Slow Food Founder Connects With Pope Francis

Jonathan Gold | Culver City restaurant review: At Bucato, stop for a snack, stay for pasta

They are going to involve volunteers and you cant never really know what volunteers are going to do. So we are taking precautions. Q: What made you take it on the road now? A: Ive done a lot of live performances, but have never been able to work out the time to mount a food tour. I got the right partners to produce something this time. Q: What new food trends are you seeing now? A: Part-time vegetarianism and even part-time veganism, where people are starting to not avoid meat but, um, use it differently and in smaller amounts. Its really kind of embracing the idea that gee … you can be an American and not have a slab of flesh on your plate at every meal. Q: How do you cook at home? A: Very, very simply. I have a wife who is not a foodie. … See, my problem is I dont cook really from recipes at home; I cook every day at home, but I never use a recipe, so I am constantly making stuff up.

The group distributed 2,700 pounds of food to 71 families at its first “Food for Furlough” event and is planning another one for Monday in Huntingtown. Miller said the group is not checking federal identification anyone who needs help can receive it so it’s impossible to say how many receiving help have been directly affected by the shutdown. “If you own a gas station or you own a restaurant [frequented by federal workers ], you’re not getting that pay back, which is a real loss,” Miller said. “We wanted to help fill in that gap.” The increase in requests has not been limited to food programs. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman said Friday officials received at least two dozen calls from residents unable to pay water and sewer bills because of the shutdown. The county announced it will suspend water service disconnections until the government reopens. Bita Dayhoff, president of the Howard County Community Action Council, said her group has received 364 requests this month for help with housing payments, utility bills and other aid not related to food, a 30 percent jump from the same period last year. United Way of Central Maryland received 15 shutdown-related calls to a 211 hot line it uses to help connect people to services, a spokeswoman said. Furloughed federal workers had filed more than 16,000 unemployment insurance applications as of Sunday, more than four times the number typically received from that sector in a year. Federal safety net programs, including Social Security and Medicaid, have stayed open during the shutdown. In Maryland, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children commonly known as WIC has enough money to provide benefits for the rest of the month. Brett Meyers created a program in Rockville two years ago called Nourish Now that collects food donated by restaurants and redistributes it to families. He said he typically receives one to three requests a day but that the calls have increased to as many as five a day. He said many of those new families are furloughed workers.

Traffic increases at food pantries, aid programs

Contractors among those shut out by shutdown

Hundreds of migrants drowned in the ocean waves. Petrini said he and the pontiff also talked about the farming world. Pope Francis wanted to emphasize how precious the good practices of rural communities are to the worlds destiny. On this subject in particular, the pope had strong words: The work of these people is extraordinary, he said. Accumulating money must not be the primary goal. My grandmother used to tell me that when you die, your shroud has no pockets for money. Petrini says the conversation had a profound effect on him. “I have been an agnostic since I was young, but the absence of religiousness has not stopped me from sharing experiences and struggles with men and women of faith. I do not have the capacity or the knowledge to open a deep and learned dialog on the question of faith, but I know that if humanity wants to escape the desert of ideas that surrounds it, people who know how to communicate like Pope Francis will be of great value. Even the channel he uses, the telephone, with no mediation, is a sign of openness and directness, with the interlocutors as varied as the motivations and the topics. One has the impression they are talking with a friend. And so our phone conversation ended, with wishes of good health and a mutual embrace.

Food Stamps Hold Up Farm Bill Again, But Final Showdown Gears Up

Food Stamps Source Contention Farm Bill

The House and Senate have argued about the bill for months, with the food stamp provision at the heart of the debate. Conservative Republicans defeated the passing of a new farm bill this summer because the legislation didnt cut food stamps enough for their liking. Negotiations can begin as soon as the House votes for open negotiations and appoints negotiators. Reuters notes that the Senate already approved negotiators for the farm bill . The five-year bill will cost $500 billion and is expected to expand the federally subsidized crop insurance system. Along with food stamps, the main contentions also deal with changes to the US sugar program and a suggestion that wealthy farmers should pay a larger share of crop insurance premiums. When House Republicans defeated the original farm bill, they created two separate pieces of legislation. One dealt with traditional farm program elements, while the other sharply cut funding to the national food stamp program. Yahoo! News reports that the $39 billion cut would be broken up over the span of 10 years . However, the amount was almost 10 times the reduction proposed by the Senate, leading to an impasse the two legislative bodies havent been able to get past. House Democrats are also opposed to the cuts, and believe the cuts would put an undue burden on recipients. The two subsidy programs have been tied together in bills since the 1970s, making the idea of splitting them up strange to many legislators. Colin Peterson, the Democratic leader on the House Agriculture Committee, believes the division would mean the end of the farm bill as it is currently known. Congress is already a year behind writing a successor to the 2008 farm law, which expired last year and was revived earlier this year.