APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced more people to rely on soup kitchens since last March, and neighborhoods in Appleton are responding to that need with their own collection drives.
Neighbors, including three members of the Raudabaugh family, stopped several Mondays as they went door-to-door searching for food bags left outdoors in the neighborhood around Memorial Park in Appleton.
“In the spring we did a slightly smaller group, maybe a hundred houses that we would visit, and target in one weekend and this time we made four hundred houses, so maybe a half mile radius around our house in a big circle and go. to each house one by one and ask them to donate, ”said Nicole Raudabaugh.
Food collected Monday will be donated to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, which then distributes everything to local food shelves.
After a few drives in the early spring of the pandemic, this one was meant to help before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Family members use notes to notify neighbors about previous food trips.
So far, environmental participation has been better than expected, and most people seem more than willing to help.
“It’s just this road and the road behind us. So we have, and my wife said before we might have like, this is only a tenth of the house we put a little flyer on, “says Bill Raudabaugh.
Organizers said they hope their efforts inspire others to take action too.
“This is an easy thing to do. You need to put some cans in the bag and put them on top of your step. This means a lot to people who are struggling right now especially people whose working hours are reduced, not working, but they have to go to soup kitchens, and frankly, many of them are going to the food kitchen for the first time now so “It’s definitely something we can do to make a difference,” said Nicole Raudabaugh.
(MENAFN – Colombo Gazette) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said while lockdowns and health precautions can be difficult for everyone, it is sometimes necessary to keep people safe.
The Prime Minister expressed this view at a discussion with Swiss Ambassador to Sri Lanka Dominik Furgler today.
The Prime Minister and the Swiss Ambassador discussed a number of areas for further cooperation between the two countries, including investment, exports, tourism and fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ambassador praised the way the Government has responded to the Coronavirus outbreak by issuing clear rules and enforcing them.
“I admire the way you have handled COVID,” said Ambassador Furgler. “I feel safer this way.”
To contribute to the Government’s efforts to contain the outbreak, the Swiss Government is providing assistance to Sri Lanka with equipment that will enable faster PCR tests at airports. It is also part of a collaboration to try to revive tourism to Sri Lanka once the situation improves. To that end, the Swiss Government has also provided technical assistance to the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management to improve infrastructure, provide training and develop curricula.
The two delegations also discussed investment and exports. With economic development a priority for the Government, the Ambassador said he would work to bring in more Swiss investment.
Switzerland is currently the 8th largest investor in Sri Lanka. With regard to exports, the delegates discussed ways in which Sri Lanka could further diversify the range of products it exports to Switzerland in order to get greater benefit from the Swiss GSP + facility.
Currently, Sri Lanka’s main exports to Switzerland include apparel, black tea, seafood, and gems and jewelery. (Colombo Gazette)
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LANSING – The plan is to distribute about a thousand boxes of food between 11 am and 5 pm Saturday at the First United Methodist Church.
But by 10:30 a.m., a line of cars had already circled the block, so organizer Cam Sanchez, a 17-year-old senior at TF Southern Middle School, and fellow volunteers got to work.
At around 2 p.m., all 1,092 boxes and about 30,000 pounds of food had been lost.
“It was a steady flow,” said First Methodist Pastor David Price. “They keep coming and coming.”
Soon after, Sanchez was already thinking about his next project.
“There is a need,” he said. “There is a need to leave. I have to get stronger. Next time, (to) provide 2,000 boxes, 3,000 and 4,000.”
Feeding started last month with 300 boxes. “This time it was much smoother,” said Sanchez, noting that in September, food had been delivered to his home and he had to take it to church.
This time, the food arrived at the church in the spring. It was dismantled and, as before, distributed in a pandemic-era fashion, with recipients never leaving their cars and volunteers.
Rich Dust, a retired teacher and trainer at TF South and a current member of the District 215 school board, is a helping church member.
“It’s great to have stories like this for good kids to see,” he said. “We need a lot of stories like that. I think it’s good for people to go out and keep their distance, wear masks, do something good for the community.”
The request doesn’t stop when the food runs out.
“I have a lot of people texting me right now, ‘Hey, did you move locations?'” Sanchez said a few hours later.
There will be another chance for whoever is left behind, he promised.
“I feel like this is really God’s work,” said Sanchez. “He made it happen, He allowed me to be His platform to do something for society.”
He plans to engage more churches for the next food drive, which will dispense with turkey and other Thanksgiving dinner staples such as cornbread and gravy.
Finally, he wants to launch a nonprofit called “We Are Lansing” to continue outreach to his community.
“This is something I’ve been trying to get started with for a while,” said Sanchez.
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Jace Crockett packs food into the Meals on Wheels van outside the Park View Community Mission in Lynchburg on Friday, October 9, 2020.
Jace Crockett packs food into the Meals on Wheels van outside the Park View Community Mission in Lynchburg on Friday, October 9, 2020.
There is an old saying, “When one door closes, another opens.”
This is how Earl Larkins, a spokesperson for Park View Community Mission, spoke of the challenges and victories that nonprofits are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sometimes when we see obstacles, it is actually an opportunity,” he said.
In April, Park View, a nonprofit that provides free food, clothing and job training, saw its clients change – many new faces but fewer regulars.
“It tells us that we lost some of the people we served before the pandemic and many of them felt they had to stay home in self-isolation,” he said.
So Park View started a campaign to let people know it was still open and had more food available.
Larkins said during the pandemic, the US Department of Agriculture has relaxed its income regulations so that more families can accept USDA commodities.
“We can double the frequency with which people come and get food and we want to make sure people know that,” he said. “But the problem remains the same for people who don’t want to leave, so we found some great partners to come along to help us.”
These partners include Meals on Wheels of Greater Lynchburg, Thomas Road en Español, Heritage Baptist Church and the Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living.
The government today announced its first Covid-19 vaccine purchase agreement. What does it mean? Science reporter Jamie Morton explain.
What has been announced?
A deal that will provide New Zealand with about 1.5 million Covid-19 vaccines – or enough for 750,000 people.
But it is up to the vaccine makers – Pfizer and BioNTech – to successfully complete Phase III clinical trials, and pass regulatory approval here.
All is well, the vaccine could be shipped to New Zealand in the first quarter of next year, said Minister for Research, Science and Innovation Megan Woods.
“Pfizer says they are making good progress with the development of the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.
“Depending on clinical and regulatory success, and provided the vaccine is approved for use here in New Zealand by Medsafe, it is likely that multiple doses will be available to us in the first part of 2021.”
What is the vaccine?
Global drug giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech are behind a group of candidates – BNT162b2 – who are among the pioneers in the worldwide vaccine race.
Research so far has shown that this virus boosts antibody and T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
T-cells are white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, while antibodies are able to neutralize the virus so that they cannot infect cells when they are first infected.
Overall, you have a strong shield against the coronavirus.
As an RNA vaccine, this vaccine works by bringing genetic material into cells, before being encoded for specific proteins from the virus.
As of this week, the vaccine is in its third and final Phase III trial at more than 120 locations around the world, with 28,000 people having been given a second dose.
This month, the two companies launched rolling submissions to the European Medicines Agency, while Health Canada has begun a real-time review of its candidates.
Is this the only vaccine we can use?
Professor Helen Petousis-Harris, University of Auckland vaccination specialist, said today’s announcement marks the first – and not the last, purchase agreement.
“There are still others on the table too,” he said.
Australia, for example, has signed an agreement to mass-produce the University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca virus vector vaccine, ChAdOx1-S, also in Phase III trials.
It was shown to trigger a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination – and an antibody response within 28 days.
Like the influenza injections we are more used to, this is a viral vector vaccine, and uses a chunk of the pathogen to effectively stimulate an immune response against it.
Petousis-Harris said another pioneer was the LNP-encapsulated mRNA vaccine developed by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Massachusetts-based Moderna.
This month, eight groups received 17 vaccines in Phase III.
It is widely expected that the first vaccine will start rolling out at the end of the second quarter, or early third quarter, of 2021.
“So we hope it will be the middle of next year where we really start to see a vaccine available,” he said.
“But [the Pfizer-BioNTech candidate] potentially arriving a little earlier than that. “
How does this fit into New Zealand’s strategy?
The government says this complements other parts of our broader and recently launched vaccine strategy, such as the global Covax Facility which can provide for up to 50 percent of our population’s needs.
It’s allocating hundreds of millions of dollars – won’t reveal exactly how much, for commercial reasons – to take the Kiwis and our Pacific neighbors as far as possible.
“The primary objective of our portfolio approach is to ensure we have flexibility and choice when it comes to securing the right vaccine for New Zealand and our Pacific neighbors,” said Woods.
The task force executing the strategy is now negotiating with other pharmaceutical companies, with further announcements expected next month.
Woods said “good progress” was being made on the deal, and having additional deals would ensure enough vaccines were available for the entire country.
There are concerns at a high level over New Zealand’s gaining early access.
One recently released Cabinet paper since August indicated that the Government is concerned that New Zealand’s COVID-19-free status and good health could mean it would not be prioritized if global priorities and allocations were simply left to needs assessments.
It recommends that New Zealand needs to provide “significant resources early on to help secure access to vaccines”.
Having a series of advance purchase agreements means potential access to a number of vaccine candidates, but it does not guarantee access to vaccines, as “it is likely that the majority of candidates considered will not be viable”.
Such prepayments cannot be recovered once they have been paid.
Determining the cost of the upfront agreement would be difficult, money had to be allocated to get started, the document said.
It is expected that early delivery of the vaccine costs between $ 75 and $ 150 per dose when slower delivery can cost less than $ 15.
So, who might get the vaccine first?
The call has yet to be made, but the Ministry of Health is working on what the immunization program should look like.
“A number of factors will influence who will receive what vaccine and when, such as data on trials of the suitability of each vaccine for a particular age group,” said Health Minister Chris Hipkins.
“We have set aside $ 66.3 million for medical supplies and infrastructure to ensure New Zealand is ready to launch the Covid-19 Immunization Program as soon as we have a safe and effective vaccine.
“Most of this investment will finance supplies sufficient to support the countries of New Zealand and the Pacific; supplies such as PPE, syringes, syringes and swabs, and refrigerators to store vaccines.”
What about local vaccine production?
It happened too.
About $ 3 million in Government funding will go to Kiwi biotech company Biocell to upgrade its facilities so that it can launch 100 million doses.
Other Kiwi consortiums have been exploring potential candidates of their own – such as the inactivated vaccine approach led by Professor Miguel Quiñones-Mateu of the University of Otago, and a recombinant spike protein vaccine under development at the University of Victoria’s Dr Davide Comoletti laboratory – over the past few years. month.
And a local company has secured $ 3.3 million in private funding to go ahead with a Covid-19 vaccine made with Kiwi technology.
The Covid-19 Vaccine Corporation (CVC), which was founded in May, has collaborated with the University of Auckland, Callaghan Innovation, and the research institute Scion, in an effort to independently develop a local coronavirus agent.
The company aims to complete its first human trials of the new vaccine by the end of next year, at a cost of about $ 8 million.