Blog

As we head into the home stretch of the holiday shopping season, I’ve been thinking a lot about the practical side of the holiday. More than likely, like me, you’ve seen a growing avalanche of Amazon deliveries on your doorstep. As much as anything in recent memory, the online retail phenomenon has transformed the way we go about our business, particularly at this time of the year. So it’s important to say this once again, and to say it loud: Shop Local.

Yes, there has already been plenty of talk about the pros and cons of the shift away from brick-and-mortar retail, but when the holidays roll around, the economic reality becomes increasingly obvious. Small retailers hold their breath all year for the holiday season, ban...

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Just like that: it’s the end of November. It seemed like we barely had time to clear the jack-o-lanterns from our front stoops, and Thanksgiving was upon us. Now the feast is over, and Black Friday has (thankfully) come and gone. Once again, we’ve started the festively frantic countdown to Christmas, and it’s time to take a deep breath and dive in. And what would the holiday season be without a few rollicking parties?

First on the horizon: Tis The Season SF, coming on Thursday, December 7th to North Beach’s Real Old Paper Gallery. Benefitting two extraordinary organizations committed to empowering women, WOMAN, Inc. and Dress For Success, the event will focus on local bloggers, influencers and others who celebrate ...

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It’s symptomatic of our times: medical coverage in America is so variable that around 11% of Americans have no medical coverage at all, and about a third struggle to pay for basic dental care. Of course, you can’t go to the emergency room to get your teeth fixed, so dental problems among the poor are typically neglected until they become chronic and intolerably painful.

This can lead to desperate measures. In an interview with the Nation, Caleb described how he decided to forego professional care for his dental troubles, and paid the price: using a pair of pliers, he once crushed a tooth he was attempting to remove. This left him with a stump jutting from his jaw, a painful ordeal to say the least. Each year, countless people ...

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Of all the challenges we face on our planet today, issues of food access and hunger are of foremost concern. Along with inefficient distribution models, waste continues to plague our food systems, and it is estimated that nearly half of our global food supply goes to waste every year. But despair not: some of our best minds, scientists and entrepreneurs alike, are hard at work solving these problems. Today we look at just a few of them.

As reported by Reuters, New York startup Rise has devised a way to make flour out of the left-over barley used to make beer. Previously those “spent” grains went straight to a landfill, at the rate of about 5 million tons a year. Now those grains become flour, flour which can be used to make pi...

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Another creative solution! The city of Toronto has converted metro buses into mobile food markets for low income neighborhoods. They sell affordable fresh food neighborhoods where there are no grocery stores or the food is too expensive for residents. Now healthy food arrives in the neighborhoods twice a week
http://buff.ly/2lXnK7r

Back in 2010, the city of Toronto (in Ontario, Canada) decided to launch a program that converts old unused metro buses into mobile grocery stores called Mobile Good Food Markets, and ever since, they’ve been traveling across the Toronto metropolitan area selling affordable fresh food. They have been especially successful (and helpful) in low income neighborhoods.

How they got started?

It started out as a collaboration between FoodShare Toronto, the city of Toronto, and United Way Toronto. They came up with the idea to take an old bus and convert it into what is now a mobile food market.

Everything from broccoli and lettuce to apples and onions are available when the bus comes to town, twice per week. Because the costs involved by the bus have to be taken care of, food prices aren’t much lower than what might be found in a supermarket. However, at least families have the opportunity to purchase higher-quality, nutrient-dense food when the bus visits.

Why it’s a great idea

Mobile Good Food Markets address the need for fresh, quality produce in food deserts, neighborhoods where a grocery store is nowhere in sight or too expensive for residents. In their current model of development, some neighborhoods don’t receive adequate transit service or people don’t own cars and the local grocery store is just too expensive or far away. Mobile markets offer a low cost place to buy quality produce while meeting neighbours close to home.

Even though this program is non-profit, it’s still a great idea of being entrepreneurial in a very creative way!

For more details about the program, visit www.foodshare.net/program/mobile/

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Wang Enlin a farmer in China studied law on his own and won the first round of a court case against a chemical company that he says was polluting his farm. Inspiring story! http://buff.ly/2kD8DzG

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A wonderful trend… let’s keep working for veterans and everyone who experiences living without a home! Thanks to a number of progressive governmental programs, veteran’s homelessness has made remarkable progress. We need to keep these programs in place!

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) today announced the number of veterans experiencing homelessness in the United States has been cut nearly in half since 2010. The data revealed a 17 percent decrease in veteran homelessness between January 2015 and January 2016—quadruple the previous year’s annual decline—and a 47 percent decrea...

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With the recent passing of Fidel Castro, I thought this would be a good time to say a few words about my visit to Cuba in February 2016 on the cusp of renewed relations with the United States.

I traveled then with a San Francisco Bay Area mission group visiting the small but vibrant Jewish communities in Havana, Guantanamo and Santiago de Cuba. We learned extensively about the history of the island and of the Jewish communities that have been there since the 1800’s (and even longer if you count the conversos that came much earlier). We brought bags full of requested items to them that were hard to obtain because of the US embargo such as toiletries, medicine and Judaica and were warmly received by the local congregations. In Cuba, ...

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Such a simple solution to help students feel good enough about themselves to go to school – Whirlpool Corporation gave washers and dryers to 17 schools in Illinois and California and attendance rates shot up!

During the 2015-2016 school year teachers told students to bring in dirty laundry in a bag as often as they needed. By the end of the school year, 2000 loads of laundry had been done and 90% of kids came to school. Yay!

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To read more about this go to: Clean clothes

A Colombian architect is building homes for the homeless using recycled plastic, and helping so many people and families!

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To read all about it, go here: http://tinyurl.com/zu5tl75

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