GardenShare

GardenShare

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer bounty: cucumbers

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. It is a creeping vine that bears cylindrical fruits that are used as culinary vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicingpickling, and burpless. Within these varieties, several different cultivars have emerged. The cucumber is originally from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. Many different varieties are traded on the global market. 

Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices red bell pepper
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices green bell pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
English cucumber, sliced

Preparation

1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.
2. Add bell peppers and remaining ingredients to wine mixture; toss gently to coat.
Source:  myrecipes.com

SCHOOL MEALS IMPROVE FOOD SECURITY, DIET, WEIGHT


Mounting evidence shows that healthy school meals play a key role in supporting children’s well-being, including alleviating food insecurity; improving dietary intake; and mitigating obesity.  Several recent studies published in prestigious journals and reports that find:
  • Free or reduced-price school lunches reduce food insecurity by at least 3.8 percent;
  • Access to school breakfast decreases the risk of food insecurity and breakfast-skipping, especially among low-income children;
  • New nutrition standards, which took effect in the 2012-2013 school year, improve nutritional outcomes among students, including improvements in fruit and vegetable selection and consumption;
  • Low-income students who eat both school breakfast and lunch have significantly better overall diet quality than their peers who do not eat school meals; and
  • Participation in federally funded nutrition programs  provided in child care, preschool, school, or summer settings is associated with a significantly lower body mass index among young, low-income children.

Source: Food Research & Action Council, 8/23/16, School Meal Benefits

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Food System Managers as part of local government


A growing number of cities are creating an office within local government dedicated to food, much like they have departments for transportation and education. Until recently, the many disparate elements of the food system—from production to land prices, to local distribution challenges, to zoning hurdles for retailers—have often been viewed in isolation. But the growth of these offices in places like Baltimore, Denver, and Minneapolis, may be a sign that cities are beginning to see food in a new, holistic light. The specifics of the food policy positions vary from city to city--most are focused on sustainability or health, while others are using food as a tool for economic development. The underlying force, though, is the same: Cities are recognizing the chronic health and economic challenges that persist in communities with little access to healthy food, and the fact that local government can play a role in improving the food environment—through policy that impacts everything from land use to transit.

Source: Civil Eats, 8/22/16, Food Systems Managers

Monday, August 29, 2016

NEW YORK CONSIDERING TAX CREDIT FOR FOOD DONATIONS


Last year New York farmers give 12 million of pounds of apples, squash, corn, and other agricultural products to the state's food banks. Now, legislation awaiting action by Governor Cuomo would offer farmers a tax break of up to $5,000 a year for donations to the regional food banks that serve hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters around the state. The federal government already offers a tax credit to farmers who donate goods to food banks. Several states have created their own tax credits, including California, Oregon and Colorado.

Source: Fox Business News, 8/20/16, Tax Credits

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Two weeks and counting! Have you signed up for the 5K yet?


Second Annual Fight Hunger 5K

September 11, 2016

Race - Fun Run - Walkathon

At the Remington Recreation Trail in Canton

Registration in the Maplewood - Partridge Knoll picnic pavilion starting at 12:30 PM

Walkers leave at 1:00, Runners leave at 1:30

Run, walk, pull the kids in a wagon or push a stroller - whatever works for you!

Join us to raise awareness of the issue of hunger and funds for GardenShare.

How to get started:
  • Either fly solo or gather a team from work, school, or your place of worship!
  • Download the registration form and start asking friends, family, classmates, and co-workers to make a donation to sponsor you.
  • Alternatively, you can go here and create an online fundraising page and e-mail a link to friends, family, and others to ask for secure donations to be made directly to GardenShare.
  • Bring your signed registration form and any cash or checks you have collected to the registration booth on September 11.
  • Best parking will be behind Maplewood, follow the signs to the parking area, and the footpath to the pavilion.
  • Dress for the weather!
If you are unable to join us, you can still make a donation to support those who are walking or running here.

Last year's crowd at the Fight Hunger 5K
Can we make this year even bigger?


Thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting sponsors:






Friend sponsors:

Curran Renewable Energy
Hyde-Stone Mechanical Contractors
North Country Savings Bank
Save-a-Lot
St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union
Tupper Lake Supply

Friday, August 26, 2016

MORE DATA NEEDED ON MILITARY FAMILIES’ FOOD NEEDS




Military service members used more than $21 million in SNAP benefits in commissaries between September 2014 and August 2015, and Congress funded, until 2015, additional food assistance for military families. In addition, about 24% of students attending schools on Department of Defense (DOD) military bases were eligible for free school meals, and another 21% were eligible for reduced-price meals. Now, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling for more data on food needs for military families. “Without more complete survey data,” GAO wrote, “DOD will not understand the prevalence of need among service members to effectively target its support and determine if it should assign department-level responsibility for monitoring food assistance needs.”

Source: San Diego Union Tribune, 8/2/16, Military Family Food

Thursday, August 25, 2016

USDA announces cheese purchase to support dairy farmers and food assistance programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

"We understand that the nation's dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a cheese surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to tackle food insecurity and provide for added stability in the marketplace."

USDA received requests from Congress, the National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau and the National Milk Producers Federation to make an immediate dairy purchase. Section 32 of the Agriculture Act of 1935 authorizes USDA to utilize fiscal year 2016 funds to purchase surplus food to benefit food banks and families in need through its nutrition assistance programs.

We love our interns!

One of GardenShare's interns from last year stopped by for a visit this morning.  She brought some wonderful blueberry bread to share with us, but also this lovely hand-drawn card she had made for us!

Anna graduated from St. Lawrence University in May and has accepted a position with FoodCorps in Waterbury, CT.

We are so excited for her!

Are you a student or do you know a student who is interested in food system issues?  With the semester starting, we are definitely looking for new interns to join our team.

Who knows, you might just find your passion, like Anna did!

Gloria

OLYMPIANS’ FOOD FEEDS THE HUNGRY



While not as publicized as the triumphs of the US women’s basketball team, two chefs and a journalist are scoring are scoring a victory by using Olympic food waste to feed Brazil’s hungry. With the Olympic village churning out 466,000 pounds of food a day, chef Massimo Bottura of Ostteria Francescana, the top restaurant in the world according to this year’s World’s 50 Best Awards, Brazilian chef David Hertz, and journalist Ale Forbes identified the opportunity to put surplus food to good use by launching RefettoRio Gastromotiva. The program won’t end when of the Rio Games end either. Bottura’s nonprofit, Food for Soul, will continue supporting RefettoRio Gastromotiva, as it transitions to a paid lunch service whose profits will go toward free dinners for the hungry. (Bottura is also launching a soup kitchen project in the Bronx Robert De Niro.)

Source: Tasting Table, 8/15/16, Olympic Waste-to-Table

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer bounty: tomatoes

The tomato is the edible, red fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as atomato plant, which belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae.
The species originated in Central and South America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word "tomate", where the English word tomato comes from.
Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year and in cooler areas. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and grown as an annual in temperate climates. An average common tomato weighs approximately 4 oz.
Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces,salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry-type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables, being ingredients of savory meals


Open-faced tomato sandwiches with creamy cucumber spread

Ingredients

(8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
cucumbers, seeds removed, diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving
Texas Toast slices or other thick white bread slices, toasted
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb. assorted fresh tomatoes (about 3 large), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Thinly sliced chives


Preparation

1. Stir together cream cheese, cucumbers, red onion, dill, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined.
2. Spread about 1/4 cup of the cucumber mixture onto each slice of the toasted bread. Top each with 2 to 3 tomato slices, and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with chives, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately
Source:  myrecipes.com

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gleaning - one way to prevent food waste

Gleaning is the name given to the idea of bringing in volunteers to harvest crops that a farmer is unable to and donating that food to soup kitchens and food pantries.

In my time at GardenShare, I've had a few conversations with people about how we should be gleaning from local farms.  And while I don't necessarily disagree, I also know from my work at a food bank for many years, that it's not quite as simple as it sounds.

These activities always tend to be last minute and there are lots of questions to answer.  Who will recruit the volunteers?  Who will supervise them to make sure they pick in the right fields and don't do any damage?  Where will boxes or other packaging come from?  Are the local programs even open to accept the donation and who will deliver it?

This week, I've had an example of just how hard this is.

A local grower estimated that he has 150 quarts of blueberries that he could donate, but he needs volunteers to pick them.  In this case, he had solved one of the logistical problems by making arrangements to freeze the blueberries in the new commercial kitchen at Cooperative Extension.  We thought if we could ask volunteers to bring a box of quart freezer bags with them, we could make this work.

Of course, time is of the essence.  Every day that goes by means a loss of quantity and quality of the berries.

I have reached out to several community groups and so far no takers.  I suspect, at this point, that a large amount of these berries will go to waste.  And I hate that.

Are there any volunteers out there who would like to work on developing a gleaning program?  If so, I'd love to talk to you.

Gloria

TAX ON GROCERIES HURTS THE POOR



Thirteen states and many localities tax the sale of groceries, even though the taxes disproportionately hurt the poor and may affect the quality, variety,and even the amount of food they can afford to put on the table. The reason: the taxes provide a steady source of revenue in volatile times, making it difficult for states to get rid of them without finding a way to make up the revenue. Alabama, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Dakota tax groceries at the same rate as all other purchases;  Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah tax food at a lower rate. And, because counties and localities sometimes collect food taxes even if their states don’t, people living in more than a third of the nation’s roughly 3,000 counties are taxed at some level on the food they buy at the store.The average tax rate is 4.3%, which translates to more than $200 for a family with an annual grocery bill of $5,000

Source: Stateline, 8/16/16, Grocery Taxes

Monday, August 22, 2016

U.S. SNAP NUMBERS DROP DRAMATICALLY



Nationally, SNAP participation averaged 43,478,196 people in May 2016, a decrease of  over 2 million or 4.6% since May 2015. This is the lowest SNAP national participation level since October 2010. In New York State the trend was basically flat with one-tenth of one percent more people enrolled in SNAP in May 2016 compared to May 2015.

Source: Food Research & Action Council, 8/11/16, SNAP Participation

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Three weeks from today!


Second Annual Fight Hunger 5K

September 11, 2016

Race - Fun Run - Walkathon

At the Remington Recreation Trail in Canton

Registration in the Maplewood - Partridge Knoll picnic pavilion starting at 12:30 PM

Walkers leave at 1:00, Runners leave at 1:30
 
Run, walk, pull the kids in a wagon or push a stroller - whatever works for you!  
Join us to raise awareness of the issue of hunger and funds for GardenShare.
 
How to get started:
  • Either fly solo or gather a team from work, school, or your place of worship!
  • Download the registration form and start asking friends, family, classmates, and co-workers to make a donation to sponsor you.
  • Alternatively, you can go here and create an online fundraising page and e-mail a link to friends, family, and others to ask for secure donations to be made directly to GardenShare.
  • Bring your signed registration form and any cash or checks you have collected to the registration booth on September 11.
  • Best parking will be behind Maplewood, follow the signs to the parking area, and the footpath to the pavilion.
  • Dress for the weather!
If you are unable to join us, you can still make a donation to support those who are walking or running here.

Last year's crowd at the Fight Hunger 5K
Can we make this year even bigger?


Thank you to our sponsors!

Presenting sponsors:






Friend sponsors:

Curran Renewable Energy
North Country Savings Bank
Save-a-Lot
St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union
Tupper Lake Supply

Friday, August 19, 2016

September is Hunger Action Month

A final message from our summer intern, Amanda...

Mid-July, I lined up behind Kent Family Growers tent at the Canton Farmers Market to pick up a CSA share, excited to assorted vegetables waiting to be prepared for next week’s meals.

Next to the sugar snap peas was a bin of pulses I did not recognize—a bean of some sort. I took a bite, but the starchy shell was rather chewy. The experience wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I didn’t spit the green out. Actually, I ate the entire pod. The sign read “Fava Beans,” but my tongue read, “Do not eat raw.” Weighing my allotted pound and a half, I assumed I simply lacked the knowledge to make this produce desirably edible uncooked.

This experience made me wonder: How many people have encountered a strange vegetable and not known how to cook its earthy flesh? Many people I talked to at the market had no clue what to do with a Fava bean. In fact, my parents had never even heard of the bland legume until I attempted grilling them a handful based on a Google search. I then speculate, how many people wouldn’t have even bothered with cooking advice?

As humans, our lives are pivotally centered on food because energy acquisition is literally a matter of either life or death. Consequently, we spend the majority of our lives growing, procuring, cooking and ingesting food. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims an average American spends 90 minutes a day eating. This statistic fails to include the process - like working a 40-hour week to pay the grocery bill.

This summer I’ve learned eating fresh produce is a privilege. I can afford to not only eat food from the Farmers Market, but also to take the time to prepare a meal. The time and money food consumes in our daily life is  one reason processed (and often cheaper) food is so popular. Cooking means I at least have fresh produce possibilities and different culinary choices for my meal tonight. This same opportunity is what GardenShare wishes to give everyone across St. Lawrence County.

September is Hunger Action Month, a national call for people to take initiative to fight hunger in their community. At GardenShare, we believe everyone has a right to healthy and affordable food as we promote the local food system.

Join us in our various activities that help directly impact friends, families and neighbors who are food insecure.

-Amanda Mae Korb
GardenShare summer intern


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Summer bounty: carrots


When you think of carrots, orange is the first color that comes to mind. But did you know there are red, yellow, white, purple, and even black carrots? Orange are the most common, but all carrots are good vegetables to eat. Carrots contain vitamin A, which is good for keeping eyes healthy, they are also the perfect healthy snack!
  • Best buy - for the freshest carrots, choose ones that are firm and do not bend; bending might be a sign they are older and not as fresh.
  • Store - take off the greens and put carrots in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
  • To prepare, scrub skins and rinse well with water before eating. You may peel them if you like, but can also leave skins on.
  • Try this month’s recipe of Carrot Tomato Sauce and serve over pasta!
  • Shred carrots and add to scrambled eggs or omelets
  • Chop them up and add to any salad
  • Dip raw carrots in vegetable dip, hummus, salsa or guacamole
http://i8.cmail20.com/ti/r/92/5A1/604/235844/images/hr.gif
Carrot Tomato Sauce
Makes 6 servings
Ingredients
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 cups shredded carrots
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
½ teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Add carrots and cook until soft.
3. Add chopped garlic, canned tomatoes, dried basil, tomato paste, oregano, and salt and pepper.
4. Cook on high heat until sauce boils.
5. Turn heat down to medium and cook sauce for 20-25 minutes.
6. Serve over white beans or pasta and enjoy!
7. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Nutritional Information
Nutrition Information per serving: 60 calories, 1.5g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 140mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate, 2g dietary fiber, 2g protein, 110% vitamin A


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Encouraging schools to purchase from local farms

New York State recently announced that it has been chosen to participate in a USDA Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables.  The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with USDA funding, and develop new relationships with farmersgrowersproduce wholesalers, and distributors.  The USDA pilot program encourages the use of locally-grown foods in National School Lunch Programs by allowing locally-grown foods to be purchased with the USDA funds annually allocated to schools.

Ø  This is a great opportunity for vendors such as farmers, growers, aggregators, food hubsand the like to grow and expand their local customer base.

Ø  Vendors of all sizes - both large and small - have the opportunity to tap into an existing and expanding market.

Ø  Over 800 New York State School Districts currently in the National School Lunch Program have USDA funding to procure commodities through this pilot program.

Ø  Fresh fruits and vegetables, minimally processed items such as apple slices, as well as IQF frozen locally sourced produce, are all eligible under this program for year-round purchasing.

Ø  As soon as a vendor is placed on the USDA Approved Vendor list, they can begin to do business under the pilot program.

Please follow this link to begin your application process:

Monday, August 15, 2016

Second Annual Fight Hunger 5K

September 11, 2016
Second annual Fight Hunger 5K
Race - Fun Run - Walkathon
At the Remington Trail in Canton
Registration at 12:30 PM, Walkers leave at 1:00, Runners leave at 1:30

Run, walk, pull the kids in a wagon or push a stroller - whatever works for you!  Join us to raise awareness of the issue of hunger and funds for GardenShare.

How to get started:

Either fly solo or gather a team from work, school, or your place of worship!
Download the registration form and/or make a page on this website and start asking friends, family, classmates, and co-workers to make a donation to sponsor you.
Bring your signed registration form and any cash or checks you have collected to the registration booth on September 11.
Dress for the weather!


Thank you to these companies who have already signed up as sponsors:
Presenting Sponsors:

and



Friend Sponsors:
     Curran Renewable Energy
     North Country Savings Bank
     Save-a-Lot
     St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union
     Tupper Lake Supply