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The Complexity of Hunger

By Lynette Johnson *

Take away the noise, the loudest voices, the folks who say, “If only this…” or “If they just…” and what we have is a complex web of issues, nuanced and difficult, with lots and lots of gray and very little black and white.

We could start by looking at hunger by its time frame: immediate, short-term, and long-term.

On the immediate level, for example, hunger is not having access to food to eat today. We can qualify that by ...

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No Sour Grapes

By Jean Blish Siers *

Grapes on a vine.I got a call this week from one of the farmers we work with. He has a lovely farm west of Charlotte, North Carolina where he and his wife raise blackberries and blueberries in the summer, and then harvest acres and acres of muscadine and Concord grapes in the fall. They usually have us out to glean at least once a season, and we all ...

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Practically Perfect Peaches

By Lynette Johnson *

In my early 20s, I lived briefly in upstate South Carolina. Eagerly stopping at a roadside peach stand one summer day, I asked for a basket of peaches.

What I got was an education. “Ma’am, we have 22 varieties of peaches out today. You’ll need to tell us what kind you want.”

It’s peach season again, so I found myself dithering at a roadside stand in Virginia last weekend. Just three choices this time, though, all freestone. I chose ...

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Vegetable Vocabulary: The Landscape

By Lynette Johnson *

My grandmother began homemaking in the early years of the Great Depression, and had six growing children during the patriotic rationing years of World War II. Grandma made sure her family was well fed by growing a garden each summer and by canning and preserving the garden’s bounty for healthy food throughout the year.

Grandma grew, and her family ate, just about everything: beets, melons of all sorts, turnips, rutabagas, chard, kale, rhubarb, and on and on. Until ...

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Behind the Abandoned Hospital

By Lynette Johnson *

When my career with the Society of St. Andrew began, it sent me to Nashville, where I oversaw produce recovery and distribution throughout Tennessee and Alabama. While I was there, it appeared that I engaged in a rather frequent clandestine activity:

Every other Thursday afternoon, I headed to a parking lot behind an abandoned hospital in East Nashville. I met a man in a truck, who handed me a crate. We talked for a few minutes, I thanked ...

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Going for Gleaning Gold!

By Jean Blish Siers *

As athletes from around the world compete, some people in Rio de Janeiro will be eating at a restaurant run by Italian chef Massimo Bottura. His restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, was recently named the top restaurant in the world. But those dining at Refettorio Ambrosiano won’t be the rich and famous. Instead, Bottura and a host of 30 other guest chefs will serve dinners created from surplus Olympic ...

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