Food & Justice News Jan 27, 2020
- Deadline Friday January 31: Please Comment on Proposed Trump Rules Making Disability Benefits Harder to Get
- Comments Due March 23: Trump Proposal Would Weaken Standards for School Lunches: Or, “More Pizza, Less Vegetables”
- New Federal Proposal to Cut Waste in School Meals: Co Sponsors Include both Republican and Democrat
- Help Blind Shoppers Enjoy Santa Monica Farmers Market: Saturday February 8
Deadline Friday, January 31: Please Comment on Proposed Trump Rules Making Disability Benefits Harder to Get
President Trump’s administration has a new rule change proposal on disability benefits (including both Supplemental Security Income (SSI)and Social Security Disability Insurance), which involve recipients having to prove their disability much more frequently than under current rules. Millions of new reviews would be conducted based on whether someone’s medical condition could possibly improve (as opposed to whether it would likely improve) and the new bureaucratic requirements could force thousands or hundreds of thousands off the rolls. The increased number of reviews alone would slow down the process. This could disproportionately harm older adults nearing retirement and is expected to cut SSI and SSDI benefits by $2.6 billion over the next 10 years more here.
It would also exacerbate the homeless crisis even further here in Southern California.
We have a chance to comment on those rules. The comments are submitted online and must be submitted by January 31. Here is the link to the official comment site:
Individuals can use this comment form from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.
Some additional resources from our friends at Justice in Aging:
- If helpful for organizations, the Center for American Progress also has a simple comment form that is more tailored to organizations: https://www.americanprogress.org/ProtectDisabilityBenefits
- The information at the bottom of Matthew Cortland’s Patreon post (https://www.patreon.com/posts/32360088) may also be helpful to include in comments, addressing the question of why it would be difficult for people to go through disability reviews more often.
For those looking for lots of detail, NOSSCR submitted extensive comments opposing the proposed rule: https://nosscr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NOSSCR-comments-continuing-disability-reviews-FINAL.pdf
Comments Due March 23: Trump Proposal Would Weaken Standards for School Lunches: Or, “More Pizza, Less Vegetables”
From the Guardian: “The Trump administration took further steps on Friday towards rolling back healthier standards for school lunches in America championed by Michelle Obama, proposing rules to allow more pizza, meat and potatoes over fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The new proposals would allow schools more flexibility, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in a statement, adding: “Because they know their children best.”
One of the reasons for this is the potato lobby. Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs for Center for Science in the Public Interest, “says the potato lobby has been pushing for this change, and that the potato industry was behind a change that happened quietly last March. The USDA allowed school food authorities participating in the School Breakfast Program to substitute potatoes in place of fruit without including vegetables from other subgroups in the weekly menus.”
This rollback of healthy food standards comes at a time when record numbers of adolescents are living with prediabetes and toddlers are dealing with obesity. The public will have a chance to comment on the proposed school meal changes, See the link below:
New Federal Proposal to Cut Waste in School Meals: Co-Sponsors Include both Republican and Democrat
While Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue claims that Michelle Obama’s school meal guidelines are resulting in more food waste, statistics show that isn’t the case. But nonetheless, cafeteria waste remains a huge problem.
In Congress, Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has introduced a bill to help schools cut cafeteria food waste, with the goal of reducing environmental impacts and improving student nutrition.
The School Food Recovery Act is co-sponsored by Representatives Dan Newhouse (R-Washington) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon); Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) will introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
"All this food that gets wasted is grown by a farmer. It's transported around the country. And most wasted food ends up in a landfill and turns to methane gas, which is very toxic in our environment," Pingree said. "It's a huge waste of our resources at a time when we're constrained for resources . . . when we're trying to deal with issues around climate change."
“The School Food Recovery Act would establish a USDA grant program that would provide resources for more schools to implement programs to combat food waste.” Schools participating in federal meal programs could apply for grants that could measure and evaluate food waste, and create their own ideas on how to deal with the problem as opposed to following an exact course of action prescribed by the federal government.
Help Blind Shoppers Enjoy Santa Monica Farmers Market: Saturday, February 8
Next Blind Low Vision Shopping Day February 8, 2020
Happy New Year to all the shoppers and volunteers in the Blind Low Vision program! And welcoming anyone who wants to volunteer or shop for the first time. In this program, sighted volunteers guide blind participants in shopping at various farmers' markets once monthly in a group event. This month we will be at:
Santa Monica Pico Farmers Market (At Virginia Ave. Park, located near the intersection of Pico and Cloverfield)
Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020
Meet at 9:30 am
Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details or if you have questions.
Share the info with friends!
We’ll be at the market until 12:30 or 1 pm (Depending on when shoppers want to leave)
Volunteer Drivers are Always Appreciated! Drivers take one or more shoppers back to their home after the shopping is done.
More information on the Santa Monica Farmers Market: