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Expired Food Store Set to Open Next Year

of Americans throw out food prematurely, as TIME reported last week. Basically, consumers are confused by phrasing like use by and sell by and so, to be safe, they end up tossing perfectly good produce, snacks and more. In reality, food dating really just indicates when an item is at its peak freshness, not when it becomes inedible. All of this got Doug Rauch, the former president of the Trader Joes supermarket chain, thinking about a potential solution. And now, it seems he might have found one: a market that specializes in preparing and repackaging expired food and selling it at deeply discounted prices. He plans to launch this project, called the Daily Table, next year in Bostons working-class Dorchester neighborhood, NPR reports . (MORE: How Two German-Owned Sister Supermarket Brands Became Hot Trendsetters ) Its the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities, Rauch told NPR. It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted.He explained that the Daily Tables setup will be kind ofa hybrid between a grocery store and a restaurant if you would, because primarily its going to take this food in, prep it, cook it [for] what I call speed-scratch cooking. The basic concept of repurposing expired food isnt new. Food banks, for example, have been doing it for years. But the idea here is to make this nutritional food an affordable, quick and easy option to people who might otherwise spend their lunch money at McDonalds. And of course, its about implementing a longer-term solution to the growing problem of wasted food across the U.S.

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Farmers here are so successful that many are paid not to raise crops. Among their crew are many absolutely dependent on subsidies to survive. Their lobby is sufficiently strong that subsidies are not even up for reconsideration. They are fully entrenched in the American economy. Theoretically, farmers are paid to feed the rest of us. Whether farmers or paid to feed us or to avoid feeding us, people will never be able to stop eating. Eating is necessary for life. Congress is considering curtailing the SNAP program that for years was known as food stamps . The Ohio Jewish Chronicle and other Columbus papers published articles last year bemoaning the inadequacy of food stamps. Yet as meager as those funds are, Congress is seriously considering a major cutback. How dare Congress consider such a move! How dare Congress attempt to fix our countrys economy on the backs of its weakest and hungriest. How dare Congress forget that there will always be poor in the richest country in the world. Generally this writer considers himself to be a centrist. Doing what is most moral and right is more essential than the platform of either political party.

POV: Starving Out Food Stamps

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), food stamps, federal benefit cuts

For example, they may have gone from being laid off to working a low-paying or part-time job. The Congressional Budget Office predicts in about a decade the number of people using food stamps will drop to 34 million, or about 1 in every 10 people. Food and fraud Abuse was a worry from the start. The 1939 food stamp program was launched in May and by that October a retailer had been caught violating the rules. There’s been progress along the way, especially after the nationwide adoption of SNAP cards, which are harder to sell for cash than paper coupons were. The government says such “trafficking” in food stamps has fallen significantly over the past two decades, from about 4 cents on the dollar in 1993 to a penny per dollar in 2008. But many lawmakers say fraud is still costing taxpayers too much. Some people lie about their income, apply for benefits in multiple states or fail to quit the program when their earnings go up. Recipients must tell their state agency within 10 days if their income goes over the limit. Some stores illegally accept food stamps to pay for other merchandise, even beer or electronics, or give out cash at a cut rate in exchange for phony food purchases, which are then reimbursed by the government. Food and farms In Congress, it’s a marriage of convenience.

Food stamps, a very personal issue

SNAP is also our nations most important counter-cyclical antipoverty program, meaning it responds promptly to economic downturns, thus sustaining the economy, and more important, the health of our children. It has been estimated that every $1 in SNAP benefits generates between $1.72 and $1.79 in domestic economic activity . Approximately 47 million Americans, including 900,000 in Massachusetts, receive SNAP. In 2011, 69 percent of SNAP benefits went to households with children; one in four American children depend on this kitchen table benefit, which unlike any other government nutrition program except for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides resources only to purchase food for consumption at home, rather than at school or in other group settings. The poverty threshold for an average family of four with two children was $22,811 in 2011. That year, 83 percent of households receiving SNAP had incomes below the poverty threshold and 43 percent had incomes at or below 50 percent of the threshold. SNAP successfully targets Americans living in poverty, but it is important to remember that many of those recipients are in poverty even while they struggle to earn a living. More than 60 percent of SNAP-recipient families with children have adults working for pay . Others, because of their health or age, cannot realistically participate in the workforce; 83 percent of benefits go to families with a child or an elderly or disabled member . SNAP benefits , when received by pregnant women, are associated with decreased rates of low birth weight. In households with children, SNAP reduces the risk of food insecurity, enhances intake of B vitamins, iron, and calcium, and lowers the risk of anemia, obesity, poor health, hospitalization for failure to thrive, low academic test scores, and reports for child abuse or neglect.