Tag: food waste

Why the rising popularity of ugly produce is good news

FOOD WASTE | The consumption of imperfect or flawed fruits and vegetables is on the rise. While the produce has largely gone to food banks or to waste in the past, recently, some for-profit businesses have begun to sell them in an effort to stop food waste and to try to change our society’s views on food. (WCP, 5/17)

According to Rethink Food Waste Through Economics and Data (ReFED), 63 million tons of food goes to waste every year. Ten million tons, or 16 percent, of that waste happens at the first stage of the supply chain—on the farm. One of the solutions ReFED recommends is accepting and integrating ugly produce into the food system.

That step alone would slow climate change by diverting 266,000 tons of waste away from landfills and on-farm losses, reducing greenhouse gases by 422,000 tons and saving 39 billion gallons of water every year, according to ReFED.

IMMIGRATION | The Montgomery County Council has approved $370,000 in funds to pay for legal representation for certain low-income immigrants who are facing deportation. (Bethesda Beat, 5/22)

TAX REFORM | Foundations and Nonprofits Split Over How to Respond to Tax Changes (Chronicle, 5/22 -Subscription needed)

TRANSGENDER RIGHTS | A Virginia court has ruled that school officials violated the constitutional rights of Gavin Grimm, a Virginia transgender teen who was prohibited from using the boys’ restroom in his high school in 2015. (WaPo, 5/22)

COMMUNITY | What do Prince George’s County residents think about the southern half of the county being labelled ‘ward 9’ of the District? This WAMU article asks community members. (WAMU, 5/22)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE | Column: ‘No relief in sight’: Hundreds of Virginia inmates languish in solitary confinement for years, groups find. (WaPo, 5/22)


Here’s another reason to sleep in on the weekend…

– Kendra

Six-figure salary needed to rent a two-bedroom apartment

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/DISTRICT
Yet another study confirms the significant housing burden placed on families in the District, projecting that a household would need to bring in more than $119,000 in order to rent a two-bedroom apartment. (DCist, 5/17)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recommends that households spend 30 percent or less of their income on rent. To meet that requirement, families must earn an annual income of $119,271 to afford a two-bedroom apartment here, according to a study from SmartAsset.

The median household income in the city was $71,648 in 2014 (numbers for 2015 won’t be released until September).

PHILANTHROPY/SOCIAL JUSTICE/RACISM
– Caitlyn Duffy, project associate for Philamplify at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, discusses why she is challenging philanthropy and other sectoral organizations to talk more explicitly about structural racism, citing WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series as one such example of how that is currently taking place (NCRP, 5/18):

[..] there are a number of affinity groups that have chosen to address race explicitly – going beyond coded language such as “inequality” or “lack of diversity.” For example, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is hosting Putting Racism on the Table, a learning series that I have attended on behalf of the Diverse City Fund. WRAG’s president, Tamara Copeland, recently shared why Nonprofits Need to Talk About Race, Not Just Diversity in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

HEALTH CARE
– With their Patient-Centered Medical Home program, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is working to help improve care coordination among primary care providers and specialists in order to reign in health costs. (WBJ, 5/17)

Video: Children’s Health Care Expands in Southeast DC (WUSA, 5/16)

More Low-Income Kids Now Have Health Coverage (NPR, 5/13)

EDUCATION/POVERTY | VideoNine facts about attending college when you are poor (WaPo, 5/17)

FOOD | As part of the Feed the 5,000 campaign – an initiative to shed light on the issue of global food waste – 5,000 people in the District can receive free meals today, featuring recovered produce that would have otherwise been discarded. (WaPo, 5/16)

WORKFORCEMillions To Be Eligible For Overtime Under New Obama Administration Rule (NPR, 5/17)

HOMELESSNESS | In San Francisco, a number of media outlets have pledged to unite and dedicate coverage to homelessness in the city on June 29. Participants hope the project will not only turn more attention to the issue, but also inspire government agencies to set aside their own differences around the matter. (GOOD, 5/17)


A growing number of new parents are naming their babies after a major sports channel…and it actually does have a nice ring to it!

– Ciara

New partnership brings support for small businesses in wards 7 and 8

DISTRICT/ECONOMY
As part of a new partnership between American University’s Center for Innovation in the Capital and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity, an initiative called Project 500 will offer support to hundreds of small businesses focused in D.C.’s wards 7 and 8. (DCist, 5/4)

Project 500 […] will provide resources to 500 “disadvantaged small businesses,” helping them to “grow in revenue and size over the next three years,” according to a release. Targeted businesses in wards 7 and 8 will include home-based companies and start-up ventures. Help will come in the form of “hands-on training, capacity building, mentoring, and networking support.”

From data gathered between 2006-2010, the Urban Institute found that a vast majority of D.C.’s economically challenged neighborhoods are located in wards 7 and 8. And not much has changed, despite Mayor Bowser cutting the ribbons of a Thai restaurant in ward 7 and a juice bar in ward 8 last year.

– D.C. is often said to be gaining 1,000 new residents per month without much explanation behind the figures. Greater Greater Washington breaks down the data that is actually driving those numbers. (GGW, 5/4)

PHILANTHROPY 
– A growing number of funders are stepping up to get involved in the food waste movement, including Agua Fund and New Venture Fund. Inside Philanthropy ponders whether or not the movement will catch on further in the world of philanthropy. (Inside Philanthropy, 5/3)

– How philanthropy can address barriers to social mobility (Urban, 5/5)

GUN VIOLENCE | The Joyce Foundation, Urban Institute, and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies have released a new research report on gun violence in America, along with a roadmap to building safer communities. You can review the report’s top findings here.

HEALTH/CHILDREN
– Judith Sandalow of The Children’s Law Center marks this year’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day by highlighting the progress that the District has made in addressing the needs of its youngest residents. (HuffPo, 5/5)

–  Autism Research’s Overlooked Racial Bias (Atlantic, 5/5)

TRANSIT/REGIONMetro To Announce Major Months-Long Rehab Effort Affecting Most Riders (WAMU, 5/5)

WORKFORCE | Have you ever thought about taking on a midlife internship opportunity? Maybe not, but a growing number of companies and social profit organizations are creating opportunities for adults who have taken career breaks to re-enter the workforce through “returnships.” (NYT, 5/5)


Thirty-three years ago, David Copperfield taught us all a big lesson about liberty.

– Ciara

Third-grade reading proficiency remains stagnant in D.C., declining for some

DISTRICT/EDUCATION
A new analysis of third-grade reading proficiency from 2007-2014 by D.C. Action for Children finds that standardized test scores remained stagnant for District students citywide, and declined for economically disadvantaged students during that period. (WCP, 3/1)

The report highlights other academic gaps. Nine in 10 white third-graders attained proficient scores on the 2014 test, versus 35 and 36 percent of black and Hispanic third-graders, respectively, according to D.C Action for Children.

Based on its findings, the group recommends that D.C. invest even more in early care and education programs such as home visits as well as strengthen early literacy programs such as the D.C. Public Library’s “Books from Birth” program.

Related Event: Literacy is the topic at the next event in WRAG’s 2016 Public Education Speaker Series. Funders, click here to learn more about the event.

How One D.C. Elementary’s 5th Grade Enrollment Highlights Concerns About Middle School (WAMU 3/2)

PHILANTHROPY
–  Well-known native Washingtonian James V. Kimsey, philanthropist and cofounder of America Online, has passed away. (WaPo, 3/1)

– A new website, Successes of Philanthropy, aims to serve as a digital archive of philanthropic wins made by a variety of grant making institutions. The project is supported by a number of organizations, including the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, with strategic input from others, including the Council on Foundations. (Chronicle, 3/1)

HOUSING/POVERTY | Why losing a home means losing everything (WaPo, 2/29)

FOOD
– Find out how Denmark and other places are working to solidify their position as leaders in the fight against food waste. (NPR, 3/1)

The Instagrams of Food Deserts (Atlantic, 3/1)

ARTS | In recognition of Women’s History Month and the public’s general lack of awareness about women in the field, the National Museum of Women in the Arts has launched a campaign challenging everyone to name five women artists . (WCP, 3/1)


When will the cherry blossoms(!) hit peak bloom? Find out here.

– Ciara

Weathering the winter months on a low income

POVERTY/HOUSING | For many lower-income residents in the region, the colder winter months are a struggle to navigate as poor-quality, deteriorating housing can be the only affordable option and paying utilities often comes after taking care of other basic needs. (WaPo, 1/23)

Living in poverty means constantly balancing competing necessities. Every month, rent is due. Then there are food costs and transportation expenses. The last item on that list is usually paying utilit[y] bills […].

10 Cities Where the Middle Class Can’t Afford Rent Anymore (Cheatsheet, 12/2015)

DISTRICT | The highly-anticipated 11th Street Bridge Park is closer to becoming a reality. Residents and those involved with the project hope that once it is completed, the surrounding area will be an inclusive, equitable place to live and work. (Bridge Park, 1/22)

FOOD/PHILANTHROPY | The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a $130 million initiative to tackle hunger by cutting global food waste. The plan ranges from reducing food waste from discarded crops to reducing food waste in people’s homes. (NYT, 1/22)

RACIAL EQUITY/GENDER EQUITY | A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development finds that, despite a narrowing racial gap in business ownership between 2007 and 2012, white-owned businesses continued to be much more successful than those of their counterparts. The study also found that there is nowhere in America where women-owned businesses outperform male-owned businesses. (WSJ, 1/25)


No one enjoyed the snow more than the animals at the National Zoo.

– Ciara