- Created on 15 June 2013
With Summer Approaching and Farm Bill Cuts Looming, More Children Look to Hosea Feed the Hungry For Meals
As schools around the state let out for summer vacation, families who rely on food stamps and free school lunch to feed their children may be facing difficulty in the coming months.
Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless (HFTH) aims to change that by providing meals to needy children in the Atlanta area over the summer.
The organization held a press conference on June 4 to increase awareness of the Farm Bill that is now being assessed by the US government. The Farm Bill is a comprehensive piece of legislation that regulates agricultural subsidies and funds nutrition assistance programs.
“If the Farm Bill cuts go through it would be horrific to the communities across the country of all races, and religions that depend on food stamps, especially seniors and students,” says Elisabeth Omilami, president and CEO of Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless. “Over two million people who are currently getting food stamps will be cut. It will increase food requests from non-profit organizations whom are already overburdened, and it will increase poor health among Americans who rely on food stamps.”
If passed in its current form in the House of Representatives, the bill would cut significant funds from Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), previously called food stamps, received by Americans and also change the way people qualify for assistance.
“The summer can be a scary time for some kids and their families,” says Omilami. “In many communities children are on free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. That means they receive at least one healthy meal a day. During the summer kids are often home all day without any food at all. This summer we will stand in the gap and make sure our children have access to healthy meals.”
According to the AJC, nearly 20 percent of Georgia’s population is on food stamps and 60 percent of Georgia public school students receive free or reduced lunches.
Hosea Feed the Hungry’s summer feeding program will offer non-perishable items including rice, tuna, grits, corn and green beans, and fresh produce is provided once a month. Food boxes can be picked up from 1035 Donnelly Ave in southwest Atlanta on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Families also have the option of having food delivered to them some Saturdays.
“I think it is a good benefit to the children,” says Earnestine Cusack, an HFTH food pantry volunteer. “The children who do come in are very accepting of the services that are offered and they walk away with a smile on their face. It’s an important part of the community.”
The organization will hold a summer feeding program where families can pick up food items to bring home. The foundation is focused on children this summer, which is why bagged lunches will be distributed to children in underprivileged communities.
While the organization has protested the proposed changes to the Farm Bill, Philip Hogan, director of Human Services at HFTH, says the organization’s mission will not be dictated by it.
“We are going to be serving about 300 children,” said Hogan. “We will be providing our food services throughout the summer regardless if the cuts go through or not.”
To find out how to donate visit 4hosea.org.
- Created on 14 June 2013
Gov. Nathan Deal today appointed state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) and state Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson (D-Tucker) to join Attorney General Sam Olens on a panel that will determine whether or not to suspend state Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta) from office.
The governor's executive order calls for the panel to issue a written report with its determination within 14 days. The panel's ruling is final.
Charges filed against Brooks by the U.S. Attorney's Office triggered a provision in the state constitution that requires a panel of the state attorney general and a gubernatorial appointment of one House and one Senate member to rule on an indicted legislator's fitness to serve in office.
Deal received the indictment against Brooks on May 31 from Georgia Attorney General Olens.
If the panel determines that Brooks should stay in office, he'll continue in his official duties for the remainder of his term in office. If it decides to suspend him, Brooks will continue to receive his legislative pay and benefits but will be unable to act in an official capacity.
A suspension would not call for a special election, and the seat would remain vacant until the next regularly scheduled election. Brooks would resume office if the case against him was adjudicated in his favor.
Brooks was in court on May 22 in his first court appearance where he pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole contributions from two charities he oversaw.
Brooks told the Daily World in May about the pain these accusations have brought him.
"In 1966 in Newton County during a civil rights protest, Sheriff Junior Odom cocked a shotgun and pointed it at my head," said Brooks. "He wanted me to leave town and said so in foul language. I told him that if he didn't pull that trigger I'd be back again tomorrow."
Read the executive order here.
- Created on 14 June 2013
What in the world is going on with fast food establishments these days? The kind of folks being hired at these restaurants are certainly making riveting subject matter for viral videos. Just a few weeks ago, news broke out about the Taco Bell employee who was caught licking a stack of shells. The latest fast-food grossfest d...
- Created on 14 June 2013
Nearly two dozen potential jurors interviewed individually by prosecutors and George Zimmerman‘s defense attorneys during the past week have been told to return to a Florida courthouse next week for further questioning.
Judge Debra Nelson told the 23 jury candidates on Friday, the...
- Created on 14 June 2013
The tornado which devastated an Oklahoma town last month has once again sparked debate about emergency preparedness, particularly in the African American community where disaster readiness hasn't always been a priority.
"We've seen the effects of September 11, Hurricane Katrina, and other disasters. We've also seen the effects they have had, especially on black people," said Cindy Vaughn, a Prince George's County resident.
"However, we (African Americans) tend not to pay too much attention to these things and that's one of the main reasons why we're not always prepared when natural disasters and other tragedies strike," she said.
The attitude toward preparedness among America's black population remains nonchalant despite frequent disaster occurrences and rising death tolls, according to several studies.
Officials at the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University in New York recently completed a study, "Planning for Responding to and Recovering from Disasters," which revealed that African Americans are likely to view themselves as being more at-risk from man-made disasters such as terrorist attacks, industrial and power plant accidents, or nuclear bombs.
Fifty-four percent of blacks in the survey said it was likely they would experience a major disaster within the next five years, compared to 47 percent of other U.S. citizens.
Forty percent of African Americans said they would characterize the threat level of a disaster happening in the U.S. as either high or severe.
However, just 24 percent of African Americans surveyed said they are prepared for a disaster but they had a "great intention to prepare," and indicated that they would be open to better preparation if offered a tax credit or financial incentive.
"Imagine that," said Dana Stevenson, a psychologist in Northeast Washington, D.C. "We will prepare for a disaster only if the government or another entity pays us to do so. That makes very little sense that someone would take the position that they'll take steps to preserve their own well-being or their own life if someone else pays the freight," Stevenson said.
Blacks tend to be disproportionately affected by all kinds of disasters, according to officials at the National Resource Center for Public Health Readiness & Communications at the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia.
"Every second counts in an emergency," said William Begal, president of Begal Enterprises, a Rockville, Md.-based disaster restoration company. "But, we assist before a disaster occurs by either creating a disaster plan, or filling in the pieces of what may already be in place and implementing it," Begal said.
Still, some argue that poverty and systemic discrimination, which has occurred over the course of American history, has caused many African Americans to regard messages from the government and other authorities with suspicion, doubt and even fear.
"There is no question we have gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to the government doing what is right," Stevenson said.
Such historic disasters like the Mississippi River Flood in 1927, the Vanport Flood in 1948, and more recently Hurricane Katrina, demonstrate how African Americans suffered, in part, due to the actions or inactions of the government.