True
Starbucks Upstanders

Anyone can have a good idea, but it takes a special person to follow through. Maria Rose Belding is one of those people.

While volunteering at a food pantry, Maria Rose noticed that huge amounts of good food were being tossed out at the end of every day. The food pantry couldn’t share those resources with neighboring towns because — even in the internet age — it was incredibly difficult to get hold of the necessary people in order to do so. Maria Rose was only in the eighth grade, but this flawed system didn’t sit well with her.

Years later, she found herself in a position to do something about it. Take a look:


You see, we have enough food in this country to feed everyone. Still, there are about 49 million Americans who are food insecure.

"If we had a crisis that was affecting one in six Americans, that was strongly associated with not finishing high school, with not going to college. That was strongly associated with bad health outcomes, with mortality, with incarceration, with behavioral health issues. If we had a crisis that was doing that to one in six of us, we would be freaking out," Maria said.

"And that’s exactly what hunger is. It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to be quick, but we can fix this. And we should."

All images via Starbucks. Used with permission.

She points out that the effects of food insecurity — not being able to rely on access to affordable and nutritious foods — go far beyond an individual’s health.

"You can’t strategize about getting a job, about finding higher-paying employment, about continuing your education, about taking care of your kids. You can’t think about any of those things if you haven’t eaten anything today," she said.

Knowing how deeply the food was needed and then watching surplus donated food get thrown away was mind-blowing to Maria Rose. She knew there had to be a better way.

Maria Rose enlisted her coder friend Grant Nelson to help her build a nationwide database for food banks: MEANS.

The premise is simple: Food pantries and restaurants — really, all places with extra food — indicate in the database excess food that they have available. Nonprofits in the area are alerted via text or email and are able to go pick up the much-needed food and get it to hungry people.

What’s incredible is that Maria Rose saw a problem and figured out a way to do something about it. Her actions transformed the way food banks are able to communicate with the rest of the community. MEANS makes it possible for so many more people to eat — a basic necessity and human right.  

Today, MEANS works with over 800 organizations in 45 states.

Thousands of pounds of food that would have otherwise been trashed are being redistributed every month thanks to MEANS.

A single person had an idea and acted on it and revolutionized a process that has a direct effect on so many people’s lives. It started with her deciding to take action. Imagine what else we can accomplish.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

The Emperor of the Seas.

Imagine retiring early and spending the rest of your life on a cruise ship visiting exotic locations, meeting interesting people and eating delectable food. It sounds fantastic, but surely it’s a billionaire’s fantasy, right?

Not according to Angelyn Burk, 53, and her husband Richard. They’re living their best life hopping from ship to ship for around $44 a night each. The Burks have called cruise ships their home since May 2021 and have no plans to go back to their lives as landlubbers. Angelyn took her first cruise in 1992 and it changed her goals in life forever.

“Our original plan was to stay in different countries for a month at a time and eventually retire to cruise ships as we got older,” Angelyn told 7 News. But a few years back, Angelyn crunched the numbers and realized they could start much sooner than expected.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less

We're dancing along too.

Art can be a powerful unifier. With just the right lyric, image or word, great art can soften those hard lines that divide us, helping us to remember the immense value of human connection and compassion.

This is certainly the case with “Pasoori,” a Pakistani pop song that has not only become an international hit, it’s managed to bring the long divided peoples of India and Pakistan together in the name of love. Or at least in the name of good music.
Keep Reading Show less

Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas teaches you how to pee.

A pelvic floor doctor from Boston, Massachusetts, has caused a stir by explaining that something we all thought was good for our health can cause real problems. In a video that has more than 5.8 million views on TikTok, Dr. Alicia Jeffrey-Thomas says we shouldn’t go pee “just in case.”

How could this be? The moment we all learned to control our bladders we were also taught to pee before going on a car trip, sitting down to watch a movie or playing sports.

The doctor posted the video as a response to TikTok user Sidneyraz, who made a video urging people to go to the bathroom whenever they get the chance. Sidneyraz is known for posting videos about things he didn’t learn until his 30s. "If you think to yourself, 'I don't have to go,' go." SidneyRaz says in the video. It sounds like common sense but evidently, he was totally wrong, just like the rest of humanity.

Keep Reading Show less