Category Archives: Piedmont-Triad

How Many Kids in NC are Enrolled in SNAP? Catching Up on Lost Time; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also commonly known as food stamps, has over 663,000 kids enrolled in North Carolina. – Source, Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC

 


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Monday/Tuesday was Day 4. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


 

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Activity Days 56-57: For this walk, I once again enjoyed the company of my better 3/4, my partner in crime, Celeste Lowder. We took advantage of the coolest day we’ve had for weeks, and likely the last cool day we’ll have for at least a month, to get in some serious catch-up miles.

Miles walked/run: 10.01 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 63.39

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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What Percentage of Income is Spent on Childcare When School is Out?; Putting in Some Solid Miles; Support from Phillips Management Group

Hunger Fact of the Day: During the summer, when school is out, many families struggle to put food on the table because their childcare expenses increase significantly. According to a blog post at Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC, “American families can expect to spend 20% of their income this summer on childcare. In North Carolina, the cost of childcare is even more burdensome: here, the percent of the median summer income spent on childcare is 22%.”


Today’s sponsor:

PMG Logo

Over the last few years, Phillips Management Group has REALLY stepped up their efforts to support Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC. In fact, they have won the Piedmont Triad Apartment Association’s Owner’s Cup for raising the most food (per unit) of all the management company members of the association.

Phillips is very active in the community in many other ways, including actively supporting the work of Partners Ending Homelessness, as well as participating in innumerable community service projects in the many cities in which they have property.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and this weekend constituted days 1-3. They provided me with some really nice shirts for the walk, and I’m glad they’re going to let me hold onto them because, as you’ll see from the pictures, they got more than a little sweaty! Much thanks to Maria, Brandon and the entire team at Phillips for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!

 

 

Activity Day 53-55: The first day of this leg of the challenge was a Friday and I explored our office park as well as the attached facilities also owned by Highwoods (our landlord). I found some places I’d never come across before in our seven years here, including a pond I had no idea existed. This place really is pretty big so I was able to get in some good miles. Saturday was a walk around the neighborhood and a bit of a break to recover, especially given the heat. Sunday, my better 3/4 went with me to Tanglewood Park in Clemmons and I was able to get in some serious miles there (just shy of 10).

Miles walked/run: 20.10 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 73.4

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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Right Now You Can Feed Twice as Many People per Dollar; Breaking 100 on a Dark and Stormy Longest Day; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

 


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Sunday was Day 3. It’s appropriate that they are sponsoring my first walk back home since they sponsored my first day in Utah. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


Activity Day 52: For this walk I enjoyed the company of my better 3/4, my partner in crime, Celeste Lowder. We took advantage of the summer solstice and milked every minute of the longest day for this walk. Our timing was impeccable because halfway through the walk some thunderstorms rolled in so we had to boogie to get the miles in before the lightning started to get too close for comfort. Gotta say it’s a lot more fun having Celeste with me on these walks and I’m hoping she’ll join me for more. And hey, if you feel like going for a walk with me just give me a shout and maybe we can make it happen. The more the merrier!

Finally, we reached another milestone: less than 100 miles left for me to make the 367 challenge goal!

Miles walked/run: 7.06 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 93.5

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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LGBT People are Disproportionately Food Insecure; Encounters with Urban Wildlife; Support from Crescent Rotary Club

Hunger Fact of the Day:

 


Sponsor for Days 49-51:

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I’m a proud member of Crescent Rotary Club in Greensboro and am most appreciative of their support for this walk (especially the support of “Mr. Rotary” Patrick Eakes. Crescent has about 80 members and those members are all extremely active in supporting the community, through volunteer hours and through financial support via the Crescent Rotary Club Foundation and the Rotary International Foundation.

I’ll highlight just two of Crescent’s many activities this year. First, the club worked with Second Harvest to support the Community Cupboard at the East Market Seventh Day Adventist Church in Greensboro. The club’s foundation donated $4,000 to help purchase new equipment and club members volunteered to help serve food to members of the community who were impacted by the tornado that hit East Greensboro in April. Crescent Rotary Club Foundation also donated $20,000 to the fund established by the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro to help immediately re-house those who were displaced by the tornado.

If you’re in Greensboro I highly recommend checking out Crescent – it’s a great place to find like-minded business people who are all about serving their community.


Activity Day 49-51: The walk on day 49 was a trip. First, I stepped right over a black snake that I thought was a stick until I saw it slithering away right AFTER I’d just stepped over it. Then about five minutes later and just a couple of blocks away, a very large owl flew out of a tree and directly in front of me before perching itself on the house I was walking by. The combination of those two events had my heart rate WAY more elevated than it normally would have been. Luckily days 50 and 51 had no drama because this old man can only take so much.

Miles walked/run: 15.28 miles. Here are the screenshots from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 100.56

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

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15 States With Highest Rate of Food Insecurity; Walking in Winston Again; Support from ProSource Fitness

Hunger Fact of the Day:

15 States


Today’s sponsor:

ProSource Logo

ProSource Fitness Equipment is a very strong supporter of Piedmont Triad Apartment Association (my day job), and their point person in our market, Josh Owen, is an active volunteer who recently won PTAA’s Supplier Vendor Partner of the Year Award. They’re also very involved in the community, including PTAA’s Food Drive.

ProSource is a provider of fitness equipment, both commercial and residential, and I can vouch for them personally because I’ve purchased from them for my home gym and have had nothing but a good experience with the equipment and the company.

They donated enough for a week’s worth of sponsorship and Sunday was Day 3. It’s appropriate that they are sponsoring my first walk back home since they sponsored my first day in Utah. Much thanks to Josh and the team at ProSource Fitness for supporting the walk (and PTAA’s Food Drive) and for continuing to be leaders in our community!


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Activity Day 48: Sunday was the first day back in Winston-Salem after 8 days on the road in Utah and California. Was nice to walk around my normal stomping grounds although I would prefer to have San Diego’s sunny, dry and mid-70s weather. Didn’t miss the 90 degrees + 800% humidity:)

Miles walked/run: 5.06 miles. Here’s the screenshot from my FitBit:

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Miles remaining in challenge: 115.84

Want to donate to support Second Harvest? It’s easy to do right here!

DonateNowButton

Gown Towns Thrive

Yesterday I was in a meeting with several people involved with local real estate development and they were asked what the top business priority is for their county (Guilford, NC) going into 2017. Their response, as has been the case for every year in recent memory, was that job growth will continue to be the most critical issue for their businesses. In the course of answering the question quite a few of these people referenced other cities in North Carolina that seem to be thriving – Raleigh, Cary, Charlotte and “even Wilmington” – were the names I remembered. What stuck out, to me, was that no one mentioned Winston-Salem.

Now let me state up front that I’m not prepared to offer any statistics that compare the jobs situation in Winston-Salem to those in Guilford County’s two cities, Greensboro and High Point. But I will say that if you were to poll most people who pay attention to business in the region, they will tell you that Winston-Salem’s economic recovery from the nuclear annihilation that has befallen this region’s traditional economy is further along than its neighbors to the east. For some reason, though, leaders in Greensboro and High Point seem to ignore what’s going on just 30 miles to their west (and in all fairness the reverse is also true), and as a result no one seems to know why there’s a difference between these two very similar neighbors.

A personal theory is that there are a lot of complex and interwoven factors at play here, but one big one is the presence of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem. The university, and in particular it’s medical school, has been a partner with the city and local companies as the city moved away from it’s traditional tobacco manufacturing base toward a “knowledge economy” with a niche in the area of medical research. Starting over 20 years ago Winston-Salem’s civic and business leaders recognized the need to re-position the city’s economy and Wake Forest played a significant role in those plans. The results are plain to see in the city’s Innovation Quarter, which is booming and is primed for exponential growth over the next 10-15 years.

30 miles to the east Greensboro actually has more schools, including NC A&T and UNCG, but they don’t seem to have had the same effect on the city’s economy. Yet. We’re starting to see much more activity there, including the Union Square Campus that recently opened and is already bearing economic fruit for the city and there’s PLENTY of potential for even more growth. As long as the city’s leaders continue to keep their eye on the ball there’s a very good chance this will happen, as it has in other college towns.

This article in the Wall Street Journal has a lot of data showing how cities in the US that have strong colleges, especially those with research programs, have recovered from the decline in the manufacturing sector over the last two decades. Here’s an excerpt:

A nationwide study by the Brookings Institution for The Wall Street Journal found 16 geographic areas where overall job growth was strong, even though manufacturing employment fell more sharply in those places from 2000 to 2014 than in the U.S. as a whole…

“Better educated places with colleges tend to be more productive and more able to shift out of declining industries into growing ones,” says Mark Muro, a Brookings urban specialist. “Ultimately, cities survive by continually adapting their economies to new technologies, and colleges are central to that.”…

Universities boost more than just highly educated people, says Enrico Moretti, an economics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The incomes of high-school dropouts in college towns increase by a bigger percentage than those of college graduates over time because demand rises sharply for restaurant workers, construction crews and other less-skilled jobs, he says.

And here’s the money quote as it relates to local economic development efforts:

Places where academics work closely with local employers and development officials can especially benefit. “Universities produce knowledge, and if they have professors who are into patenting and research, it’s like having a ready base of entrepreneurs in the area,” says Harvard University economist Edward Glaeser.

Let’s hope our local leaders take full advantage of what our colleges have to offer, for all of our benefit.

Traffic

Until 11 years ago I’d lived my entire adult life in Northern Virginia and had spent my time commuting to work in some of the worst traffic the United States has to offer. When we moved to the Winston-Salem area it felt like I’d gone to traffic heaven because rush hour literally didn’t exist. We kind of have a “rush quarter hour” but even that doesn’t feature the gridlock you find in most metro areas. Still, it’s all relative and I would regularly hear locals complain about the busy highways and I’d just shake my head and mutter to myself, “You have no idea how good you have it.”

That’s why I felt vindicated by this article relaying the news that our area has the second-best traffic experience (behind only Phoenix) according to data from Google’s WAZE traffic app. Here’s an excerpt:

You’re not just getting there, Friend. You are having a world-class automotive experience — at least according to a newly released study that suggests Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point offer some of the best driving scenarios on the planet.

The metropolitan area finished second, just behind Phoenix, Ariz., in overall driving satisfaction in the study by analysts for Google’s WAZE travel app who compared driving experiences in 32 nations and 167 of the globe’s most mobile communities…

The Triad finished first among the various metros for minimal traffic delays.

Motorists in the region average less than a half hour on the road in a commute that averages about 26 miles, the WAZE study found. A pittance compared to some places in the United States where commuters average more than an hour each way,

Interesting that it ends up my commute is almost exactly the average.