We want to help provide jobs and opportunities for those who are able to work in order to get government benefits. By encouraging people to engage in job training or workfare we can help those in the program build the skills and gain the experience they need to become self-sufficient in the future.” Sheffield, in a policy paper , wrote that food stamps should be reformed to focus on people truly in need. Who those people are, though, is the question. Hawaiis human services department declined to make anyone available for an interview to discuss the changes in eligibility. Rosenfeld, in an email, said only that the states decision to make it easier to qualify fit with the programs mission, which she described as being to provide access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education to every eligible person” who seeks assistance. National food stamp advocates note that states like Hawaii began making it easier to get food stamps as more people began struggling at the beginning of the recession. Ellen Vollinger, legal director for the Food Research and Action Center, said in an interview that by loosening eligibility states were able to help a great number of people who were newly needy in the wake of the recession. With the number of jobs rebounding slowly, she said, many people still need help. Just having a job brings few guarantees on the food front, she said, noting, Im sure its true in Hawaii, but many food (banks) on the mainland are finding that many working people just dont have enough for food.” She added that it’s deceiving to say people with higher incomes are getting food stamps. Under the program, the more money people earn means the less they receive in benefits. The GAO report noted that those who qualified because of the broadened standards received on average $81 monthly, compared to $293 for other households. In Hawaii, due to its higher cost of living, the average household on food stamps receives $427-a-month in benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And, Volliner said, the criticism that people with slightly higher incomes can now qualify for food stamps ignores the fact that there’s a two-step test to decide whether a household can get assistance.
Food Stamp Debate Gets Personal In Hawaii
Red Robin just brought back its Octoberfest Burger served on a pretzel bun. Even Starbucks has a Stoneground Dijon Bavarian-Style Pretzel with the mustard inside. Maybe that’s why pretzel bread is the fastest-growing sandwich bread, with a 36% jump on sandwich menus from 2011 to 2012, reports research specialist Datassential. But fast-food’s pretzel innovations aren’t limited to sandwiches. Back in April, Dairy Queen rolled out what it called a Choco-Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Blizzard. For 7-Eleven, plopping a sandwich inside a pretzel bun was a no-brainer, says Kelly Buckley, vice president of fresh foods innovation. “We know that one of the first senses you want to hit is a visual wow.” Customers’ requests drove Wendy’s to add the Pretzel Pub Chicken sandwich, which rolls out Monday, says spokesman Denny Lynch. Pretzels have been transplanted into just about everything this year. Just this month, Aldi rolled out Pretzel Bread Stuffed Sandwiches to compete with Hot Pockets. Wal-Mart rolled out Great Value Parmesan Garlic-Flavored Pretzel Balls. And last month, Nature Valley rolled out Chocolate Pretzel Nut granola bars.
Packagers Meet Food Safety Challenges with SQF Certification
Markets close in 54 mins. Stock Watch Packagers Meet Food Safety Challenges with SQF Certification SCS Global Services’ Chip Wood Presents Steps to SQF Certification at Pack Expo 2013 Press Release: SCS Global Services 4 hours ago Print LAS VEGAS, Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –In the wake of growing demand by retailers and major food brands, food packaging companies are stepping up their efforts to satisfy customers by seeking Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification . Speaking Tuesday at Pack Expo 2013, Chip Wood, Director of Food and Agriculture Business Development for SCS Global Services (SCS), described multiple factors driving food packagers toward this globally-recognized level of food safety certification, then walked the audience step-by-step through the process. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120827/MM63583LOGO ) “As the packaging industry gears itself up for SQF, the world’s most widely recognized Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) level certification, industry members should be well acquainted with the rigors of the program as well as the opportunities it represents,” Wood said. Citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Wood identified the top four food problems deficient employee training, contamination of raw materials, poor plant and equipment sanitation, and poor plant design and construction. He then explained key components of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) , sweeping food safety legislation signed into law in 2011, and described how each of these components are addressed under the SQF program. “The FSMA’s formula of audits, prevention, compliance, and response is comprehensively addressed within SQF,” he said. “It provides a systematic approach to employee training, inspections, mandatory recalls, record access and administrative detention, product traceability, and laboratory testing.” In addition to new regulations and buyer specifications, he listed additional factors driving a growing number of food packaging companies to get SQF-trained and certified. These factors include growing awareness of the risks posed by food-borne illness, knowledge of the increased virulence of some pathogens, better detection capabilities, global supply chain issues, protection of reputation, and reduced quality assurance costs. According to Wood, SCS offers a full suite of SQF food safety services. These services include: fully-accredited SQF training; pre-certification exercises which enable companies to undergo mock audits and determine their readiness levels; an extensive SQF consultant network to help companies navigate the terrain; and top-level SQF auditing and certification covering all food categories. HACCP training classes specifically geared to the packaging industry are already being scheduled for early 2014. SCS Global Services (SCS) has been a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development for three decades. SCS programs span a wide cross-section of sectors, recognizing exemplary performance in natural resource management, green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, retailing and more. In addition to food products, SCS certifies sustainably grown cut flowers and plants. Media Contact: Diane Dulmage, SCS Global Services 510.452.8003
UAE aims to become regional food hub
It would also export more of its own national produce, such as dates and spices, Gauldie said. One of the first steps in achieving the food security goal is to formulate a federal food safety law that harmonises action plans and strategies in different emirates, he added. The Ministry of Environment and Water is working to establish such a law, with inputs from various emirates. The FAO, which works to improve global nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, enhance food security and contribute to economic growth, conducted a two-day workshop that concluded in the capital on Wednesday. The workshop provided advice to about 30 UAE officials on related matters. A draft law already exists. We at the FAO conducted a nationwide assessment earlier this year and are now working to present results and observations that indicate whether official controls in the UAE comply with international norms, Gauldie said. In addition to making the UAE a food hub, the legislation will also help ensure food security: the assurance that the country continues to have a predictable amount of enough safe food for its residents. Trust This is especially important as many emirates import much of the food consumed. For example, Dubai imports about 90 per cent of its food. Moreover, achieving food security would help build trust in the UAEs position as a food hub, Gauldie said. The law is expected to address all food-related issues, including quality, food testing laboratory standards, agricultural practices, and regulations for food business operators such as restaurants, canteens, supermarkets and grocery stores. And once the law is in place, it could recommend special investigations into the quality of food and production processes. At present, there are different approaches to food safety in each of the emirates. A clear policy option is to harmonise these approaches, build capacity for food security and then identify a suitable central competent authority to enact the law and monitor its implementation, the official said.