SNAP in the Age of Political Chaos
June 14, 2018
Many individuals eligible for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are now fearful of using the program because current nebulous and ever-changing Federal rules put them in fear of their status as legal residents. Fear of retaliation by Washington has hurt children the most. This episode examines proposed changes in SNAP, the largest part of the Farm Bill, and California’s commitment to finding moral high ground. The esteemed Maria Echaveste, a BFI affiliate, weighs in on the obligations of government and its citizenry. Berkeley alum Christina L. Laird describes her experience helping program recipients as a volunteer administrator for SparkPoint Marin, and as a participant.
Small Farms and Land Access: Farm Dreams Deferred
May 31, 2018
Farmland prices have doubled since 2004. Seventy percent of U.S. farmland is expected to transition to another owner over the next 20 years. Many new farmers and small farmers rent land like other folks rent homes. What happens when their landlord doesn’t renew the lease after a season? How can new and aspiring farmers gain access to land they can control long-term for farming? Will new farmers survive the pinch? We delve into these issues and more. UC Berkeley doctoral student Adam Calo and farmer and Berkeley graduate Mai Nguyen discuss.
Rethinking School Lunch: Health Equity
May 17, 2018
More than 900 million meals are served to children in California schools each year. some children consume as much as two-thirds of their calories at school. But school meal programs have suffered over the last 10 years from major budget cutbacks, declining quality of food, and disconnection with community food needs. Within Oakland Unified School District, innovative efforts are changing how children are nourished. Now other districts are looking toward Oakland’s example.
Ecoliteracy: Teaching Children About the Origins of Food
May 3, 2018
With or without a large kitchen, children can be taught about real food, our food sources, and the complete food system. Mary Schriner, an ecoliteracy instructor at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, teaches children about everything from eggs to wheat to cooking it all, with the help of principal Peter Van Tassel and an army of volunteers. The community support is heart-warming—and surprising.