There are 14 item(s) tagged with the keyword "Supporting local communities".
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This year marked our third year of volunteering staff time at the Arlington Food Assistance Center. In the past, we have bagged rice and oatmeal for local families. This year's task: sorting donated food into crates. While organizing the food items into over 91 crates, we learned a few things about the process. First, they get A LOT of peanut butter and pasta, but oddly enough, not a lot of jelly and pasta sauce to accompany. And second, many items are opened or expired, and therefore, cannot be used.
Like the rest of America, I was sad to hear the news of Betty White’s passing on New Year’s Eve, a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday, which would have been today. She has always held a special place in my heart – not only because she shares a Jan. 17 birthday with my grandma (who is turning 96 today!!), but because she always put a smile on people’s faces and used her talents for service of others, including some four-legged creatures.
Thanksgiving is much more than turkey, football games and naps on the couch (anyone else?) – it’s right in the name, giving thanks. As you sit around the dinner table, take a hard look at your plate. For your Thanksgiving turkey to make it to the table, farmers grew the corn and soybeans used in turkey feed, equipment manufacturers produced the machines used to process the ingredients, feed manufacturers mixed and made safe and nutritious feed, farmers raised and cared for the birds, and then meat processors prepped and readied them for the grocery store.
What can you make with a pound of beans? Being from the South, my first thought strays to a big pot of red beans and rice, complete with Cajun Andouille sausage and all the fixin’s. My mouth is watering thinking about how delicious my kitchen smells when I make them, but for some, a pound of beans is hard to come by.
Last fall, we had the opportunity to hear from some of our members about how they adjusted their corporate policies to not only protect the health and safety of their teams throughout the coronavirus pandemic, but also to care for the well-being of their employees. Many industry leaders recognized the exhaustion their employees were experiencing was real, especially as they struggled to deal with many unprecedented challenges simultaneously – from, at times, working overtime to cover for a reduction in staff, to learning how to work remotely, to juggling childcare.
Across the U.S. animal food industry, our members have gone above and beyond throughout the coronavirus pandemic to help their local communities in need – from providing food (and pet food!) donations to manufacturing hand sanitizer and other personal protective equipment at their facilities to everything in between. We recently had the opportunity to speak with one of our members – Balchem – on a “kool” project it is working on to support local communities.
Over the past few months, I have been reflecting on the growing number of people who are in need of food assistance due to furloughs and layoffs from the coronavirus pandemic. Feeding America estimates that more than 50 million people, including 17 million children, could be food insecure this year due to the downtrodden economy. As a working-from-home mom, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen making sure my children eat balanced, nutritious meals, and cannot imagine the difficult choices facing some parents to keep their families fed during these trying times.
As a farmer-owned cooperative, Land O’Lakes sees firsthand the enormous strain the coronavirus pandemic has caused for communities across rural America, and for the agriculture industry that was already reeling from trade dynamics and poor growing conditions in 2019. Like everyone else, farmers and their rural neighbors have also grappled with the dramatic shift of carrying out everyday activities via online platforms due to COVID-19. Land O’Lakes sees first-hand how the digital divide (those that have high-speed internet access, commonly known as broadband, and those that don't) has only been further exacerbated by the pandemic, making it nearly impossible for rural residents to keep up with schoolwork, business and even doctors’ appointments.
Since writing the first post on April 17 highlighting all the ways our members are giving back to their local communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis, I continued to see many more reports of our members going above and beyond. I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all the great things these companies have done to help people during this time.
Tim Belstra of Belstra Milling, the American Feed Industry Association’s 2019-20 Board chair, delivered a short video message today to members detailing how the animal food industry is supporting local communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
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