June 15, 2009

Blogging about Food Blogging

[Say hello to Nora Lewis, a new Bread for the City intern who will be working specifically on our food and nutrition programs. --ed]

~The Coalition Against Hunger blog, as well several others, is cheering last week's news that Costco will, as a test, begin accepting food stamps in three of its New York locations. The decision by the company comes after one of its rivals, BJ’s Wholesale Club, began accepting food stamps. The ED of CAH is quoted as saying that this decision is a “win-win for Costco and struggling New York Families,” noting that it will offer lower prices to struggling families and provide new customers to Costco. At first, Costco had not planned to include its new East Harlem location as part of this program, a neighborhood where many of the residents are dependent upon food stamps. However, after sufficient community outcry, Costco changed course and has decided to additionally include the E. Harlem store in their program.

~Also out of New York this week, the Food Bank of New York’s ‘Bank on It’ blog highlighted its CookShop for adults program, which appears to be similar to our own cooking classes. The program aims to combat diet-related health issues through cooking programs for seniors and adults who receive food stamps. Interestingly, the FBNY notes that its classes tend to draw mostly immigrant mothers who are unfamiliar with cooking with produce found in this country. As the program’s facilitator, Jaundy Paredes, says, “After you spend an hour handling, peeling, chopping, cooking and eating a particular vegetable it isn’t going to feel foreign anymore!” (Still, in many of the neighborhoods where these women live, fresh produce is hard to come by. There is some hopeful movement in that direction, however: see this NYT article about new legislation that will place more food carts in low income neighborhoods, as detailed in this NYT article--and stay tuned to this blog for news of similar progress in DC.)

~Lastly, and also technically out of New York, Mark Bittman’s fantastic food blog, ‘Bitten’ on the NYT website has a great guest post by Paula Crossfield, the editor of Civileats.com, (another great food blog) in which she shares her list of top sources for news about food and food policy. It's a great line-up, and we enthusiastically second her mentions of The Ethicurian, Grist's food blog, and Sustainable Food -- where we happen to have been guest posting.

And that's basically everything worth knowing about food on the internet in the last week.

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