Is the Food Really Trash?

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Is the Food Really Trash?

Grocery stores all over the world are throwing away food that so many desperate people and families would love to enjoy, but they never get the chance to eat. Granted some of the food is spoiled or not any good for consumption anymore. However, a very good majority is just past the expiration date, when actually the food would still be okay for probably another week or two depending on the particular food.

Specifically here in Pittsburg, people are going hungry every night, and many of them are malnourished. In the article,America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Fork to Landfill , they state that “…Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year…” I work in a bank and I cannot fathom that ridiculously high dollar amount that could be saved if taken care of properly.

I don’t have hands on experience with the tossing of food locally here in Pittsburg, KS, but like I said earlier,  I work at a Commerce bank that is inside Ron’s Supermarket and I see people filling the shelves so often which leads me to believe that it’s very possible that they just move newer, more appealing items out onto the noticeable shelves. I would love to see Ron Rhodes, owner of Ron’s Supermarket, donate food that is still good, but food he’s not willing to sell in his store anymore to a local food drive or food bank like the Wesley House.

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Works Cited

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/want-to-save-at-the-supermarket-compost-2013-06-18

http://www.foodpantries.org/ci/ks-pittsburg

http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/overconsumption-consumer-green/

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Educational Leadership for Poverty

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In the United States there are currently 47.2 million people living in poverty. There are many reasons why unfortunate people are in poverty. Education plays a huge role in for the quality of life an individual may achieve in this country. It is thought that when undergoing college and obtaining a degree, a person can live a high quality life without any financial burden. Although this is not always true, some studies have shown the relations between having an education and those without a high school degree. The struggle that people in poverty face is the financial affairs to continue their education and still provide for themselves. 

A study done by the National Center for Education and Statistics overviews the poverty stricken groups of three racial ethnicities with three levels of education. Whites with less than a high-school degree show 22.7% living in poverty. The ones with at least some college education drop to 13.3%. The other two ethnicities, black and hispanic, show the same trend but show a higher rate of stricken. The study shows a significant number of those living the unfortunate life style. Adversely, most of those can not afford to further to education so they can compete in the job market. 

Here in Pittsburg, Kansas, there are currently 48.1% of citizens in poverty. Residents with income below 50% of the poverty level is reported to be 14.1% in 2009. This rate is more than double the level compared to the entire state of Kansas. Most of whom are families with children. Very few parts of our town are not stricken, but the majority live the unrelenting lifestyle. Citizens of Pittsburg have a great opportunity to attend the local college to get the degrees they need. The problem is the affordability to pay rent, utilities, and buy food, comes down to the wire after each paycheck. 

  

To help solve this problem in my community, I propose the business students of Pitt State offer free education to driven Pittsburg citizens. Those who are offered help, are given instruction on setting budgets and financial management. This will give those people a head-start to hopefully become financially stable to start their college education. The School of Business could offer a grant or a semester of tuition for both the tutors and the students. 

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How Environmental Factors Affect People In Poverty

How Environmental Factors Affect People In poverty
March 29 2014
Nick Wright

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There are so many ways people in poverty are affected. They are often dealt harsh conditions and tough living situations. Not everyone in poverty suffers for the same reason or from the same source. One of the common similarities of those in poverty is where they are located. The environment plays a huge role in how people deal with life and what supply is left for them. Mother nature can be beautiful, however she can also be devastating from a poverty standpoint.

The factors that go into consideration of affecting people in poverty are weather, location, supply, natural resources, and natural disasters. Having an adequate supply of clean water is often a problem, especially when disasters like hurricanes or tornados strike an area. These weather disasters can totally change and impact people greatly in a negative way. This is obviously a massive issue and needs to be carefully examined on how or what things can be changed in order to help those in need. People are at risk, so we need to generate ideas and solutions to help.

Let’s say a disaster has struck an area and there is no longer a clean or healthy source of food or water. This is of great concern and action should immediately be taken. Something that can be done is volunteer involvement. By that, we need to gather up donations or people who are willing to help and supply the people affected with purified water and good sources of food. No matter the location, with the right amount of donations a huge supply of water can be air dropped for all those in need to use and re nourish with.

An example of a situation would be a location on the gulf coast. A group of adults and young kids going to a small school is in the area. A hurricane strikes and damages living situations and locations, leaving families and children in danger and at great risk. As news of this terrible disaster strikes a fundraiser and donation organization is formed. Maybe though Harvesters or MLM. As this organization collects generous donations of water and food, they save it all up and send it to this location on the coast to supply all the families and children with the water and food they need. These families are now supplied with the essentials that were damaged by the environmental factor of a hurricane.

Sources:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/425/poverty-and-the-environment
http://www.teamstoendpoverty.org/wq_pages/en/visages/environnement_detail.php
http://www.iisd.org/economics/poverty/

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Women in Poverty

The problem that I will be addressing is the lack of affordability and availability of birth control to our younger generation within our community. This is an extremely important issue that is plaguing our country right now. Without the access to the medication our younger generation now has the highest percentage of teen pregnancy of any other generation. This is causing young women to put their lives on hold due to the fact that they have to choose to provide for there child of neglect them and go to high school or college which is most often not the case for these young women. Not only does the mother suffer from not being able to afford the birth control but the child that is bornbecause of it will most likely have a less than easy route through life because of it and can often lead to a trend and that child will be more likely to become a teen mom than a child that was not born to a teen mom.
My proposed activism would be for doctors to volunteer their time to see these young impoverished girls of any community to talk to them about the risks and possible issues or hardships for teen moms in our society today, as well as get donors from across the country to help provide birth control or other training to help young women make better decisions about their sex life. I know that without insurance birth control is exponentially more expensive than condoms. Condoms would also be a cheaper alternative and would allow donors money to go further in the program to help more people.
My goal is the decrease teen pregnancy among the nations most impoverished regions in the united states with the help of donors and doctors throughout the country. The way to accomplish this great feat is to get the cooperation of local doctors within communities across the country and find generous donors to provide with counseling of the young women or to help with the financial burden of providing birth control or condoms the the women below the poverty line. This will be no easy task because in the time our nation is in right now money is tight no matter who you are or what job you have but it is possible through community outreach and some generous donors.

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Homeless Shelter

ImageOne of the most common misconceptions about homeless shelters is that anyone can show up at a shelter and be housed, however this is not true due to several reasons. Upon arrival there is a process that you must undergo that even sometimes does not guarantee your stay. There are long waiting lists and many places have no standards on health and safety concerns. Homeless shelters must fill quotas which allow there funding they may have to many people in them or strict stay times so that the flow of people keeps at a steady pace, in and out. They also have to have certain numbers that are required by funding programs and overcrowding can cause safety issues. Each night more than 66,000 people including 22,000 children experience homelessness; currently 53,615 homeless men, women and children bed down each night in the NYC municipal shelter system just as an example. Additionally more than 5,000 homeless adults and children sleep each night in other public and private shelters. People like Rosanne Haggerty who is the president and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions are finding ways to win the fight against homelessness. She believes that the answer to ending homelessness is not temporary shelter as a starting point but housing, or in other words a stable home linked to jobs. Haggerty’s team not only creates homes but also focuses on strengthening the communities around them. Its mission is to help communities solve the complex housing and health problems of vulnerable (homeless) people. I plan to help in the near future by volunteering my services at a local Pittsburg shelter on April 5th. This shelter plans on closing soon due to new implicated laws and a low amount of funds needed to run the place day to day. A lot of homeless shelters are vital to those with out homes and are a key component to some people’s survival.

http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/pages/basic-facts

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/city.cgi?city=Pittsburg&state=KS

http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/cgi-bin/id/shelter.cgi?shelter=9666

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Assistance Program Education

The recession that has hit America in the recent years had ill effects on almost everyone in the country. Many individuals in the southeast Kansas area were hit especially hard due to the amount of businesses that either closed their doors or had to downsize and lay off numerous employees. Many of these people may have had the option of using the unemployment system, but if they had no savings, this was only a fraction of what they were making before. There are multiple other options out there that can assist individuals that are in low-income situations, but they are unaware of what these options are. If a person has never lived in a low-income situation, the fact that there are programs that offer food assistance, cash assistance, and child care assistance. That is just three of the numerous programs that are offered by the Kansas Department for Children and Families. The problem is not only that people are unaware of these programs, but that when they are suddenly thrown into a much lower income situation due to layoffs no one explains that there is help out there if it is needed.

There is a certain stigma placed on individuals receiving unemployment compensation, or food/cash assistance, and some people feel that they will be looked down upon if they apply or receive any of these types of assistance. They fear that they will be labeled as “lazy” or “free-loaders”, so even if they are aware of the programs they still may not try to get the much needed assistance that is there for them.

My proposed activism is creating a program where a group of students or individuals are educated in the assistance programs and could be contacted by companies that were going to be closing or laying-off workers, and having one on one meetings or group presentations to the individuals that were being affected. There are numerous different types of assistance programs available for single individuals, as well as families and single parents. Some programs are only offered to families with children.

The students involved in the educational program could be comprised of people going into the field of social work as well as individuals that had gone through a similar situation and could have benefited in some way from the assistance programs offered by the state, county, or city. They could choose the area of programs they would like to learn about, such as focusing on families with children or on the nutritional programs available.

My goal with this educational program is not only to educate individuals about the free assistance programs available, but also to show them that there is a light at the end of a dark, scary tunnel. Suddenly being laid-off can cause more than just monetary stress, but also emotional stress. If a person is aware that there are programs that can help them pay utilities, child care, and purchase food, the emotional burden is lessened because they will not be as worried about going hungry or not having heat in their home. They would also be aware of programs such as Head Start, which would allow them to have a safe and educational place for their young children to be while they were searching for new employment.

Sources
http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.benefits.gov/benefits/browse-by-state/state/KS
http://www.sek-cap.com/

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Ghetto Doesn’t Mean Gang

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Imagine a world where you never worry about paying for something, always having food, and can go anywhere you want whenever you want. Now imagine a world where there is no such thing as money. No such thing as income, loans, or credit. Now imagine the exact same world except you’re the only one in that world. The only one in that world and being inside a world that demands you have those things. Imagine a world where you must pay for everything but you don’t get to make any money. A life where you work all day long; never getting to see your son except on the weekends when he must go to work with you. Imagine only eating a bowl of noodles, a thing of spam, or a can of soup for lunch every other day. Now imagine you are 15 years old, put on yesterdays’ clothes. You get on a school bus at 6:30 in the morning, you don’t eat lunch today because it’s Friday and your $10 for that week is out. When you come home to an empty house you cook a ramen noodle soup and eat half so you have some for tomorrow then go to bed. Tomorrow you get up early in the morning and go to work with your father, whom you only see on the weekends during work, hanging siding on a construction crew.

Imagine if you had nothing, and nobody else around you has anything except one group. They have cool cars, lots of money, and fancy jewelry. They have new shoes, they even have more than 1 pair, and they have clean clothes. These people always seem to have someone else around, they do whatever they want, and they have everything you want but don’t have. There are three extremely strong allures to gang life; Money, Power, and Family.

One of the most common gang related (illegal) activities is related to the buying and selling of drugs. Many gangs have advanced beyond their traditional role as local retail drug distributors in large cities to become more organized, adaptable, and influential in large-scale drug trafficking. NDIC survey data indicates that 69 percent of US law enforcement agencies report gang involvement in drug distribution. Drug Trafficking brings in over $400 Million dollars in the US alone. Now just imagine having no money and plenty of bills to pay. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a slice of that pie?

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There are approximately 1.4 million active street, prison, and OMG gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United States. Gang members are migrating from urban areas to suburban and rural communities to recruit new members, expand their drug distribution territories, form new alliances, and collaborate with rival gangs and criminal organizations for profit and influence. Local neighborhood, hybrid and female gang membership is on the rise in many communities. Law enforcement in several jurisdictions also attribute the increase in gang membership in their region to the gangster rap culture, the facilitation of communication and recruitment through the Internet and social media, the proliferation of generational gang members, and a shortage of resources to combat gangs. Now instead of coming home to an empty house you go across the street and hang out with your set. You have a sense of belonging and a newfound “family” feeling. One of the strongest ties for a gang member is the desire to fit in and belong to something, be it good or bad. Being a part of this new community causes you to feel more powerful as well. Suddenly you are making money, having fun, and all with the support of an entire brotherhood behind you. You are respected, and feared, by a lot more people now and have pride in something.

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Being in a gang offers a lot of things including several good things, although unfortunately they come with the bad too. There is no way to completely eradicate gangs, or the negative side effects of them, but perhaps we can alter the negative connotations associated with the bystanders. We have all heard someone say that gang members are all poor people, or that poor people become gang members, or talk about how gangs are only present in “ghettos” and low class areas. You hear someone say that poor people are lazy, stupid, or don’t try hard enough. I have no problem with any of this except the fact it isn’t always true. I would even go so far as to argue the exact opposite in many cases. I would like to see awareness of the facts to rise. Gang members represent less than .5% of the population while poverty represents 15% of the US population. That means that around 3% of poverty stricken people would be in a gang, if it was only people in poverty that comprised gang members. Gangs are not limited to socio-economics; there are several middle and upper class members because the allure of gangs applies to everyone, not just the poor.

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I propose that we start bringing the truth to light. Since there is no way to stop the source of the stereotypes, change everyone’s view on it. Show them that poverish areas do not always mean gang membership. Speak out against the ignorant discrimination and share the success stories. Have people testify to the good character of the unsung hero, spread the word that given the chance someone from a poverty stricken area can do just as much as someone from a wealthy neighborhood. Put together a campaign against the corrupt thinking of those that have never experienced hardship

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment

http://www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs38/38661/app-a.htm

http://www.census.gov/how/infographics/poverty_measure-how.html

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