Wholesome Consuming Entrance Vary Model: Nutritious choices for consuming out or at dwelling | Foodie

Even if you don’t jump on social media and tell all your friends and family that you’re determined to lose pounds or build muscle, the new year is a chance to make a fresh start in health. Diet is at the heart of this type of effort. Anyone who hasn’t gotten their diet on track knows how impossible it is to top a bad diet.

Fortunately, there are many options for nutrient-dense, well-sourced food in our area, whether you plan to eat out or stay home and cook for yourself. Here are ideas for five restaurant items and two grocers in our area that can support your efforts.

flower child. Photo: Deborah Cameron

Buddha Bowl by Morning Glory Cafe: One of the healthiest items you can find in the area is the Buddha Bowl at Lafayette’s Morning Glory Cafe. This vegan dish is made with eight colorful ingredients including black beans, greens, black rice, cheese, tofu, and cashew sauce. While not low in calories, it’s a hearty meal packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Blumenkind butternut squash and organic pear salad: With a mission to promote safe, healthy eating and the slogan “Happy Food for a Happy World,” Flower Child cares about what it serves. Located in Boulder at Safeway Plaza at Arapahoe Avenue and 29th St., we love the wintery, hearty butternut squash and pear salad with arugula, kale, ricotta, pecans, and puffed rice in a sherry dressing.

Urban Thai Wonton Soup: Properly prepared broth is one of the most nutrient dense foods there is and forms the core of all versions of wonton soup. Urban Thai’s version is more than just a tasty starter. It’s a richer, more interesting version of what we’ve found elsewhere. It makes us feel better when we’ve caught a winter cold and we’re sure it can improve your diet anytime.

Zeal’s Inca Acai Bowl: Zeal is known for how much they care about what they serve and how they serve it, making them a natural place on a list of restaurants that support healthy eating. While everything they offer supports nutrition, diners can’t go wrong by customizing their Inca Bowl with maca, cacao, kale, and hemp hearts, plus anything you want from their menu of smoothie fruits, seeds, and other additions choose.

Huckleberry’s Garden Wrap: With its own farm just off Highway 287 in Lafayette, Huckleberry’s commitment to quality is clear. Though many items at Louisville’s Huckleberry are decadently delicious, this Garden Wrap is a great choice for light dining. It includes hummus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and a freshly made buttermilk dill.

Flower Child Interior. Photo: Deborah Cameron

Naked Foods: Newly opened on Walnut Street last year, this grocery store focuses on reducing food waste as much as possible. Fruit and vegetables that other grocers throw away because they don’t look “perfect” are sold here, where shoppers reap the nutritional benefits. Staples like coffee and peanut butter, milk and bread are carefully selected to meet high standards. While they pay close attention to what’s on their shelves, they also care about packaging and look for ways to reduce waste and other environmental impacts.

Vitamin Cottage Natural Grocers: Founded in 1955 by the Isley family, this grocer is very careful about what goes on their shelves. They have plenty of fresh fruit and veg, options for carefully selected meats, and a range of non-meat items to help vegetarians keep meals interesting, as well as packaged items for nights when you don’t have time to cook but still want to keep cooking things sane. And each store carries its vitamins, minerals and supplements and retains the services of its own nutritionist, with whom shoppers can make an appointment for a free consultation.

Wholesome buildings may also help cease Covid-19, increase employee productiveness

Any C-suite manager looking to get employees back to the office has likely spent more time thinking about indoor air quality and ventilation in the past year and a half than at any other point in their life prior to the pandemic.

Because healthy buildings are the latest incentive to get employees back into the office. Naturally, with people returning to their personal work, they are concerned about how safe they will be. Companies continue to assure their employees that desks, computer keyboards, elevator buttons, and any other public surface are adequately sanitized.

But now they’re also paying more attention to how healthy the air in these buildings is – and what impact this can have on not only preventing the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases, but also how air quality can affect cognitive function.

“I don’t think business people see the power of buildings that not only protect people from disease but also lead to better performance,” said Joseph G. Allen, associate professor and director of the TH Chan School of Public Health at Harvard of the Harvard Healthy Buildings Program at Executive Council of the CNBC Workforce Summit on Wednesday. “Better ventilation leads to a significantly better cognitive performance of the employees. This is good for the health and productivity of the workers.”

“Droplet dogma is over”

Allen said the increased interest in indoor air quality resulted from a better understanding of the spread of Covid-19. Cleaning surfaces and following the two meter distance rule made sense if it was believed that the virus was spread by droplets that were expelled when coughing or sneezing and that these droplets could not travel further than two meters.

The reality is that Covid-19 is spread through breath aerosols that travel well over two meters, Allen said. “When we talk, cough, sneeze, or just breathe, we are constantly releasing different-sized aerosols,” he added. “When we are infected, these particles carry the virus and can travel through any room and stay in the air for hours. The droplet dogma is over. “

A ventilated room or building means that these breath aerosols can accumulate and infect someone well beyond this 1.80 m distance. “All of the major outbreaks we’ve seen share the same characteristics,” said Allen. “Time indoors in an under-ventilated room. Whether it’s a spin course, choir rehearsals or a restaurant. It’s the same basic factors that drive the transmission.”

Companies can counteract this, said Allen. “Just as we have made great strides in public health in the areas of sanitation, water quality and food safety, indoor air quality will be a part of this conversation,” he said.

Employees wear protective masks in a JLL office in Menlo Park, California, United States on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Spice up buildings

The first step is for facility managers to determine what systems are in place and whether they are working as intended. “It seems obvious, but a lot of the time we put equipment in and then leave it for 10 or 15 years and never tune it like we do with our cars,” explained Allen.

Maximizing the amount of outside air that enters the building is another step that needs to be taken. And finally, Allen said that air filters should be upgraded to the so-called MERV 13. (MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value.) He explained that a typical building has a MERV 8 filter that captures about 20% of the airborne particulates. A MERV 13 filter captures approximately 90% or more of these particles.

These higher quality filters not only improve air quality to reduce the spread of viruses, but can also help workers improve their performance.

Allen’s team at Harvard recently published a study that looked at workers from around the world for a year. Everyone had air quality sensors on their desks. A specially developed smartphone app enabled these workers to carry out short cognitive function tests. Allen found that people with better ventilation and lower particle concentrations did significantly better on these tests than people who work in areas with poorer air quality.

“The beauty of all of this is that healthy building strategies help protect against infectious diseases, but are also good for the health, productivity and performance of workers,” said Allen.

In his 2020 book, Healthy Buildings: How Indoor Spaces Drive Performance and Productivity, co-authored with Harvard Business School professor John D. Macomber, Allen says they show how better air quality and Ventilation to Win for Business. His Harvard research and financial simulations found that the benefits of increased ventilation alone are estimated to be between $ 6,500 and $ 7,500 per person per year. In an April 2020 article in the Harvard Business Review co-authored with Macomber, Allen cited researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who estimate that improving indoor air quality in offices could add up to $ 20 billion to the US economy annually.

“Since the late 1970s, in response to the global energy crisis, we began to streamline our buildings while cutting off air flow to save energy,” said Allen. We have ushered in the era of sick building.

“It is no surprise that we have high levels of indoor air pollution and sick buildings where people cannot concentrate in conference rooms and feel constantly sleepy at work,” he said.

And contrary to what many think, not only new, modern buildings can be health-oriented. “Any building can be a healthy building, and it’s not heavy and not that expensive,” he added. “In fact, I would say that healthy buildings are not expensive. Sick buildings are expensive. “

To join the CNBC Workforce Executive Council, apply at cnbccouncils.com/wec.

Heritage Days celebrates in type with wholesome crowds and extra

The shopping district is during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26, 2021, Carla Clark | For the republic

HOPE – As expected, the return of Hope Heritage Days after last year’s COVID-19 cancellation seemed like a big slice of Americana: a loud and proud, smoky, classic military flyover just after the national anthem and just before the Sunday afternoon parade.

Food from cotton candy to corn dogs to funnel cakes. A pioneering village with a rustic look at yesterday. And a shopping bazaar from toys to T-shirts.

Oh, and one more thing: healthy crowds, no pun intended, in the middle of the Delta variant.

Susan Fye, a volunteer at Pioneer Village, can vouch for this element as the 53rd annual three-day event began on Friday.

“I had never seen so many people on the square at the same time on a Friday night,” said Fye.

Jake Miller, chief executive officer of the organizing Heritage of Hope board, was more than satisfied on Sunday afternoon. He’d been hoping for record numbers to help nonprofits in the area recover a little from last year’s cancellation, and budgets and estimates from drone footage and more will tell him in a matter of days if this was true.

“I heard from several of our nonprofit sellers that they sold more Friday night than ever before,” Miller said. “And we’ve heard the same thing from a few others about Saturday being the greatest of all time.

“… Basically, this weekend was an absolute win for everyone. It was really bigger than we expected. “

He raved about being grateful to the volunteers, nonprofit leaders, attendees, and just about anyone else he could think of for making the event a resounding success.

The weather on Sunday was good enough to be mid-70s and super sunny. In the Pioneer Village, 10-year-old history buff Emma Oster tried again and again until she finally learned to walk on wooden stilts in a country house style. In fact, she even learned to walk backwards.

“Pioneer Village is really the only place where I’m not bored,” says Oster with a smile.

She loved it so much that she volunteered alongside Debra Slone Sunday and plans to do the same again next year.

In the middle of the shopping stalls, Gina Fisher found a Christmas T-shirt with a light flannel pattern that she had bought and that she will combine with matching pajama pants to sleep in style. All in all, however, she had pretty big eyes to catch her children parade with the Triton Central Marching Tigers.

“And this is the first time I’ve seen her,” said Fisher.

Edward Fye, left, teaches Allyson Baxter and Makayla Baxter how to dip string in wax to make candles at the Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Sydnie Young introduces DMI, short for Pandemic, because then she was born, the goat of Victor Doty, while Ayana Young watches during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 in the Pioneer Village. Carla Clark |  For the republic

Sydnie Young introduces DMI, short for Pandemic, because then she was born, the goat of Victor Doty, while Ayana Young watches during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 in the Pioneer Village. Carla Clark | For the republic

Griffin Artis demonstrates the use of a compound bow with approximately 63 pounds of pulling force at Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Griffin Artis demonstrates the use of a compound bow with approximately 63 pounds of pulling force at Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Kate Phillips is spinning a Wollhof Carla Clark |  For the republic

Kate Phillips is spinning a Wollhof Carla Clark | For the republic

Susan Thayer Fye and Hannah Pruden show furs, skulls and shells from animals in the Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Susan Thayer Fye and Hannah Pruden show furs, skulls and shells from animals in the Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Catey Fields and Piper Flannery learn to saw during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021, in the Pioneer Village. Carla Clark |  For the republic

Catey Fields and Piper Flannery learn to saw during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021, in the Pioneer Village. Carla Clark | For the republic

Beau McKinney uses the crank forge to demonstrate the blacksmithing art in the Pioneer Village during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Beau McKinney uses the crank forge to demonstrate the blacksmithing art in the Pioneer Village during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Finn, a German shorthair pointer, plays with the new dog toy that he as Vada Cramer-Burrus, Partner for Animal Welfare Society, Inc., and Billy Gray during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, 26. Clark |  For the republic

Finn, a German shorthair pointer, plays with the new dog toy that he as Vada Cramer-Burrus, Partner for Animal Welfare Society, Inc., and Billy Gray during the Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, 26. Clark | For the republic

Justin Gelfius gives Grane Gelfius a bite of his turkey leg during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Justin Gelfius gives Grane Gelfius a bite of his turkey leg during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Paige, Ella Erin and Avery Brown enjoy funnel cakes during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Paige, Ella Erin and Avery Brown enjoy funnel cakes during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

People picnic and visit Carla Clark |  For the republic

People picnic and visit Carla Clark | For the republic

During Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26th, 2021, people will queue up for food at the FFA booth Carla Clark |  For the republic

During Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26th, 2021, people will queue up for food at the FFA booth Carla Clark | For the republic

The Cottonpatch band will perform during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

The Cottonpatch band will perform during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26th, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

Wyatt Pate plays the Hoop Rolling Game in Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

Wyatt Pate plays the Hoop Rolling Game in Pioneer Village during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

During Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021, people will line up at the food stalls at Carla Clark |  For the republic

During Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021, people will line up at the food stalls at Carla Clark | For the republic

People buy, eat and visit during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark |  For the republic

People buy, eat and visit during Hope Heritage Days, Sunday, September 26, 2021 Carla Clark | For the republic

The shopping district is during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26, 2021, Carla Clark |  For the republic

The shopping district is during Hope Heritage Days on Sunday, September 26, 2021, Carla Clark | For the republic

13 methods a wholesome life-style can prevent cash

Water has many health benefits and few drawbacks unless the water is contaminated or of poor quality. As per the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention too Water and healthier drinks, Water can help regulate your body temperature, get rid of waste, prevent dehydration, protect your spinal cord, and lubricate joints.

However, the financial benefit of water is that it is virtually free for many people. When you spend a lot of money on other beverages that are usually less healthy than water, you are paying for things your body doesn’t necessarily need. This can include soda, coffee, energy drinks, alcoholic beverages, and more.

Eliminating most non-water drinks can lead to healthier lives and more money in your pocket. Even if you live in a place where you’d rather buy bottled water, it’s likely cheaper than other drinks.

Do You Have a Wholesome Emotional Relationship With Cash?

Katie Harp / Unsplash

GOBankingRates aims to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest statistics, women hold $ 72 billion in personal wealth – but fewer women than men consider themselves “good” or “excellent”. Women invest less and are more in debt, and overall women still earn less than men. Our Financially Savvy Female column examines the causes of these injustices and offers solutions to change them. We believe that financial equality begins with financial literacy. That’s why we provide tools and tips for women to take control of their money and help them live richer lives.

Stay up to date: Sign up for the newsletter for financially savvy women

In today’s column we chat with you Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW, financial therapist and author of The Financial Anxiety Solution, on how to determine if you have a healthy emotional relationship with money – and what to do when you don’t.

What are some signs that a person has a healthy emotional relationship with money?

A person who has a healthy relationship with money understands the ins and outs of their personal finances and understands that mistakes happen. They like to talk about money and ask questions when they don’t understand something financially.

Continue reading: 3 alarming reasons women are lagging men in terms of their finances
Find out: 4 important tips for mothers returning to work

What are some signs that a person is not having a healthy emotional relationship with money?

You could avoid looking for money not to negotiate pay increases, over-spend, or spend recklessly.

If someone does not have a healthy relationship with money, what steps can you take to improve it?

1) Identify your current relationship with money. If you are unsure, I recommend that you write down your thoughts and feelings as you interact with money or financial tasks. Remember: watching your paycheck come in on your bank account, handing over your credit card when you get your car repaired, or listening to a story about the stock market on the radio. Knowing where you are now can help you find where you want to be.

The story goes on

More from the financially savvy woman: How Millennial Women Can Take Control of Their Debt
Discover: 3 Money Moves Every Woman Must Make According to Rachel Cruze

2) Identify your version of a healthy relationship with money. Most of my clients say they want a relationship with money that feels simple, that gives them confidence and peace of mind. These words may or may not resonate with you! You decide what a healthy relationship with money looks like.

3) List your unhealthy financial thoughts or practices. For example, “I’m not paying my credit card bills” or “I’ll wait until April 14th to file taxes.”

See: The Biggest Money Mistakes Women Make in Relationships
Read: 2 main ways the student debt burden deprives women of their freedom

4) Decide what sound financial thoughts or practices to adopt. I’m not here to tell you what to do or not to do with your money. You are the expert on how you want your relationship with money to be.

Here are a few questions to get you started: Does checking your bank account weekly feel like a healthy financial habit? How about starting your day with a mantra like “I am confident enough to understand money”?

Breaking through the glass ceiling: How to achieve a leadership position
In time: How to Support Small Business Owned by Women

5) Create a roadmap to implement changes. Reverse engineering from your current location to your desired destination. Create small, manageable steps to get there and practice in a cadence that works for you, be it daily, weekly, or monthly.

More from GOBankingRates

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Do you have a healthy emotional relationship with money?

Fuel stations, liquor shops allowed to snap up profit cash with out offering intensive wholesome meals choices

(InvestigateTV/Gray News) – Driving through almost any town in rural America, gas stations have peculiar selections.

Of course, there’s the usual road trip fare: soda, chips and candy. Maybe a section of T-shirts with funny slogans or essentials for your car such as containers of oil and antifreeze.

But there’s often also the out-of-place package of ham in the beer cooler. A random few frozen meals tucked in near the bags of ice. Or an odd bunch of bananas in a basket at the checkout.

The reason in many cases: Stores are working to meet the minimum requirements to accept food stamps – a government program meant to help America’s poorest buy healthy food. It’s a program that can also mean big money for small stores.

By law, stores in the federal program are supposed to regularly stock multiple different types of food that fall into each of the following categories: Fruit/vegetables, dairy, meat/seafood and bread/cereal.

“Not all stores meet the low standards to be in the program. So, there’s two problems. One: standards are too low. And the second problem is there’s no compliance to make sure that those standards are met. But SNAP is vitally important,” said Chicago-based researcher and consultant Mari Gallagher.

On the government’s benefits website, the stated mission of the food stamp or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is “to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.”

The healthy options are what people from food bank operators to food access advocates say are lacking, particularly in rural stores.

Many stores that accept food stamps that InvestigateTV visited had prominent shelves of chips, candy and other snack foods, as well as large coolers of beer and other alcoholic beverages. Fresh and/or healthy food was sparse. Federal regulations require stores to stock some dairy, bread/cereal, fruit/vegetables, and meat/seafood, but critics say the standards are too low.(InvestigateTV)

Seven years ago, lawmakers tried to expand the access to food for Americans on benefits by requiring stores to stock a wider variety of healthy food to be allowed to accept benefit money.

But InvestigateTV discovered that the eligibility requirements published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the program, don’t meet the current legal requirement.

That’s because a few years after passing that law, Congress effectively reversed its own law by pulling funding on the new requirement. So, while the law requires more, stores aren’t required to follow the mandate.

Benefits are big business

While the intention of the program is to help families put food on their table – and make sure their options are nutritious – it’s not always happening.

There are currently around 245,000 stores that accept food stamps across the United States. Many are typical grocery stores with a meat counter, produce department and aisles of refrigerated, frozen and shelf-stable foods. Most benefit dollars are used at such stores, according to the USDA.

But there are thousands of what Gallagher refers to as fringe stores that also take food stamps. Those stores, she explains, don’t offer foods that could regularly support a healthy diet.

“Three reasons: Money, money, money,” Gallagher said.

Gas stations, minimarts, bait shops and stores with huge shelves of liquor can cash in on the benefits program, without providing many healthy options for customers.

While people who use food stamps cannot use the benefits to buy liquor, cigarettes or household supplies, they can buy nearly any food or non-alcoholic drink product including chips, candy bars and slushies.

In some towns, gas stations and minimarts are the only game in town. The National Association of Convenience Stores says nearly half of those stores are in rural areas, and more than 80% of rural Americans live within 10 minutes of a convenience store.

“Convenience stores are important because rural areas don’t always have access to as many goods and services as other places,” said NACS general counsel Doug Kantor, who agrees more fresh food options should be required at stores.

Critics say currently the small stores often don’t offer much for poor residents, some of whom also lack access to transportation to get to a town with a full grocery store. With a limited selection, some customers may only have a few healthy options and walls of sugar or sodium-packed choices.

“There are a lot of people who are missing meals because they cannot afford them, or they’re missing quality meals. They’re going to the minimart gas station and getting something that’s there because they’re really hungry,” Gallagher said.

Accepting SNAP is lucrative for stores. From a store’s perspective, accepting benefits is the same as taking a debit card or cash.

“Retailers love to be in the SNAP program, and why shouldn’t they? There’s a lot of money in the program,” Gallagher said.

In the last fiscal year, convenience stores accepted $3.8 billion in benefits.

Undercover findings

In rural Louisiana, small stores on the side of the road sell trinkets, beer, and even life-like baby dolls.

InvestigateTV journalists drove to multiple towns to visit a dozen stores that have applied for and been allowed to accept food stamps. The goal of the undercover reporting: See what residents can buy at their local convenience stores. In some towns, those stores are the only places to buy food.

The findings: Many specialized in junk food and booze – with little to no fresh fruits or vegetables, limited if any meat in the coolers or freezers, and only small containers of often pricey milk.

In one store, the only sign of fresh fruits or vegetables was a shelf with five green bell peppers and one moldy lemon.

In rural Louisiana, small stores that accept SNAP benefits sell items including life-like baby dolls, karaoke machines. The dozen stores InvestigateTV visited contained mostly sugary and salty snack foods as well as large beverage selections. Most had canned fruits, vegetables and meats to fulfill SNAP requirements. Very few had any fresh produce or raw meat intended to cook at home. One store had a few bell peppers and a moldy lemon; another had expired eggs. Rural convenience store owners say it can be hard to stock and keep perishable foods with limited truck deliveries.(InvestigateTV)

Gallagher, the Chicago-based researcher, has spent years working on food research and is credited with popularizing the term “food desert.” In her work, she has done a lot of reconnaissance herself.

“I saw a laundromat one time that was in the SNAP program. They had this little kind of dumpy laundromat and then a little table with, it was just a little like a card table, with some stuff that they sold and accepted SNAP,” she said. “I saw one convenience store that had little gambling machines in there. People were in there smoking. They had no, really no real food.”

To accept food stamps, a store fills out a nine-page form, part of which asks stores to check “yes” or “no” on whether they have the required minimum stock of staple foods.

The current requirement for most stores, according to the USDA’s website, is that each store have three packages of three varieties of food in four categories: Fruits/vegetables, meat/seafood, dairy, and bread/cereals.

For example, to meet the fruit/vegetable category, a store might have three cans of green beans, three bananas and three cartons of orange juice.

To accept food stamps (SNAP benefits), a store must stock at least three units of three types...To accept food stamps (SNAP benefits), a store must stock at least three units of three types of food in each of the four major categories. Shown are examples of food that would qualify a store to participate in the program. Congress amended the law seven years ago to require seven types of food in each category; however, that law is on hold while the USDA finalizes its rules.(Illustration: Jon Turnipseed, InvestigateTV)

Canned tomato soup is a qualifying vegetable. So is a bag of frozen tater tots. Beef jerky is a meat. Jarred alfredo sauce can be counted as milk and a qualifying dairy product.

In addition to the requirements being low and some would say strange, inspections for SNAP compliance are infrequent. According to a USDA spokesperson, the agency “in general” visits stores when they initially apply for the program. It then “may” visit again when they apply for reauthorization every five years.

“USDA colleagues that we work with are very talented and dedicated. Congress actually has to allocate money for there to be money for compliance,” Gallagher said.

Current rules fail to meet 2007 Farm Bill requirements

A law currently on the books strengthens the requirements for stores. It forces them to have more healthy food on the shelves at any time.

But that law is also essentially shelved.

In 2014, Congress passed a new farm bill, a 357-page law that encompasses issues from conservation to subsidies to food stamps.

One of the changes: Instead of requiring three varieties of food in those big categories, stores would now be required to have seven types of food. For example, instead of three types of dairy products such as milk, cheese and sour cream, shops would need to have seven.

“We supported it, and it was a nice instance of bipartisan agreement in Washington that this was an achievable improvement in terms of pushing stores to offer more,” said Kantor, from the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS).

The USDA amended its benefit rules to reflect the change.

But, NACS and a group of lawmakers said the new rule ended up being written in a way that was too limiting for rural stores.

The 2014 Farm Bill included a change to SNAP requirements for stores to participate in the...The 2014 Farm Bill included a change to SNAP requirements for stores to participate in the program. Instead of requiring three “varieties” of food in each category such as fruit/vegetables, the law now required seven varieties. The USDA wrote a new rule to reflect the changes; however, there was significant criticism. In 2017, Congress stopped enforcement of the change until the USDA addressed and rewrote the definition of variety. A 2019 rule to fix the concern has not been finalized.(InvestigateTV)

The bar, according to those in the industry and some lawmakers, was too high.

“Unfortunately when the Department of Agriculture first wrote the rules to implement this, they wrote them in a way that nobody understood or thought made sense,” Kantor said.

In 2016, more than 150 members of the House of Representatives signed a letter asking the rule be reconsidered.

Senators, including the current chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), also wrote a letter to the secretary of agriculture.

It stated, in part, “The cost and burden of complying with the proposed rule could be too high for these retailers to continue participating in SNAP. This would result in the exact opposite of what is intended- it would reduce access to healthy food for SNAP participants.”

The hang-up is in the word “variety.” Currently, only one type of product can be a “variety” – so roast beef and a steak only count for one variety of meat/seafood: beef. Orange juice and fresh oranges are one variety of fruit/vegetable.

Stores say it’s too hard to stock that much variety in a small, rural store where deliveries are few and far between. In particular, the meat and dairy categories would run out of options very quickly if only one type of beef, chicken, etc. counted toward the total as the original rule suggested.

Part of the NACS argument stated on its website: “On average, convenience stores get food deliveries 1-2 times a week, which can make stocking certain foods, particularly perishable foods, difficult. Convenience stores have limited space and storage. The average convenience store is approximately 3,000 square feet—almost 15 times smaller than the average supermarket.”

So in 2017, Congress essentially pulled back its own mandate in an omnibus appropriations bill. It said the rule established by the still-in-effect law would not be funded until some definitions are hammered out. As of this date, it still has not happened.

Many rural stores carry only canned or otherwise shelf-stable produce. Some stock frozen...Many rural stores carry only canned or otherwise shelf-stable produce. Some stock frozen varieties. These all meet SNAP requirements for stores; however, many food access experts say there should be more fresh choices to support a healthy diet. Some stores, such as Dollar General, have plans to expand fresh selections.(InvestigateTV)

Now, in 2021, while the law still technically says stores should have seven different kinds of fruits and vegetables, that’s not the requirement in practice.

“The law that Congress wrote is achievable, and frankly we think they were clear. As I said, the Department of Agriculture, I think, made it more complicated than it should have been in a way that folks would not have been able to implement,” Kantor said. “We hope that they’ll finish the job of simplifying that soon so that everybody can then comply with the new law and offer more.”

The USDA answered questions through email, but the agency declined to go on camera for an interview.

InvestigateTV specifically asked the USDA why it has not finalized the rule that would bring the program into step with the law.

A spokesperson responded through email: “USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) received significant comments in response to the proposed rule. FNS is currently determining the appropriate next steps to balance the improved retailer stocking requirements with the costs and operational realities of such changes.”

Food bank replaces grocery store

The last grocery store in Pine Hill, Alabama, closed some 30 years ago, according to the recollection of former residents.

All that’s left now is a dollar store and two gas stations.

“Even when I was small coming up, it wasn’t a whole lot here. But we had three grocery stores, and now there’s no grocery store at all,” said Edith Ruffin, who grew up in Pine Hill and now lives in Selma.

The twisted irony: Ruffin now runs the town’s food bank out of one of the old grocery store buildings.

A few times a week, Ruffin loads up her car and drives the 60 miles between her home in Selma and her hometown to run the food bank.

The Pine Hill Mission food bank co-founded by Edith Ruffin serves over 17 nearby counties. The...The Pine Hill Mission food bank co-founded by Edith Ruffin serves over 17 nearby counties. The food bank operates out of an old grocery store building. With limited options for healthy food, Ruffin said she is one of the only places people can get fresh produce and other perishable items.(Owen Hornstein, InvestigateTV)

“Dollar General is just canned goods and, you know, snack stuff. They might have canned vegetables, but there’s no fresh stuff there,” Ruffin said. “Here at the food bank, we are able to give them potatoes and tomatoes. We’ve been blessed with a three-door cooler now so I can add dairy stuff.”

An InvestigateTV videographer went into the three stores that accept food stamps in Pine Hill. There were options for canned and frozen vegetables, fruit, and meat – but as Ruffin said, fresh food was virtually non-existent.

“So, it’s just the food bank itself going on right here … just the food bank. I know a lot of them come here and they are calling me later when we have a drive-by giveaway, and they say, ‘Thank you so much, you know, because I don’t know what we would do if the food bank wasn’t there.’”

Dollar General said it offers convenient, affordable access to components to make nutritious meals such as frozen and canned vegetables and fruits. A corporate news release states the company has fresh produce in more than 1,300 of its stores, which would account for about 7% of its stores, though it has published plans to expand. The closest large grocery stores to Pine Hill are a Piggly Wiggly, 25 minutes away in Camden, and a Walmart, 15 minutes away in the next county.

“You look at people with low income, how can you pay somebody for taking you down there? You don’t have the money for it, or if you squeeze it … you get there and pay for the gas for somebody to take you, there is a dent in your money to buy food,” Ruffin said.

Gallagher deployed her special missing meals deficit model in Wilcox County, where Pine Hill is located, at the request of InvestigateTV to get a clearer picture of the hunger in the county.

The goal: Factor in all kinds of things on a local level from seasonal employment and government benefits to school lunches and food pantries to figure out how many people are missing meals each day, week and year.

Her findings: People who live in Wilcox County miss an estimated 686,000 meals a year, which is equal to almost 1 million pounds of food. Said another way, the average family or household misses an average of 3.5 meals a week.

The Pine Hill area is one of the more stretched parts of the county. The around 1,100 residents there miss more than 67,000 meals each year.

If everyone in the county shared the missing meals at the same time, no one in the county would eat a meal for three weeks. (Full reports available at the end of the story).

This map shows how many meals are missed each year in various block groups of Wilcox County,...This map shows how many meals are missed each year in various block groups of Wilcox County, Alabama. Pine Hill is in one of the more stressed areas of the county, according to analysis and mapping. Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group analyzed Wilcox County’s local data as well as that of Ashtabula County, Ohio at the request of InvestigateTV.(Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group)

Solving hunger issues by looking at access, education

Wilcox County has been ranked the worst county in Alabama to live in. Nearly ten years ago, Census data ranked it the poorest county in America by household income.

It has a storied and complicated history, much of it tied to slavery. It is a place where descendants of slaves now live, home to people who marched from Selma to Montgomery.

And for many, it’s a home they won’t abandon. But to remain, they need help.

Tamika Dial works as the coordinator for the Wilcox County Extension Office. For her, helping rural Alabama serves a personal purpose, but she can’t do it alone.

“It’s a lot to live in rural Alabama. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it’s a lot of things that if somebody would really take the time to hear what we are saying they can see that we need help here,” she said.

Some of the biggest obstacles in the county, Dial said, come down to accessing resources and transportation to get to those resources.

Since many people are locked into their towns with only gas stations or convenience stores, they are stuck with the options that exist there. On top of the lack of choices, Dial said the prices are also worse, meaning food stamps don’t stretch as far.

“When you come to rural Alabama, you don’t have enough competition so you’re going to pay more,” Dial said.

InvestigateTV looked at prices in rural convenience stores, a dollar store and the large grocery store in Camden. Many items were double the price per weight – and often the choices were only to compare fresh foods to canned options.

InvestigateTV compared prices for various grocery items in Wilcox County in June 2021....InvestigateTV compared prices for various grocery items in Wilcox County in June 2021. Convenience and dollar store prices were gathered in person; the Piggly Wiggly prices are from the store’s weekly advertisements. Some produce items were only available in cans, which is noted in the graphic.(Illustration/Research: Cory Johnson, InvestigateTV)

Dial said they have worked with stores in an attempt to get more fresh food options, but the owners haven’t had luck keeping the stock or selling it.

“A lot of our convenience stores started complaining because they were losing money because a lot of folks will not go in and buy the fresh fruits and vegetables. They would be purchasing chips and candy and the gum, and the business owners started taking a loss in trying to do that,” Dial said.

Now, much of the focus of her office is on educating people on making healthier choices. They help teach school children about eating vegetables. They talk to people about choosing granola bars instead of candy and drinking water and 100% juice instead of sugar-filled juice mixes.

The office also works with stores to make healthy choices stand out.

“We try our very best to make sure all those good items are the items that you see when you first walk into the store. Like your water… your 100% juices,” Dial said.

For Dial and her coworkers, helping people make healthy choices even when those choices are slim is a matter of life or death.

“Healthy choices… because it makes you live longer. It cuts out obesity. It lowers the heart rate, it lowers diabetes, cholesterol, and if we can get these children at an early age, we can cut out a lot of health problems that may be in our rural communities,” Dial said.

But like many working in rural areas and putting in so much time and heart, Dial said they need help.

“We are not asking for handouts. We just ask to be recognized and noticed and help us combat all these disparities that we have in rural Alabama,” Dial said.

Solutions

In Wilcox County, Edith Ruffin, who runs the food bank, plans to keep doing what she can on a small level. Her next big goal: Get a fresh food truck that comes into Camden to head the 25 minutes down the road to Pine Hill.

“I do believe that if we could get that vegetable and fruit truck coming through this area we could do more,” Ruffin said.

She once tried to haul fresh fruit and vegetables from the Camden truck, but the pallet fell from her car onto the highway. Ruffin said she nearly wrecked and is too concerned to try it again.

For now, she leans on the generosity of others, too. The food bank in Selma helps donate food, and a local company helps give money to buy more.

Dial, from the extension office, hopes more stores would consider coming to the county.

“I think that we need to be looked at closer and see the problems and see how important it is that we need to…we need more stores in our area,” she said.

The NACS wants the USDA to move the rule changes forward so the requirements are higher for stores, and the organization’s general counsel said he will continue pushing for the finalization.

“We continue to support it and hope that the Department of Agriculture will finish some rules that allow us to implement it,” Kantor said. “There are some impediments to offering more variety, especially in small stores like convenience stores. But we do think they should offer more.”

Meantime, Kantor said many stores are taking it upon themselves to offer more.

“As people have wanted to buy more different kinds of foods, more fresh foods, convenience stores have started to offer more and more of those products,” Kantor said.

Dollar General is one such store. While in Pine Hill, Alabama the store didn’t have much fresh food on hand, the corporate headquarters said it plans to expand fresh food to up to 10,000 of its stores within the next several years.

That move would mean fresh produce in more than half of its stores. With the company’s estimate of 75% of Americans living within five miles of a Dollar General, it could mean a significant increase in availability.

When it comes to the bigger picture, Gallagher hopes to see changes in mindset and policy.

“If you don’t want to do it for the moral imperative you can do it for the economic imperative. I mean, because in the end, you know, we’re going to have a workforce that can’t pay attention to this, a lot of missed work because of diet-related diseases,” Gallagher said.

One potential solution Gallagher proposes is building SNAP compliance into health department inspections, since someone already goes into stores regularly at the county level.

“Let’s put some money together for compliance because we all eat as part of human condition, and food and access to food should be a conscious part of our infrastructure maintenance,” Gallagher said.

Wilcox County, Alabama and Ashtabula County, Ohio Full Reports

Courtesy: Mari Gallagher Research and Consulting Group

Copyright 2021 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ABM Helps ASM World for a Wholesome Return to Sports activities and Leisure Services NYSE:ABM

NEW YORK, February 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – ABM (NYSE: ABM), a leading provider of facility solutions, today announced that it has teamed up with ASM Global (ASM), the world’s leading venue management and services company, and other partners to implement ASM’s industry-leading VenueShield program. VenueShield is a comprehensive set of protocols and procedures that provide trusted protection for the live experience, based on critical healthcare insights and partnerships with leading experts in sports and entertainment establishments. The program will support the further reopening of more than 325 ASM venues and customer partners worldwide. The deal was brokered by AEG Global Partnerships.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to leverage our expertise and solutions to help ASM improve and scale their reopening protocols for VenueShield,” said Billy Hatler, senior vice president, Operations, Business & Industry – West Region ABM. “ABM was a leader in plant solutions long before the pandemic. Under the guidance of our expert advisory board and in strict compliance with the CDC and other relevant guidelines of the agency, we continue to use the specialist knowledge inside and outside our organization in order to offer our customers the greatest possible benefit. “

“Our shared commitment to the highest quality of service and the best experiences for our guests is at the core of this partnership,” said Bob Newman, Chairman of ASM Global. “We are pleased that ABM’s experience and expertise add to our industry-leading VenueShield efforts as we continue to safely and successfully reopen ASM facilities around the world.”

ABM’s expert advisory board advises on many aspects of ABM’s business, including ABM’s EnhancedClean ™ program for surface disinfection and the new EnhancedFacility ™ program to improve indoor air quality. The council, composed of internal and external leading experts in infectious diseases and occupational hygiene, offers a third-party perspective to assist ABM in the value it offers customers.

ABM continues to oversee the most up-to-date safety, infection control, and cleaning protocols recommended by global experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), and others. ABM’s services have been identified by relevant government agencies as “essential” to doing business during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on ABM service offerings for COVID-19, please contact your local ABM representative or visit ABM.com.

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About ABM

ABM (NYSE: ABM) is a leading provider of facility solutions with sales of approximately $ 6.0 billion and more than 100,000 employees in over 350 offices in the USA and in various international locations. ABM’s extensive capabilities include janitorial, electrical and lighting solutions, energy solutions, building technology, HVAC and mechanics, landscape and lawns, business-critical solutions and parking that are provided through standalone or integrated solutions. ABM provides custom furnishing solutions in urban, suburban and rural areas for properties of all sizes – from schools and commercial buildings to hospitals, data centers, manufacturing facilities and airports. ABM Industries Incorporated, which operates through its subsidiaries, was founded in 1909. For more information, see www.abm.com.

About ASM Global

ASM Global is the world’s leading provider of innovative event services and live experiences. The company was formed through the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, a global leader in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite events network spans five continents and includes more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage and Sydney to Stockholm, the venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. ASM Global’s diverse client portfolio benefits from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem solving. Every day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and state-of-the-art technologies in order to offer organizers maximum results and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently searching for new ways to introduce, innovate and strengthen the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global enhances the human spirit while offering the highest value for everyone involved. For more information visit www.asmglobal.com.

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Media:
Alex Varjan
(646) 478-6364
alex.varjan@abm.com

Investor Relations & Treasury:
Susie A. Kim
(212) 297-9721
susie.kim@abm.com