Frito-Lay and Feed the Children partner to help provide food to thousands of students during COVID-19
Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.
This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.
<p>Each school participating in the inaugural "Building the Future Together" program across Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Orlando and Phoenix will receive donations of approximately 5,000 items per month consisting of food and everyday essentials for the entirety of the school year. Overall, it's estimated students in these markets will engage with the program and receive needed items over 100,000 times throughout the 2020-2021 school year.</p><p>"As a food company, we have an opportunity to serve a greater good and work to support children having access to the food and resources they need," said Steven Williams, CEO, PepsiCo Foods North America.</p><p>Because programs like "Building the Future Together" can pivot their giving, regardless of whether students are in school or at home learning online, they will still receive the resources they need on a consistent basis.</p><p>"With the 'Building the Future Together' program, we've pivoted our longstanding community giving efforts to provide a level of food security for thousands of disadvantaged students," Williams added. "While a lot of uncertainty remains, we will do our part to support students and families in underserved communities no matter how schools operate this year."</p><p>Nearly eight in 10 students attending schools participating in the "Building the Future Together" program qualify for free meals, according to Public School Review. </p><p>"We believe that no child should go to bed hungry, especially during this unsettling time around COVID-19," said Travis Arnold, president and CEO of Feed the Children. "We understand that many are facing unexpected challenges and we are working diligently with our partners such as Frito-Lay and the 'Building the Future Together' program to ensure that as needs rise, students continue to receive the food and supplies they need."</p><p>Since the onset of COVID-19, PepsiCo, including Frito-Lay and other PepsiCo business units, have committed more than $60 million to COVID-19 relief, which has provided 57 million meals to help feed communities in need, medical and economic aid, jobs creation and more. In addition, Frito-Lay has donated more than $16 million in product to more than 90 organizations in nearly 90 cities across the U.S. </p><p><strong>For more information, visit: <a href="http://FeedtheChildren.org" target="_blank">FeedtheChildren.org</a> or <a href="http://FritoLay.com" target="_blank">FritoLay.com</a><a href="http://FritoLay.com" target="_blank"></a>.</strong> </p>
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I got married and started working in my early 20s, and for more than two decades I always had employer-provided health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka "Obamacare")was passed, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought. I was glad it helped others, but I just assumed my husband or I would always be employed and wouldn't need it.
Then, last summer, we found ourselves in an unexpected scenario. I was working as a freelance writer with regular contract work and my husband left his job to manage our short-term rentals and do part-time contracting work. We both had incomes, but for the first time, no employer-provided insurance. His previous employer offered COBRA coverage, of course, but it was crazy expensive. It made far more sense to go straight to the ACA Marketplace, since that's what we'd have done once COBRA ran out anyway.
The process of getting our ACA healthcare plan set up was a nightmare, but I'm so very thankful for it.
Let me start by saying I live in a state that is friendly to the ACA and that adopted and implemented the Medicaid expansion. I am also a college-educated and a native English speaker with plenty of adult paperwork experience. But the process of getting set up on my state's marketplace was the most confusing, frustrating experience I've ever had signing up for anything, ever.
<p>Most of the problems stemmed from proving our income, which was confusing to report and hard to show accurately. I lost track of how many letters I got saying they needed more or different information. When I'd call the help number, the person on the other end always told me something different. It took nearly <em>two months</em> of back and forth, with dozens upon dozens of letters, phone calls, and website chats, to finally get my family set up with a healthcare plan. </p><p>During the two months, we weren't covered under any insurance, I was terrified of something happening. We are a very health-conscious family and we take good care of ourselves, but what if one of us broke a bone? What if one of us had a freak medical event or needed an emergency surgery? What if we got into a car accident and had to be hospitalized? The list of possible scenarios, minor to major, constantly ran through my mind. </p><p>During the time we weren't covered, I was keenly aware of three things: 1) All it would take was one big accident or diagnosis to wipe us out financially, 2) People in other developed nations never feel this fear, and 3) Prior to the ACA, far more Americans felt this fear all the time.</p><p>Once we were finally able to work out the necessary paperwork, it was fine. Our income at the time meant our premiums were low, and our coverage was comparable to what we had with my husband's employer. I ended up getting hired on full-time with benefits a few months later, so our experience with Obamacare was relatively short-lived. But I can't imagine the financial stress of trying to afford health insurance or worrying about paying for healthcare out of pocket without insurance—fears that millions of Americans lived with pre-ACA. </p><p>And we didn't even have any pre-existing conditions that would have kept us from being able to get insurance prior to the ACA. Adding that factor in drives home how important that legislation truly is. </p><p>At the same time, as thankful as I am that we had an affordable healthcare option, I couldn't help thinking about friends I have who live in other countries who never have to worry about any of this stuff. No complicated paperwork or bureaucracy to deal with. No waiting for bills to arrive in the mail after a doctor's appointment to see what you owe beyond your co-pay. No calling the insurance company to figure out why something that seems like it should have been covered wasn't covered. </p><p>The amount of of time, energy, agony, and stress Americans have to put into managing healthcare is absurd <a data-linked-post="2637391157" href="https://www.upworthy.com/he-went-to-the-er-in-taiwan-then-his-horrors-of-socialized-medicine-post-went-viral" target="_blank">when compared to</a> other highly developed nations, and even most less developed ones. We're so accustomed to this garbage, I don't think most people recognize that it doesn't have to be like this. </p><p>The ACA was a step in the right direction and a necessary lifeboat for those who previously couldn't get or couldn't afford to get health insurance. But it's not universal healthcare, which is quite frankly the bare minimum of what a society should expect from its government. The fact that the idea has somehow been spun into something radical or impossible when basically every other developed country has figured out how to do it, we spend more on healthcare than anyone else per capita already, and our health outcomes trail so badly behind other developed nations is completely baffling. </p><p>My experience with the ACA drove home to me why it's a vital piece of legislation to protect, but also highlighted the desperate need for universal healthcare. It's <a data-linked-post="2640990187" href="https://www.upworthy.com/if-americans-understood-how-absurd-our-system-is-wed-all-be-demanding-universal-healthcare" target="_blank">far past time</a> for us to take that next step. </p>
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Global mayors are declaring their commitment to divest from fossil fuels and invest in a sustainable future
The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.
People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.
Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.
<p>It is entirely possible to be morally anti-abortion and politically pro-choice without feeling conflicted about it. Here’s why.</p><h2><strong>There’s far too much gray area to legislate.</strong></h2><p>No matter what you believe, when exactly life begins and when “a clump of cells” should be considered an individual, autonomous human being is a debatable question. </p><p>I <em>personally</em> believe life begins at conception, but that’s my religious belief about when the soul becomes associated with the body, not a scientific fact. As Arthur Caplan, award-winning professor of bioethics at New York University, <a href="https://slate.com/human-interest/2017/04/when-does-life-begin-outside-the-christian-right-the-answer-is-over-time.html" target="_blank">told Slate</a>, “Many scientists would say they don’t know when life begins. There are a series of landmark moments. The first is conception, the second is the development of the spine, the third the development of the brain, consciousness, and so on.” </p><p>But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a human life unquestionably begins at conception. Even with that point of view, there are too many issues that make a black-and-white approach to abortion too problematic to ban it.</p><h2><strong>Abortion bans hurt some mothers who desperately want their babies to live, and I'm not okay with that.</strong></h2><p>One reason I don’t support banning abortion is because I’ve seen too many families deeply harmed by restrictive abortion laws.</p><p>I’ve heard too many stories of families who <a href="https://www.scarymommy.com/loss-abortion-worst-thing-been-through-should-be-legal/" target="_blank">desperately wanted a baby</a>, who ended up having to make the rock-and-a-hard-place choice to abort because the alternative would have been <a href="https://www.scarymommy.com/abortion-a-choice-i-never-knew-id-have-to-make/" target="_blank">a short, pain-filled life </a>for their child. </p><p>I’ve heard too many stories of mothers having to endure <a href="https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/nekpw7/i-went-to-a-catholic-hospital-during-my-miscarriageand-it-nearly-killed-me" target="_blank">long, drawn out, potentially dangerous miscarriages </a>and <a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/texas-forced-this-woman-to-deliver-a-stillborn-baby" target="_blank">being forced to carry a dead baby</a> inside of them because abortion restrictions gave them no other choice. </p><p>I’ve heard too many stories of abortion laws doing real harm to mothers and babies, and too many stories of families who were staunchly anti-abortion until they found themselves <a href="https://www.scarymommy.com/crisis-pregnancies-stillbirth-changed-views-abortion/" target="_blank">in circumstances they never could have imagined</a>, to believe that abortion is always wrong and should be banned at any particular stage. </p><h2><strong>I am not willing to serve as judge and jury on a woman's medical decisions, and I don't think the government should either.</strong></h2><p>Most people's anti-abortion views—mine included—are based on their religious beliefs, and I don’t believe that anyone’s religion should be the basis for the laws in our country. (For the record, any Christian who wants biblical teachings to influence U.S. law, yet cries “Shariah is coming!” when they see a Muslim legislator, is a hypocrite.) </p><p>I also don’t want politicians sticking their noses into my very personal medical choices. There are just too many circumstances (<em>seriously, please read the stories linked in the previous section</em>) that make abortion a choice I hope I'd never have to make, but wouldn’t want banned. I don't understand why the same people who decry government overreach think the government should be involved in these extremely personal medical decisions. </p><p>And yes, ultimately, abortion is a personal medical decision. Even if I believe that a fetus is a human being at every stage, that human being's creation is inextricably linked to and dependent upon its mother's body. And while I don't think that means women should abort inconvenient pregnancies, I also acknowledge that trying to force a woman to grow and deliver a baby that she may not have chosen to conceive isn't something the government should be in the business of doing. </p><p>As a person of faith, my role is not to judge or vilify, but to love and support women who are facing difficult choices. The rest of it—the hard questions, the unclear rights and wrongs, the spiritual lives of those babies,—I comfortably leave in God's hands. </p><h2><strong>Most importantly, if the goal is to prevent abortion, research shows that outlawing it isn't the way to go. </strong></h2><p>The biggest reason I vote the way I do is because based on my research pro-choice platforms provide the best chance of reducing abortion rates. </p><p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/ss/ss6713a1.htm?s_cid=ss6713a1_w" target="_blank">Abortion rates fell by 24%</a> in the past decade and are at their <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade" target="_blank">lowest levels in 40 years</a> in America. Abortion has been legal during that time, so clearly, keeping abortion legal and available has not resulted in increased abortion rates. Switzerland has the <a href="https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/fertility-matters_the-secret-of-switzerland-s-low-abortion-rate/33585760" target="_blank">lowest abortion rate on earth</a> and their rate has been falling since 2002, when abortion became largely unrestricted. </p><p>Outlawing abortion doesn't stop it, it just <a href="https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-31/heres-what-happens-country-where-women-are-punished-having-abortions" target="_blank">pushes it underground </a>and makes it more dangerous. And if a woman dies in a botched abortion, so does her baby. Banning abortion is a recipe for more lives being lost, not fewer. </p><p><strong>At this point, <a href="https://slate.com/human-interest/2016/05/abortion-rates-are-constant-in-developing-countries-while-developed-ones-see-a-sharp-drop.html" target="_blank">the only things consistently proven to reduce abortion rates </a>are comprehensive sex education and easy, affordable access to birth control.</strong> If we want to reduce abortions, that’s where we should be putting our energy. The problem is, anti-abortion activists also tend to be the same people pushing for abstinence-only education and making birth control harder to obtain. But those goals can’t co-exist in the real world. </p><p>Our laws should be based on reality and on the best data we have available. Since comprehensive sex education and easy, affordable access to birth control—the most proven methods of reducing abortion rates—are the domain of the pro-choice crowd, that’s where I place my vote, and why I do so with a clear conscience.</p>
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The epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in America is one of the country's most disturbing trends. A major reason it persists is because it's rarely discussed outside of the native community.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, murder is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women under age 19.
Women who live on some reservations face rates of violence that are as much as ten times higher than the national average.
<p>The problem stems from a lack of community resources, prejudice, poverty, and poor communication between Native communities and law enforcement.</p><p class="shortcode-media shortcode-media-rebelmouse-image"> <img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQzMTMyNS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzA2NDgyMH0.I6PPu6UV9DLksYr0rrtkCn-tfzOxONfC6TyFemuFDOY/img.jpg?width=980" id="43c75" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="750143a493f36cfe5c45f7700c2e853a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image"> <small class="image-media media-caption" placeholder="Add Photo Caption...">Red dress display to honor missing and murdered Indigenous women.</small><small class="image-media media-photo-credit" placeholder="Add Photo Credit..."><a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kerron/44421156294/in/photolist-2aFm3a5-G6Ee2i-GY3Arb-GY3PUy-GSJXd3-H21p4M-GY87yh-H21qZv-GSHwTd-GV8W4F-GY6mCJ-GY42P5-G6zsMK-G6zpMC-G6D3UM-vWefZL-GY5qbh-H22RXp-GV4L3B-H259Lk-H1ZBb4-G6yoJs-H1YZfg-G6CPLT-G6Ah3r-GXYqnb-2hXA9dW-GXZ5Zb-G6sL8b-2hXwxWB-vgY7Ua-GXYJKU-G6BNde-GY2w3d-2hXz7yu-2hXA9oF-H1VH9V-2hXz753-H1WXmk-2hXA8CY-2inewVm-2inc16B-dgRehk-2inewBA-2inc13k-2infEXH-2inc1en-dgRfbP-2inewxh-2inewHC" target="_blank">via Kerron L / Flickr </a></small></p><p>Many women disappear from remote reservations without a single law enforcement officer. "The resources are spread so thin, it allows people to fall through the cracks," Billy J. Stratton, an expert in Native American studies at the University of Denver,<a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/09/us/native-american-murdered-missing-women/index.html" target="_blank"> told CNN.</a><br></p><p>But the problem goes much deeper than law enforcement.</p><p>"When you're talking about a group of people who is among the lowest socioeconomic class in the US, they're more susceptible to violence than others," Stratton said.</p><p>"Poverty is the main driver; dispossession, lack of empowerment, isolation, and those other social problems I think flow from that," he added.</p><p>Violence against Native people also gets very little attention from the mainstream media.</p><p>"I live on a reservation, it's word of mouth. We can report [someone missing or dead] to the authorities," Tillie Aldrich, an Omaha Tribe of Nebraska member,<a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/savannas-act-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-crisis" target="_blank"> told Teen Vogue.</a> </p><p>"If we have a non-Native [person] missing in a city 25 miles north of us, it's all over the news, the newspapers, posters going up," she continued. "If we have someone missing, one of our Native missing, they try to keep it quiet."</p><p>The response to cases of violence against native American women is so poor that in 2016 <a href="https://www.uihi.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Missing-and-Murdered-Indigenous-Women-and-Girls-Report.pdf" target="_blank">there were 5,712 cases</a> reported of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, but only 116 cases were logged by the Department of Justice database.</p><p>However, a new bill passed by Congress hopes to reverse this trend in violence and law enforcement inaction.</p><p>On Monday, the House of Representatives passed Savanna's Act, which will go to the desk of President Trump for final approval.</p><div id="c63f6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ce4fd53d3db9b48119cce745567d7404"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1308136566347509763" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind's murder left a hole in the hearts of North Dakotans. Today, we honor her life by passi… https://t.co/VEBxhpiXHx</div> — Congressman Kelly Armstrong (@Congressman Kelly Armstrong)<a href="https://twitter.com/RepArmstrongND/statuses/1308136566347509763">1600719036.0</a></blockquote></div><p>The bill is named after Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe from Fargo, North Dakota. In 2017, at the age of 22, while eight months pregnant her unborn child was cut out of her womb and she was murdered. The baby survived.<br></p><p>The bill requires federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies to update policies and protocols to address missing or murdered Native Americans. </p><p>It also requires the U.S. Department of Justice to develop new guidelines for response to missing or murdered Native people and provide database training to law enforcement agencies at all levels.</p><p>"Savanna's Act addresses a tragic issue in Indian Country and helps establish better law enforcement practices to track, solve and prevent these crimes against Native Americans," Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, said in a statement. </p><p>"We appreciate our House colleagues for passing the bill today and sending it on to the president to become law," the statement continues. "At the same time, we continue working to advance more legislation like this to strengthen public safety in tribal communities and ensure victims of crime receive support and justice."</p><div id="3ce02" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9b2408fcb869ed49a4fcf52aa7993d46"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1308291497926688768" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Congress Finally Passes #SavannasAct for Missing Murdered #Indigenous Women 22 yr old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind… https://t.co/a1w7UTOAiM</div> — 🎲 (@🎲)<a href="https://twitter.com/MagicZoetrope/statuses/1308291497926688768">1600755974.0</a></blockquote></div><p>"Passage of Savanna's Act brings us one step closer to ending this epidemic by upgrading critical data and improving communication among law enforcement," Republican Representative from Montana Greg Gianforte said in a statement.<br></p><p>The bill is a positive first step toward combating the issue of missing and murdered Indiginous women, but much more will have to be done before the problem is solved. </p><p>"Stopping the #MMIW [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women] crisis will take years and maybe decades," Sarah Deer, Muscogee, a professor at the University of Kansas, <a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/savannas-act-missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-crisis" target="_blank">told Teen Vogue.</a> </p><p>"It must be a multi-faceted movement led by family members of missing Indigenous women," she added. "Those families are the experts on this crisis and should be the leaders of the movement."</p>
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