The title of this blog is a testimony to the noble instincts that engender the highest aspirations of America's social services community. The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987 initially authorized the Health Care for the Homeless Program. (No one we polled in the past two weeks had any idea that healthcare was available to our homeless population.) In 1996, Congress combined the HCH Program with Community Health Centers, Migrant Health Centers, and Primary Care in Public Housing under the Consolidated Health Center Program. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provided additional resources to expand services and delivery sites.
It's not difficult to find reports on the state of the world's food supply. According to the United Nations, the world's food production will need to increase by 60% by 2050 to feed a projected population of 9.6 billion people. This is a daunting task, made even more difficult by the threat of climate change, which is expected to reduce crop yields by up to 25% in some areas.
Food banks are an important part of the social safety net in the United States. They provide food to those who cannot afford it. Food banks get their supplies from two sources: donations and government surplus. This article will go over how food banks operate.
Covid-19 is still a hot topic in both the national and international media. The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has caused widespread panic and has had a significant impact on the global economy. The number of confirmed cases fluctuates as one variant runs its course until another new variant appears. Countries are taking drastic measures to try to control the virus's spread and subsequent variants. Millions of people have died as a result of the virus, and many more have been infected. The pandemic has forced businesses to close, disrupted global supply chains, and caused global stock markets to plummet. Economists are concerned that the economic upheaval will continue indefinitely.
A case worker who has worked her entire career feeding the hungry in America recently told us:
"When I was a girl and hesitated to eat my spinach, my eagled-eyed mother would notice and say, ' What about all the starving children in China? Think of them and be grateful you have enough to eat. Finish your spinach.' Like so many other middle-class Americans, I believed hungry children lived in China, India, or Africa, not in America. I believed that until I went into social work at the largest food bank in Pennsylvania. That opened my eyes.
Only social workers who deal with childhood hunger every day realize how devastating the COVID-19 pandemic has been for millions of everyday school children who attend school with your children and mine. For many of your children’s classmates, not attending in-person school has meant missing 5 essential meals a week and, in many cases, the bulk of their nutrition.
Arrested in January 2018 for illegally harboring and transporting undocumented immigrants, Dr. Scott Warren, a volunteer with No More Deaths (also known as No Más Muertes), stood trial on three felony counts in early June. He faced 20 years in prison for his efforts to provide food, water and other essential items to migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert near Ajo, Arizona, an area of the border that is considered particularly dangerous. About 250 migrants die there each year. On June 11, 2019, a Tucson jury, with an 8 to 4 vote, failed to convict Dr. Warren.
Despite low unemployment rates and a fairly strong economy, the number of homeless and food insecure continue to rise. According to the recently released State of the Homeless 2019 report, as of January, in New York City alone, an all-time record number (63,839) of men, women and children slept in shelters each night. And, according to Feeding America, 40-million people struggle with hunger in the U.S., including more than 12-million children.
If you run a shelter or food bank, chances are you have more to do and more to process every day. That’s where having the right social services software can help you focus more on providing food and shelter and less on paperwork and processes.
Let’s begin 2019 with some good news…
This Christmas Brian Breach got into the spirit of giving, but with a twist; he decided to give to givers. He dressed down as if he were homeless, printed a sign that asked for donations to feed his family at Christmas, and stood in front of a mall with a tin cup. When anyone approached and dropped coins into his cup, he would give them a crisp new $100 bill. “I wanted to recognize the good giving people who would willingly share the little they have to help a stranger in need.”
In the beautiful red rock canyon setting of Sedona, Arizona, Caroline Diehl works tirelessly in a cold shed every morning before sunrise filling backpacks with food staples to distribute to hungry local school children.