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Veteran Homelessness

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Veteran Homelessness

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is taking decisive action to end Veteran homelessness in five years.  All Veterans at risk for homelessness or attempting to exit homelessness must have easy access to programs and services.  VA offers a variety of resources, programs, and benefits which are detailed below.

Prevention Services

Includes the National Call Center for Homeless Veterans, the Veteran Justice Outreach Program, and the Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program.

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Housing Support Services

Includes information and resources to provide permanent or temporary housing and ongoing case management and treatment services for homeless Veterans.

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Treatment

Includes healthcare for homeless Veterans, healthcare and other services for Veterans exiting prison, information on Veteran Stand Downs, Drop-In Centers, and VA’s Homeless Veteran Dental Assistance Program.

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Employment/Job Training

Includes information on VA’s Compensated Work Therapy program where homeless Veterans earn pay while learning new job skills, relearning successful work habits, and regaining a sense of self-esteem and self-worth.

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Benefits/Other Services

Includes information about homeless Veteran Benefit Assistance and other programs, which provide necessary services to homeless Veterans.

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Other Resources

Includes the National Center on Homelessness Among Veterans, Project CHALENG, and other Non-VA resources for homeless assistance.

Learn More

Written by americanveterannewspaper

October 20, 2011 at 1:44 am

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GoodFood World

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from http://www.goodfoodworld.com/

Good Food is everybody’s business. From the beginning of time, food has been the foundation of cultures throughout the world. How is it then, that the goodness of food eludes us? This is because the modern food industry has made our need for good food almost inconsequential by making it cheap and plentiful, and disguising the true cost. If we are fortunate, we live where there is an abundance of food everywhere we look.

Then why question the system? Because most of us in developed countries now live separated from our food source; we are completely ignorant of the effort it takes to feed us or the role food plays in our lives. As a result, we, the wealthiest people on earth, have grown unhealthy. All food is not equal and, in fact, bad food is making us sick.

At GoodFood World, we address the food quality deficit by providing accurate information to consumers and to conscientious food practitioners involved with the production, processing, distributing, retailing, and serving of high quality natural and organic food products. We do this by collecting and reporting the news about good food at the source; and by analyzing food systems to determine their merit on the basis of social responsibility, environmental resiliency, and economic vitality – our primary measures of sustainability.

GoodFood World also provides educational opportunities and access to published documents that promote organic, transitional, and “low-chemical-input” food, with a strong emphasis on minimally processed food distributed through local and regional networks.

By seeking out people who are at the grass roots and on the ground, we report on real issues and the people affected. Food system dynamics are very much influenced by world conditions, such as the plight of seasonal workers, the advent of climate change, the availability of water, etc. However, these perturbations are most visible at the base.

In this light, our sustainability criteria or measure of food quality is global and can be read as follows:

We believe it necessary to be Socially Responsible

  • Be honest in all business activities and contribute to the strength and growth of supporting communities.
  • Show respect for the dignity, welfare, and safety of workers throughout the food supply chain.
  • Respect the “five freedoms” due to food animals – freedom to express normal behavior; freedom from hunger and thirst; freedom from pain, injury or disease; freedom from discomfort; freedom from fear and distress.
  • Promote good health through education and the delivery of safe, unadulterated, nutritious food.

And to strive to maintain Environmental Resiliency

  • Benefit the natural order as much as possible; “do no harm.”
  • Respect eco-system limits on food growth, harvest, production, processing, and distribution.
  • Avoid ecologically destructive practices, such as overfishing, water pollution, soil destruction and erosion.

And to improve true Economic Vitality

  • Account for natural capital (Ecological Economics).
  • Generate a reasonable profit to support the long-term viability of the business.
  • Create real economic benefit to society.
  • Support local and rural economies, family farms, and the diversity of rural culture.

Written by americanveterannewspaper

September 27, 2011 at 1:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Team Food Safety

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The Partnership for Food Safety Education

 

The pressing need for cooperation in consumer food safety education was framed in a 1996 report, “Putting the Food Handling Issue on the Table: the Pressing Need for Food Safety Education.” The non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education was formed in 1997 when government agencies, industry, and consumer groups pledged to work together to develop the first science-based, consumer education program, Fight BAC!®. The campaign’s four core actionable messages of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill remain the fundamental basis of consumer education in safe food handling.

The Partnership is the primary consumer education organization leveraging resources from public and private sectors to educate the public about the importance of safe food handling to good health.

The value of the Partnership for Food Safety Education continues to be in its’ network of participating organizations [see below] and message amplifiers from industry, government, and consumer and scientific non-profits.

The national network of message amplifiers (BAC Fighters) has grown to more than 10,000. BAC Fighters are in communities around the country and serve in a variety of capacities, including in health care, child care, food service, food assistance, food retail, public schools, youth groups, public health, and nutrition education, among others. Sign up to be a BAC Fighter!

The challenges in food safety education have evolved, and the need to measure progress is critical. The Partnership is taking on these challenges by launching a strategic initiative aimed at growing capacity and improving effectiveness.

Our Partners Include:

 

  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Frozen Food Institute
  • Association of Food and Drug Officials
  • Consumer Federation of America
  • Food Marketing Institute
  • Grocery Manufacturers Association
  • Institute of Food Technologists
  • International Association for Food Protection
  • International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association
  • International Food Information Council Foundation
  • National Chicken Council
  • National Pork Board
  • National Turkey Federation
  • North American Millers’ Association
  • NSF International
  • Produce Marketing Association
  • United Fresh Produce Association

Federal Government Liaison

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration, CFSAN
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

International Affiliate

  • Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education

To learn more about becoming a PFSE Partner, contact Shelley Feist, Executive Director, atsfeist@fightbac.org.

Written by americanveterannewspaper

September 3, 2011 at 1:40 am

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Outstanding Service Award

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Stephen P. Smith, Executive Director of the American Veteran Food Assistance Program receiving the Outstanding Service Award from Ms. Cherry Smart, LCSW. Ms. Smart is the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Coordinator. The Department of Veterans Affairs deals with over 280 Service Providers in Dade County. The American Veteran Food Assistance Program was 1 out of 6 organizations that received this award. 

Written by americanveterannewspaper

August 15, 2011 at 1:37 am

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Food for the Department of Veterans Affairs

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Unknown helper from the VA and Mr. Alex Noguera, Case Manager from the Department of Veterans Affairs Miami, FL. The American Veteran Food Assistance Program loads the VA vans up with food every 2 weeks. This process helps our American Veterans that are in transitional housing. Some of the Veterans that are helped receive only $ 19.00 a month to live on. 

Written by americanveterannewspaper

July 17, 2011 at 1:35 am

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Keystone Halls, Inc. Visit

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Ms. Donna Hedgepeth, CAS, Case Manager for the Keystone Halls, Inc., and Mr. Stephen P. Smith Executive Director American Veteran Food Assistance Program. The Keystone Halls is another Veterans transitional housing program the American Veteran Food Assistance Program assists in feeding our American Veterans.

Written by americanveterannewspaper

May 10, 2011 at 1:34 am

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Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Outstanding Award

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Mr. Michael Hajnrizeder, Department of Veterans Affairs for the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans. He is presenting an Outstanding service award to Mr. Stephen P. Smith the Executive Director of the American Veteran Food Assistance Program. The VA for the year 2010 only issued 1 Outstanding Service award. It was given to the American Veteran Food Assistance Program. Photo taken at the AVFAP Headquarters. 

Written by americanveterannewspaper

December 21, 2010 at 1:33 am

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Helping our American Veterans and Working Together

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Lt. to Rt. Ms. Cherry Smart LCSW Department of Veterans Affairs, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Coordinator, Mr. Michael Hajnrizeder VA assistant, Mr. Sky Lukas coordinator C&P Laboratories, Mr. Stephen P. Smith Executive Director American Veteran Food Assistance Program and Mr. Christopher Hawley President C & P Laboratories. They all were assisting in loading the VA van with food to help our American Veterans. 

Written by americanveterannewspaper

November 10, 2010 at 1:32 am

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2010 in Review

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Some highlights of the 2010 year so far:

Mr. Stephen P. Smith Executive Director of the American Veteran Food Assistance Program and Ms. Megan Noicely-Moulton MSW,RCSWI Social Service Coordinator for TheVeterans Support.org. Mr. Smith is assisting in the loading of food to assist there organization in feeding more of our American Veterans. 


Mr. Giacomo J. Coschignano (Jack) Senior Social Worker Department of Veteran Affairs and Mr. Stephen P. Smith Executive Director American Veteran Food Assistance Program both loading the VA van with food. This food goes to Veterans Transitional Housing programs in Miami Dade County. 


Mr. Stephen P. Smith Executive Director American Veteran Food Assistance Program and Gina Queen, MSW,LSW, CMHP Coordinator Veterans Health Care for Homeless Veterans Programs Department of Veterans Affairs. Ms. Queen is receiving food for the homeless American Veterans that she assists. 


The Veterans New Life Haven receiving food from the American Veteran Food Assistance Program. The AVFAP assists many other Veteran organizations in Miami Dade County with food and supplies for our Veterans.

Written by americanveterannewspaper

October 10, 2010 at 12:16 am

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Almost 1 in 10 Floridians on Food Stamps

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BY JOSE PAGLIERY

jpagliery@MiamiHerald.com

Unemployed and strapped for cash, Floridians are asking for state assistance to feed their families in record numbers.

In the last two years, the number of Floridians on food stamps has increased more than 40 percent to 1.7 million. That increase is the highest in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And it’s the second-largest jump in the state’s history, surpassed only during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, said an analyst at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based think tank.

Almost one in 10 Floridians is now on food stamps, and state managers say many more qualify.

Evidence of the unprecedented rise was on display at the Florida Department of Children & Families office in Miami recently, where the line of people waiting for help snaked out the door and around the corner.

One of them was Hardy Prado, who held his 22-month-old daughter in his arms while he waited to check on the status of his application.

As a handyman, his work is irregular and his paycheck isn’t enough to pay the bills. And Prado said it has been almost impossible for his partner, Ana Camacho, to find work since she left her job at a Doral flower shop on maternity leave in February 2007.

With every increase of the unemployment rate, drop in the housing market and tightening of credit, food stamp lines have lengthened, said Stacy Dean, a director at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

People ”lose income, and they need help buying food,” she said.

Dean said it’s no surprise that Florida’s increase surpasses the rest of the nation. Nationally, states hit hard by the housing downturn have experienced the largest increases, such as Nevada.

The nationwide rise, Dean said, is consistent with previous recessions. In 1991, the number of Floridians on food stamps was close to one million people — about 7.7 percent of the population.

Of the 1.7 million now on food stamps, about 356,000 of them live in Miami-Dade County, more than 127,000 in Broward.

A person living on their own who earns $1,127 or less a month can qualify for food stamps, as can a family of four making $2,297 or less monthly. The dollar requirement changes depending on the number of people in the household.

Certain documented immigrants are eligible and no poor undocumented immigrant children are turned away.

The program requires people ages 16 to 60 years old to ”register for work, accept suitable employment, and take part in an employment and training program to which they are referred,” according to DCF’s website. If they don’t seek work, adults ages 18 to 50 can receive food stamps for only three months in a three-year period.

Those accepted into the program receive state-issued plastic cards that work like debit cards. Users can swipe them at machines in authorized food stores, and the cards’ electronic accounts are replenished automatically every month — no more paper “stamps.”

While those kind of updates have improved the program’s efficiency, surging demand has considerably stressed the state’s ability to provide services.

”You would expect to see some decline in service when you see this huge demand,” Dean said.

Processing applications for food stamps is taking longer — close to 20 days compared to the typical 15 to 17.

The department has 4,500 employees in their ACCESS program, which handles social welfare applications. The food stamp program is one of several.

Last year, the department’s top officials asked to hire 150 more employees, but statewide budget cuts prevented that. This year, DCF is requesting 288 of them. DCF spokeswoman Sarrah Troncoso said they are hopeful the state Legislature will approve the request at its next session in the spring.

”We wouldn’t have requested them if the need weren’t there,” she said.

The weakening economy also has strained the region’s food banks that helped provide groceries to low-income families before food stamps kicked in.

Nonprofit food pantries, where families can walk in and pick up a free bag of food, are seeing fewer donations.

The Pantry of Broward has seen a big increase in traffic since opening in mid-2008, said Bruce Harris, the Pantry’s director of development. The nonprofit serves close to 253 households and takes 15 to 20 new clients each day, Harris said.

But Harris expects the monthly donations of between $15,000 to $20,000 to drop off considerably in January. Ursula Williams, a case manager at the pantry, is worried that increased demand coupled with a drop in charitable donations will force them to turn away hungry families.

”We wish DCF were not so overwhelmed, but they are,” Williams said.

Farther south, at Curley’s House of Style Hope Release Food Bank in Model City, the number of monthly customers has jumped from 731 to 1,633 in the last two years, the same period of the food stamp spike.

”Probably due to the recent layoffs,” she said. “A lot of people who never even thought they’d be on food stamps are in line now because they need to eat.”

Holliday said she started seeing more people line up at her nonprofit in August. By November, lines were a daily occurrence.

Ella Kitchen is a regular. The 70-year-old diabetic said she distributes her monthly $402 Social Security check among her few bills: medicine, rent, and her light and water bills.

Curley’s helps her supplement her food assistance program, she said.

After a few short minutes, one of the volunteers handed Kitchen a white plastic bag. Inside was a box of Triscuits, a box of wheat thins and wheat crackers, and two soda cans.

”Grandma always needs help,” she said, walking away with her bag in hand.

LaVerne Holliday, the center’s administrator, said the influx of needy families in search of food means donations rarely touch the shelves anymore — donors practically hand them right to volunteers who hand them to customers within minutes.

Dean, of the Washington think tank Center of Budget and Policy Priorities, said food stamps are one of the clearest indicators of economic need, after unemployment insurance.

Just as applications for food stamps spiked as the recession worsened, ”when the economy gets better, caseloads go down,” Dean said.

DCF officials hope people in need will not hold back from applying to the federal program, despite delays.

”We want everyone who thinks they’re eligible to go ahead and apply,” she said. http://mcclatchy.112.2O7.net/b/ss/nmmiami/1/H.10--NS/0?pageName=Story:%20829187%7CAlmost%20one%20in%2010%20Floridians%20on%20food%20stamps&server=www.miamiherald.com&channel=Today%26%2339;s%20Top%20Stories&c1=http%26%2358;%26%2347;%26%2347;www.miamiherald.com%26%2347;884%26%2347;v-fullstory%26%2347;story%26%2347;829187.html&c3=Story&c4=miamiherald%7CXMUltra%7C%0A%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Ca%20href=%22mailto:jpagliery@MiamiHerald.com%22%3Ejpagliery@MiamiHerald.com%3C/a%3E%0A%7CBY%20JOSE%20PAGLIERY&c6=MIA%7CMA&c28=&h1=MIA%7CMIAMIHERALD%7CNews%7C%7C%7C%7C%7CToday%26%2339;s%20Top%20Stories

Written by americanveterannewspaper

December 31, 2008 at 3:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized