Tag Archives: In depth

Texas Food Banks Could Become Millions Of Pounds Of Short Food In Early 2021 Thanks To Budget Cuts – Houston Public Media | Instant News

Cars line up on NRG to pick up boxes of food from the Houston Food Bank during the holiday season.

In Houston, Quinn McGee is one of thousands of people who depend on their local food kitchen to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

On pick-up days, they wake up early to be in front of long lines of cars at southwest Houston food kitchens.

“Something to look at,” said McGee, using their / them pronoun. “You look at all these cars and it feels, ‘wow’.”

McGee started getting food there in November. They have a partner and a 9 year old son. McGee said the family had gaps in pay because of unemployment and mental health leave and they had struggled to catch up.

Coming home with groceries was a sigh of relief.

“I can rest easy,” said McGee. They say they value fresh fruit and vegetables a lot – a healthy alternative to canned foods high in sodium.

Demand at food banks in Texas has more than doubled due to COVID-19. But in the new year, it’s likely less fresh food will make it to grocery bags like McGee’s thanks to a $ 2 million cut to a statewide grant program.

“That means the loss of 19 million pounds of produce,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas, an association of 21 state food banks. “It’s a result we won’t be able to get, it’s a product that’s likely to be wasted and it’s a product that could feed hungry Texans at a time of unprecedented food insecurity due to the pandemic.”

A fork lift transfers food deliveries at the Houston Food Bank.

The Agricultural Product Surplus Grant Program pays for leftover produce from state farmers to be sent to food banks. Feeding Texas estimates the program served about 1.8 million families each month during the pandemic.

But the Texas Department of Agriculture is cutting 41% of grant funding to balance the statewide budget.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said that after Governor Greg Abbott asked agencies to cut their budgets by 5%, his department didn’t have much area to cut.

Since the program cut, he’s asked Abbott to use the remaining $ 2 billion in state funds in the CARES Act to pay for grants, but he says he has yet to get a response.

“We can pay back the surplus grant money and keep the food bank intact,” Miller said. “They are in a very dangerous situation right now.”

Houston Food Bank President Brian Greene said the budget cuts meant his organization would receive 100 less tractor feeds.

“(The grant program) accounts for about 10% of our total distribution, and that’s pretty consistent with food banks in Texas,” said Greene. “This is about a quarter of the results we receive.”

Greene said if you consider these cuts together with unprecedented demand and uncertainty around federal USDA funding, food banks face a potential food gap.

The Houston Food Bank has seen food demand nearly double since the pandemic began.

Feeding Texas’ Celia Cole said the recent federal economic aid law would help in the long term, but local food banks are still anticipating a delay in aid for the first three months of 2021, which could mean they are about 29 million pounds short of food. each month.

“Almost every food bank projects a potential gap between demand in their community and their ability to meet that demand,” said Cole.

State programs can help pay for now, Cole added. He hopes that, when the state DPR meets in January, it will immediately reverse the budget cuts.

“I’m very optimistic,” said Cole.

The program has had bipartisan support for nearly 20 years, he said, and this is the year they should raise funds, not spend them.

“I think our legislators are responsible people,” said Cole. “I think they don’t want to see their constituents starve.”

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Net Zero Festival: Slow down fast fashion | Instant News

VIDEO: Lucy Siegle asks Arizona supermodel and campaigner Muse, Daniella Vega of Selfridges, Robin Millington of Planet Tracker, and Wendy Rattray of Hello Halo Productions about how to green the fashion industry

Fashion is a very influential industry where trends are constantly changing, but one of the trends that this sector is struggling to get rid of is the so-called ‘fast fashion’.

Indeed, the shift in recent decades towards cheaper garments that use environmentally damaging materials, chemicals and production processes combined with single-use consumerism has been detrimental to human health, nature and the climate, and there is growing recognition in an industry that is very it needed. move to a more sustainable footing. Fortunately, there are some signs that increasing awareness of the climate and environmental impacts of garments can help change consumer attitudes, but there is still a long way to go without too much time to get there.

So, to discuss the role of complex modes in net zero transition in BusinessGreenRecent Net Zero Festival, journalist and broadcaster Lucy Siegle joins some of the leading experts in her field: Arizona Muse’s supermodel and environmental campaigner, Selfridges sustainability director Daniella Vega, Planet Tracker CEO Robin Millington, and Hello Halo Productions’ executive producer and director executive Wendy Rattray.

The full conversation can be seen above.

All of the debate panels, keynote speeches and presentations of the world’s first Net Zero Festival – which runs for three days from September 30th featuring hundreds of top speakers from business, politics and academia – are is now available to watch again upon request through Net Zero Festival website.


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Closed loop mode systems need a scaling solution now, not later | Instant News

The world of fashion has a long way to go to be truly sustainable

Companies across the fashion industry have deployed pilots for circular – or more sustainable – products, but they often stop there

The fashion industry is destroying the planet – it is responsible for 10 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. But there are companies large and small that are trying to solve this problem. Back…


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Vendors say software improvements will keep games like slots legal in Kentucky | In depth | Instant News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The company that makes the systems used in three out of five Kentucky gaming venues said it would soon roll out software changes to ensure machines like slots remain legal even under stricter standards imposed last week by the state’s Supreme Court.

Boynton Beach, Florida-based Exacta Systems, which makes the game systems used at Ellis Park, Kentucky Downs and Red Mile, said in Friday news release that his system of modifications would soon be submitted to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for approval.

“For the better part of the year, we’ve been working on alternative solutions as just a possibility,” said Patrick Neely, head of development for Exacta Systems, in an interview with WDRB.

He said the company “believes” its new system is in line with the court’s decision.

The Kentucky Supreme Court increased the state’s $ 2 billion gaming industry last week with a shock ruling implying the state’s “historic horse racing” industry was illegal.

Casino gambling is constitutionally banned in Kentucky, but racetracks have implemented thousands of games that look and feel like slot machines. Called “historical horse races”, the result of a slot spin is determined by the old horse races not visible to the bettor.

The court found that the Exacta gaming system did not live up to the state’s definition of a “pari-mutuel bet,” which overturned a lower court ruling of 2018.

While the court clarified what was considered a pari-mutuel bet in Kentucky, it did not order any place to stop operating.

The court sided with the conservative Family Foundation of Kentucky in finding that pari-mutuel betting required people seated in front of a machine to bet “on the same limited event.”

And only players can fund the pool from which the payouts are generated, not the racetrack, which today provides a “seed pool” for running the game, the court found.

Neely said the Exacta Systems software change would address both issues, but he declined to elaborate on technical details.

He also declined to discuss whether customers who put money into the machine would see the difference.

The decade-old case that reached the Supreme Court dealt only with the product of the Exacta System, but the court’s narrower definition of legal betting is believed to affect all of the state’s historic racing venues (five of which are open, with two at work and the other planned on the road).

Churchill Downs, owner of Derby City Gaming Louisville, uses a different vendor for his games, Ainsworth Gaming Technology.

“We will work within our legal rights and coordinate with Kentucky legislators to ensure the ongoing legal operation of our (gaming) facility in Kentucky,” Churchill Downs said in a statement last week.

The Family Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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Chile strengthens the national climate action plan, but when will China follow suit? | Instant News

Credit: Facebook / Ministerio del Medio Ambiente

COP26 may have been delayed in response to the coronavirus crisis, but diplomatic efforts to improve national decarbonization goals continue – with several mixed results

The COP26 delay may have given governments room to delay work on their climate strategy, as they diverted all available resources to combat the growing corona virus pandemic. But have …


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