Tag Archives: feeding the hungry

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!

DonateNowButton

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!

DonateNowButton

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:

Screenshot_20180619-101650_2

Miles remaining in challenge: 115.84

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

DonateNowButton

My Pentathlon of Pain for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC

JonTutuHeels
I’ve been talking about this for a while, but now I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger. From 9/11/15 to 10/11/15 I’m going to engage in what I’ve dubbed Jon’s Pentathlon of Pain to raise money and awareness for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC. What exactly is it? Actually it’s pretty simple: it’s five physically trying or embarrassing activities that I will undertake to raise money on behalf of the food bank. Here’s how it will work:

  • Someone sponsors me for a certain amount of money and they get to pick the embarrassing or physically challenging thing I will do. For example I jumped in a pool last year wearing a tiara, tutu and high heals and with a slogan painted on my back. In exchange the Blue Ridge Companies gave hundreds of dollars to Second Harvest.
  • Another option is that I will do something trying and people will donate to the food bank after I complete the task. So if I run 15 miles then they’ll donate a dollar a mile – that kind of thing.

So how can you help? Well I’ve already signed up to do the 9/11 World Trade Center memorial stair climb. That’s 110 flights of stairs I will climb and descend on the morning of the 11th. You could agree to donate a certain amount per flight if you’d like. Or you can suggest an activity and have your company sponsor it. I’ll gladly promote your company in the process and every single dollar will go to Second Harvest.

If you want to simply make a donation just visit GoFundMe page I set up for the campaign. Or check out the schedule below and if you see an available slot and you have something crazy or challenging for me to do, then just reach out and see what we can work out!

Schedule of Events

  1. Sep 11, 2015: World Trade Center Memorial Stair climb – I’m gonna climb 100 stories!
  2. Sep 26, 2015: Salem Lake 30K Trail Race – I’ve never run more than 13.1 before and I have NOT been training beyond my normal routine so this is gonna hurt.
  3. To Be Determined. You can submit a proposal via email here.
  4. To Be Determined. You can submit a proposal via email here.
  5. To Be Determined. You can submit a proposal via email here.

Why We Help Second Harvest

At the day job we’ve been running annual food drives for Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC for ten years. Every year we try to do better than the last and so I find myself doing what appear to be silly or crazy things to gin up publicity and interest for our efforts – things like wearing a pink tutu while jumping into a pool with the word EPIC painted on my back. You may wonder why someone would do something that odd, but when you read about some of the programs that Second Harvest supports it becomes clear that a little embarrassment is the least we can do for an organization that fills a vital role for our community. Scott Sexton’s column in today’s Winston-Salem Journal brings us the story of one of those programs:

In six short months, the H.O.P.E. truck has become a staple in neighborhoods where fresh food is often a rumor.

It is part of a larger project dreamed up by Tennille and his wife, Marty, a retired couple with hearts as big as their imaginations. When they learned that children in Winston-Salem are more likely to go hungry than kids in Detroit or Chicago, they were horrified.

But instead of wringing their hands, stamping their feet in protest or simply writing a check, they decided to do something about it…

Since it started rolling in January, H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem has mushroomed into something of which the entire community should be proud.

The Tennilles pick up items from the Second Harvest Food Bank and 50-pound bags of fresh food donated by the Vernon Produce Co. during the week.

A small group of volunteers meets every Saturday in a retreat center at the Children’s Home, where they set up an assembly line to make healthy bag lunches for kids and to box up fresh produce for adults who come with them. Groups from a variety of churches assemble lunches at their buildings, too, and pack them into giant coolers so a volunteer can pick them up later.

Around noon on Sundays, more volunteers start to trickle in at The Children’s Home to load the truck and a similarly painted minivan. The entire operation runs like Swiss trains; it stops at the same places every Sunday at the same time. By the time it finishes, more than 700 children get to eat and a few dozen food boxes are distributed.

By the way if you want to help us support Second Harvest you can do so by making a donation at helpsecondharvest.com. Also, if you want to see me embarrass myself yet again you can drive by the Robinhood Court Apartments and Villas this Thursday (July 10) from 4-5 p.m. where I’ll be part of “Two Guys Wearing Prom Dresses” to raise funds for Second Harvest. You guessed it: I’ll be wearing a dress. Here’s a handy map for you find us:

A Revival of Compassion

*Note* – The following is a personal opinion and has nothing to do with my employer or any other organization with which I'm involved.

The Rev. Mike Aiken, Executive Director of Greensboro Urban Ministry, wrote this letter to the Greensboro News & Record:

In my nearly 40 years of ministry with the poor, I’ve never seen a more desperate time for those in need! If the Great Recession of the past several years wasn’t enough, our government is retreating from a War on Poverty in the 1960s to a War on the Poor today.

Congress continues to debate proposed massive cuts to the food stamp program. As a result of a computer glitch at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, the demand for emergency food bags more than doubled overnight. With the decision not to extend unemployment benefits, 12,000 Triad families are facing homelessness. In July, Urban Ministry assisted many of these families with more than $52,000 in direct assistance. The decision of our legislature not to accept federal Medicaid funding that would cover an additional 500,000 North Carolina medically indigent residents was a major factor in the decision to close the HealthServe Medical Clinic at the end of August.

Who will stand up for the hungry and poor? “Lord, when did we see you hungry or sick?” (Matthew 25). We need a Revival of Compassion in North Carolina!

In a conversation I was having with a friend the other day the topic of the food drive organized by the organization I work for came up. Working on that food drive for the last four years has given me a closer look than many folks get at how the system for feeding the hungry works. The sheer volume of food that flows through the network is mind boggling and when you see that scale of need it doesn't take long to realize that it's not something that can be handled solely by the nonprofits out there. This isn't a guess, it's an observation: with reduced government programs people will go hungry. Not "might", "will." 

That same conversation led me to admit that for the first time in a very long while I'm extremely worried about what's going to happen to our community. This isn't hyperbole or some partisan reaction to current affairs. The cumulative effect of all the factors that Rev. Aiken outlines in his letter are going to have an immediate impact on the lives of thousands of people in our community. The burden of providing a modicum of a safety net will now fall even more heavily on the shoulders of the nonprofit community and many members of that community are facing funding cuts of their own. Unfortunately I truly think you'll start to see a wave of closures of those nonprofits as they collapse from a combination of funding cuts and increased demand. If not outright failures, then a reduction in services in an effort to survive. Either way there will be people going without and that's a tragedy. 

When Glitches Are More Than Inconvenient

Yes! Weekly is reporting on problems with a rollout of North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service's NC FAST program:

North Carolina Families Accessing Services Through Technology, which is being implemented across all 100 counties of North Carolina, is designed to integrate various social services, including food stamps, Medicaid and WorkFirst, creating a kind of "one-stop shop" for clients seeking assistance. The Forsyth County Department of Social Services calls it a "no wrong door" approach.

Beginning in early July complaints began to crop up in Forsyth County about food stamp benefits being held up for current clients applying for reactivation. A number of clients said their benefits had been delayed for months on end, and food pantries and agencies that provide free meals reported an increase in demand that was partially attributable to disruption in food stamp benefits. Those complaints were a reprise of similar concerns expressed in neighboring Guilford County where the program was piloted.

Many of us have lived through the inconvenience of a software upgrade that didn't go as smoothly as planned, or improved our lives as much as the upgrader promised, but I seriously doubt many of us have lived through such dire consequenses as the result of a systems upgrade. Combine this with the recently constrained unemployment benefits and it's apparent that we all need to be prepared to step up our game to help our local food pantries meet the spike in need in the immediate future. 

Tough Times

In case you missed the news, times are tough.  Ed posts a press release from Greensboro Urban Ministries. In part it says:

Over the past several months, Greensboro Urban Ministry’s Emergency Assistance Program has seen a dramatic rise in the demand for emergency financial assistance, particularly since the beginning of July when Guilford County Department of Social Services outsourced its county financial assistance program.  All of Greensboro Urban Ministry funding for emergency financial assistance comes from private sources such as local congregations, Duke Energy Foundation, Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, other foundations, and concerned individuals.  No city, county, state, or federal funds are used.

In April, our Emergency Assistance Program provided $33,447 for 112 families needing help with rent, mortgage, or utility assistance; in May, $40,996 for 153 families; in June, $47,580 for 199 families.  So far this month through July 18, $19,745 for 86 families has been spent. 

Every morning this month long lines of people have lined up for services with food, clothing, and financial assistance.  Emergency assistance funding aims to help families over a short term crisis, but unfortunately, many of the people coming to us are in long term crisis with no income.  For these people, the solution is to find a living wage job.  Such jobs are in very short supply. 

If you polled all of the local food banks, shelters, job assistance agencies, etc. you'd hear a variation on GUM's story.  Over the last couple of weeks I've talked with the folks from Second Harvest during PTAA's Fill the Stands With Cans events and they've repeatedly said that they're incredibly busy these days and the demand for their services keeps increasing. 

Yes the economy seems to be improving slowly, but here in the Piedmont Triad jobs just aren't coming back at the rate they need to and the social safety nets are getting frayed. It really is very simple – until we get jobs we're going to keep hearing stories like these.