Month: January 2016

A Family Finds Relief

A Family Finds Relief At age 34, Angela is rediscovering her sense of pride. With just one semester of college left to complete, she’ll be the first in her family to achieve a postsecondary degree. Like most of her peers, Angela landed her first job on a factory line straight out of high school. She took pride in “making things that people and businesses need,” moving on from long stretches at one plant after another, as each shutdown or moved overseas. After three years at United Chemi-Con, Angela was among nearly 150 workers let go from the Lansing plant. The company filed for and was granted coverage under the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Act. For the company’s displaced workers, TAA would pay for tuition and textbooks and, in some cases, provide a small stipend for transportation. It was a chance to start over but, for Angela and others, it would mean facing some significant challenges first. “I was math illiterate,” said Angela. “I literally could not divide and failed the math placement test to enter the Business Administration program.” “It’s not uncommon,” explained Kendra Perkins, an instructor and advisor at Wilkes Community College (WCC) Ashe Campus. “Many of the students coming to us through TAA have not gone beyond high school. They worked for years at the same plant and made a good living – enough to be able...

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Stand for Hope Against Hunger

Here are two things we can all agree on: We live in a nation of great abundance. There is no shortage of food in America. Millions of pounds of perfectly edible, nutritious food go to waste every day, even as food insecurity plagues our communities. It’s what drove the founding of food banking. We came together in our communities and created ways to safely “rescue” good food and move it to communities and families that need it. Today, our food bank serves as a critical resource for a network of local food assistance organizations across 18-counties, where 1 of...

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Fresh Resolve

A new report, Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States of America,released by the National Commission on Hunger reaffirms that ending hunger in our nation will require both a strong federal and strong charitable response, as well as commitment and action from elected leaders and individual citizens. We appreciate the Commission’s emphatic statement that ending hunger requires addressing root causes such as limited economic growth, lack of opportunities, unemployment and under employment, low wages and education issues. We applaud the Commission, whose members represented a wide variety of views and perspectives, for making actionable recommendations that will help strengthen federal nutrition assistance programs and public-private partnerships to ensure that people in our community and our nation have access to the nutrition assistance they need while they get back on their feet. Later this month, we and others collaborating on a new, local, cross-sector partnership will gather to build out a plan of action for working more holistically with and for area families to supportstability and opportunity in health, housing, food security and employment. Then, in early February, Second Harvest Food Bank staff members will join with other hunger-relief advocates in Washington, DC, to meet with Members of Congress and urge them to invest in improved health, education, economic and child development outcomes for our nation’s citizens. We’re just getting started, so stay tuned for updates on these...

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