food insecurity

Forgotten or marginalized: NC's rural communities in jeopardy

Cutting away the lifeline:

The governor is asking the legislature to gut the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center, which oversees efforts to help rural development. He is proposing to cut its annual budget from $18 million to $6.6 million. The center funds hundreds of grants – money for water and sewer or to fix up buildings – for businesses in rural areas.

I recently took part in a panel discussion, where a conservative economist was asked what should be done if North Carolina’s rural economy continued to collapse. Well, he replied, they could always move to the cities.

Rob doesn't reveal the name of said economist, but I'll wager it's this guy, who has done more than his fair share of damage to the way our current leadership understands NC's economic situation. In order to understand why Art Pope would want to cut the Rural Center so deeply, how they operate is the key:

For karma bonus points, start with #GivingTuesday

I'm sure most reading this don't need a reminder, but here it is anyway:

Unfortunately, there has been a recent trend to spend time throwing blame at the needy. Sure, there are some folks who will game the system. Always has been and always will be. But the vast majority of people seeking help are truly needy, many the vulnerable elderly and families with children. Going to Mother Hubbard's Cupboard to get peanut butter and government-surplus chicken is not exactly living high off the dole. Neither is having your family sleeping in a church basement for a week. The need is very real.

You probably noticed the hashtag in the title. It's a Twitter thing, so if you have a fave charity (like your local food bank, hint hint), Tweet about it and include said hashtag. There's some pretty heavy hitters taking part:

Hunger games in North Carolina

Unfortunately, this plot won't be a box-office hit:

Cameron is as sweet, smart and intuitive a kid as any parent could dream of, but he can’t have a glass of milk and a bowl of cereal with milk in it. He has to have one or the other, because his family doesn’t have the money to allow him that much milk in one sitting.

I do hope the soon-to-be-released movie does well, because our film industry needs the boost. But one danger of being immersed in fiction is the tendency to ignore the real tragedy that unfolds around us every day:

INSTITUTE INDEX: The truth behind Gingrich's false food-stamp claims

Cross-Posted From the Institute for Southern Studies Facing South Blog

With Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich erroneously claiming that "more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history," we take a by-the-numbers look at the food assistance program.

Hunger in the NC mountains

Food insecurity spreads in WNC:

Overall, one in six residents of WNC faces food insecurity, according to the Map the Meal Gap 2011 study. In some WNC counties, the rate is as high as one in four.

The report was commissioned by Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

Operations like MANNA FoodBank rely heavily on individual donations, and when need skyrockets during a recession, those donations simply can't keep pace:

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