Avoid accepting free food from friends, family, or at work, including at receptions, briefings, or other events where food is served.</p></li><li dir="ltr"><p dir="ltr">Keep track of receipts on food spending and take note of your experiences throughout the week.</p></li><li dir="ltr">Invite others to join you, including co-workers, reporters, chefs, or other elected officials.</li></ol><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda"> @monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 22:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/monica-engs-snap-challenge-food-stamp-diary-and-shopping-strategy-108660 Global Activism: Pan African Rural Health and Social Services aids Africans in dire need http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-pan-african-rural-health-and-social-services-aids-africans <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/PHReSS Main.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Pan African Rural Health and Social Services <a href="http://africanhopeanddignity.org" target="_blank">(PRHeSS)</a> aids rural Africans in: maintaining clean drinking water; sanitary living conditions; poverty alleviation and opportunity through education. The group was founded by Chicago area physician Sam Kormoi and his wife, Mary. Dr. Kormoi pays close attention to his native Sierra Leone, a country devastated and traumatized by years of civil war. Dr. Kormoi, along with PRHeSS Board Director, Lesta Woods, will share stories about the people and communities they&#39;re helping to transform.</p><p><strong><em>This Saturday May 4th, 2013, PRHeSS will sponsor a <a href="http://africanhopeanddignity.org/images/walk-a-thon-flyer-2013-big.jpg" target="_blank">Walk-a-Thon</a> of doctors and nurses for food, clothing, medical and school supplies for rural Africans.</em></strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F90490217&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 02 May 2013 09:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-pan-african-rural-health-and-social-services-aids-africans Global Activism: Bright Hope International gives aid and comfort to the extreme poor http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-bright-hope-international-gives-aid-and-comfort-extreme-poor <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/BH_Haiti_fixed_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F86395084&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><em><strong>Join Worldview on Saturday, 4/6/13 for WBEZ&#39;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/air-events-6th-annual-global-activism-expo-102172">6th Annual Global Activism Expo</a>, hosted by the UIC Social Justice Initiative.</strong></em></p><p><a href="http://www.brighthope.org/">Bright Hope International</a> helps faith communities provide aid and assistance to the extreme poor in some of the world&rsquo;s most devastated countries. The group aligns many of its programs with the UN Millennium Development Goals. Some of Bright Hope&#39;s primary goals are in: extreme poverty and hunger eradication; universal primary education; combating infectious disease and promoting environmental sustainability - all this with a focus on gender equality, reducing child mortality and improving maternal health. Bright Hope recently started a program to rescue girls from the sex trade in northern India.</p><p>We&rsquo;ll talk with Bright Hope&#39;s CEO and president, C.H. Dyer about the group&#39;s work. Dyer has encountered a number of memorable people in his travels:</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">Justine Nkandu is a single mother of six from the rural area of Samfya, Zambia. She is thriving after being given the opportunity of a microloan through Bright Hope in 2009. From three years on the program, Justine increased production of beans by 300%. Last year, she harvested 84 gallons of peanuts and used the profits from her farming business to build a house and iron sheets for her roof. &ldquo;My vision is to save money for my children&rsquo;s education before they reach high school, and to maintain food security for my family,&rdquo; she said.</p><p style="margin-left:1.0in;">Justine now feels that she has made enough capital to stand on her own and has requested that the leadership from her church allow her to step aside from the microloan program so that others may benefit. &ldquo;My family no longer worries about where our next meal will come from. We are not poor anymore. Now we can bless others. I thank the Lord for giving me knowledge and wisdom to make me reach this far in sustaining my livelihood and my family,&rdquo; she said. Justine is expecting to double her harvest of peanuts, cassava, and maize this year.</p></p> Thu, 04 Apr 2013 07:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-bright-hope-international-gives-aid-and-comfort-extreme-poor Cook County food pantries report record need http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-food-pantries-report-record-need-105023 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Foodpantry1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s food pantries see the city&rsquo;s growing hunger problem up close.</p><p>&ldquo;You see people lining up before the sun rises even on these coldest days of the year, and waiting, you know, in some cases two, three, four hours,&rdquo; said Bob Dolgan of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Cook County&rsquo;s largest food bank.</p><p>He said in October 2012, their food pantries had more than 550,000 visits - a record number (they don&rsquo;t have numbers yet for more recent months). Over five years, the organization has seen an 84 percent increase in monthly visits to its 650 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters.<iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75374196" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>That&rsquo;s probably because the number of people in poverty in the area is on the rise. A recent <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/one-three-illinois-residents-or-near-poverty-according-heartland-alliance-report" target="_blank">report by the Heartland Alliance</a> found one in three people in Illinois live in or near poverty, and many of those work full-time. A lasting decline in mid-wage jobs that have been replaced by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/new-study-low-wage-workers-chicago-are-older-more-educated-102686" target="_blank">low-wage jobs</a> since the 2009 recession is likely a factor.</p><p>&ldquo;Soup kitchens are volunteer-run organizations,&rdquo; Dolgan said. &ldquo;They&rsquo;re doing everything they can to support their communities, but when there are just more and more people at their doors, either they have to pack smaller bags or they have to look at the number of hours they&rsquo;re able to operate.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Below: A report from a food pantry line in Rogers Park</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75498697" width="100%"></iframe><br /><br />To make matters worse, the depository has been receiving less food donations. A combination of drought and lingering recession means corporations, wholesalers and distributors are giving less. Drought devastated crops across the Midwest this year, and a major produce source here ended up with far less surplus through the summer.</p><p>Most of the depository&rsquo;s food supply comes from donations &ndash; and luckily, said Dolgan, individual giving has not taken the dive that corporate giving has. Still, the depository has received 3 million pounds less donated food over the last six months than the same period a year ago, a decrease of about 9 percent.</p><p>They&rsquo;re making up the difference by purchasing food directly, but it&rsquo;s hardly a sustainable plan. The organization&rsquo;s depends on that cash to keep its basic operations afloat.</p><p>&ldquo;We have a lot of trucks we need to fuel, we have thirty-nine vehicles that need to be ready and leave this facility each day,&rdquo; said Dolgan. &ldquo;So it&rsquo;s a challenge.&rdquo;</p><p>And the bottom line remains: smaller bags of food mean emptier stomachs.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagosfoodbank.org/site/PageServer?pagename=hunger_research" target="_blank">Reports by the Food Depository and Feeding America</a> estimate one in six people in Cook County don&rsquo;t know where their next meal will come from.</p><p>What happens if they don&rsquo;t start seeing either more food, or less hungry people?</p><p>&ldquo;We all have a knot in our stomach about that,&rdquo; Dolgan said.</p></p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 11:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cook-county-food-pantries-report-record-need-105023 Artist Steve McQueen transforms the Art Institute of Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/artist-steve-mcqueen-transforms-art-institute-chicago-103279 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Steve-McQueen-Charlotte_480.png" style="height: 380px; width: 620px; " title="Steve McQueen, Charlotte (courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)" /></div><p>Mere steps inside the Steve McQueen exhibition you&#39;ll realize this is a completely different sort of show for the Art Institute of Chicago.</p><p>For one, the exhibition space is mainly dark - and vast. The first work is <em>Static</em>, McQueen&#39;s 2009 film which consists of a swirling shot of the Statute of Liberty. You can imitate the circling movements of the film by moving around the large two-sided rectangular screen.</p><p>Further in you&#39;ll pass a close-up of an eye bathed in red light, called <em>Charlotte</em>, after the British actress Charlotte Rampling. In another room three of McQueen&#39;s better known installations come together in a wide triangular structure:&nbsp;<em>Bear (1993)</em>,&nbsp;<em>Five Easy Pieces (1995)</em> and&nbsp;<em>Just Above My Head<strong>&nbsp;</strong>(1996).&nbsp;</em></p><p>In fact the entire space has been sculpted to present McQueen&#39;s work, including the construction of a series of small dark screening rooms that are accessed long passages with padded walls. At times it feels a little like traveling through one of those cinematic spaceships, only instead of the usual blindingly white interior, all the lights have been turned out.</p><p>McQueen isn&#39;t well-known in the United States, at least not outside art circles. Mention his name and most people will think you&#39;re talking about the late star of films like <em>Bullit</em> or <em>The Great Escape.</em></p><p>Adding to the confusion, McQueen is probably best known here for directing some recent feature films, including&nbsp;<em>Hunger</em> and <em>Shame.</em></p><p>This review, covering 20 years of his work, will introduce the artist to a wider circle of fans. But even those familiar with McQueen&#39;s work will have the opportunity to encounter new work. His 2003 installation&nbsp;<em>Queen and Country</em> is being shown in the U.S. for the very first time.</p><p>You&#39;ll find it in a small, well-lit room near the back of the exhibition. McQueen worked with photos of British soldiers who died in Iraq. He printed them up as large sheets of postage stamps. They&#39;re framed in glass and hung in a large wooden cabinet.</p><p>He made it in 2003, as the British Imperial Museum&#39;s Official War Artist to Iraq, and aimed for a different view of the war.</p><p>McQueen says his ambition was &quot;to look at this conflict outside of newspapers, outside of television or whatever we get information from as far as how we get our information on conflicts.&quot;</p><p><em>The Steve McQueen retrospective is at the Art Institute through next January.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 19 Oct 2012 15:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/alison-cuddy/2012-10/artist-steve-mcqueen-transforms-art-institute-chicago-103279