Archive for April 15th, 2017

Lady Liberty Reaches For Her Children

Posted on 15. Apr, 2017 by .

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Using the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and the words of Pope Francis, this four minute video invites us to reflect on the compassion we need to reach out to those for whom lady liberty was created. It is important to reignite the welcoming flame our country was founded upon. As people of faith, we are encouraged to care for Mother Earth, reach out to our refugee sisters and brothers, and to share the light with all who are suffering. All refugees are always welcomed by Lady Liberty.

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Ending Hunger is a Gender Equity Issue

Posted on 15. Apr, 2017 by .

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Taken from frac.org –

Women in the U.S. disproportionately experience hunger and poverty compared to American men.

About 10 million households with children in the U.S. are headed by a single mother, and 28.2 percent of these families live below the poverty line, compared to 14.9 percent of single fathers. According to USDA’s most recent report, single-parent, female-headed households are also significantly more likely to be food-insecure than single-parent, male-headed households (30.3 to 22.4 percent).

Here are three ways advocates and policymakers can reduce food insecurity among women.

Strengthen federal nutrition programs. Females account for almost two-thirds of all adult and senior participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). While SNAP is critical to low-income women looking to stretch their food dollars, the monthly benefit often falls short.

Researchers, advocates, and emergency food providers have been praising SNAP but saying that SNAP benefits are inadequate for years, and in 2013, the prestigious Institute of Medicine, after a thorough study, outlined the factors that explain why the SNAP allotment is not enough to get most families through the month with a minimally adequate diet. Policymakers should make increasing the monthly SNAP benefit a priority so that more women can be made food-secure and lifted out of poverty.

Congress should also improve funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to ensure that all eligible women have access to the program. The latest USDA data show the WIC program reaches only 60 percent of eligible people — only 68 percent of eligible pregnant women. Increased funds would eliminate participant-limiting strategies, in order to provide low-income mothers healthy food, nutrition education, and access to health care.

Close the wage gap. On average, white women in full-time, year-round jobs earn 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. For women of color, the divide is even wider. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, African-American women are paid 63 cents and Latinas are paid just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. The nation’s economic strength and growth must be shared equitably. Doing so will most certainly reduce food insecurity.

Current figures for a year’s worth of wage disparities equal approximately 86 weeks of food lost for a woman’s family.

Support paid leave policies. Women comprise 47 percent of the American workforce, and mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in 40 percent of all families with children under 18, but paid leave for women who work outside of the home is woefully inadequate. Women should not fear endangering their economic security to care for loved ones or themselves.

Research demonstrates food-insecure women are at higher risk for obesity and subsequent health issues. Low-income, food-insecure households on average are more vulnerable to poor nutrition and health challenges, which require more medical care than their higher-income, food-secure counterparts. Paid leave policies, from maternity leave to sick leave, can provide women and their children support to access the appropriate resources and care they need to lead healthy lives.

Advocates must continue to fight for holistic, inclusive approaches in ending hunger and poverty in order to help all Americans and create a healthier, more equitable society.

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Tell Congress: We Need a Budget That Works For All

Posted on 15. Apr, 2017 by .

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The President has proposed a budget that would cut human needs to the bone.

We need your help to fight back. We need a budget that not just keeps us safe and secure, but also provides opportunities and gives us all the chance to succeed. By partnering with other groups, we’re aiming to collect 100,000 signatures in support of a fair budget.

Please sign our petition.

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Physical Activity: Health Benefits & the Role of the Built Environment and Air Pollution

Posted on 15. Apr, 2017 by .

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pag_02New community design strategies and smart growth principles have the potential to increase exercise and active transportation, but if individuals are walking and bicycling on high-traffic roads, their exposure to air pollution may also be increased. This white paper summarizes the published literature on the health benefits of physical activity, with a specific focus on walking and bicycling for transportation. The paper also examines studies analyzing the combined health effects of increased physical activity and air pollution exposure, finding that in most environments the health benefits outweigh the harms.

(Download the white paper and factsheet)

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Global Reshuffle of Wildlife will have huge Impacts on Humanity

Posted on 15. Apr, 2017 by .

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Taken from theguardian.com –

Mass migration of species to cooler climes has profound implications for society, pushing disease-carrying insects, crop pests and crucial pollinators into new areas, says international team of scientists

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.55.04 PMGlobal warming is reshuffling the ranges of animals and plants around the world with profound consequences for humanity, according to a major new analysis.

Rising temperatures on land and sea are increasingly forcing species to migrate to cooler climes, pushing disease-carrying insects into new areas, moving the pests that attack crops and shifting the pollinators that fertilise many of them, an international team of scientists has said.

They warn that some movements will damage important industries, such as forestry and tourism, and that tensions are emerging between nations over shifting natural resources, such as fish stocks. The mass migration of species now underway around the planet can also amplify climate change as, for example, darker vegetation grows to replace sun-reflecting snow fields Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 10.55.15 PMin the Arctic.

“Human survival, for urban and rural communities, depends on other life on Earth,” the experts write in their analysis published in the journal Science. “Climate change is impelling a universal redistribution of life on Earth.”

This mass movement of species is the biggest for about 25,000 years, the peak of the last ice age, say the scientists, who represent more than 40 institutions around the world. “The shifts will leave ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in their wake, radically reshaping the pattern of human wellbeing … and potentially leading to substantial conflict,” the team warn. “Human society has yet to appreciate the implications of unprecedented species redistribution for life on Earth, including for human lives.”

Climate change driven by human greenhouse gas emissions is not just increasing temperatures, but also raising sea levels, the acidity of the oceans and making extreme weather such as droughts and floods more frequent. All of these are forcing many species to migrate to survive.

Read more here

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