Food Insecurity


From creating and starring in segments for public television’s Let’s Learn children’s series to celebrating National Nutrition Month and Earth Day to preparing for outdoor growing season at its various urban farms, one thing is for sure: Green Bronx Machine (GBM) and its founder Stephen Ritz have been and will be extra busy tending to their communities, people and gardens.

MacNeal Hospital Launches Food Surplus Project

MacNeal Hospital, located in Berwyn, Illinois and part of Loyola Medicine, has launched the Surplus Project to package excess hospital and cafeteria food for delivery to nearby shelters and transitional housing.

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, staff volunteers pack individual meals and desserts – labeled with nutrition information, including allergens – along with beverages, fruit, vegetables and other available food. The group packs approximately 75 meals each day, or 150 meals a week, adhering to strict state and local food safety guidelines. (View a video on the Surplus Project).


Attention all Green Bronx Machine fans! Even though growing season is still around the corner, our founder Stephen Ritz and other GBM leaders are literally “zooming” around the world, planting the seeds for better education and health outcomes. From the Middle East and Austin, Texas, to New York City and far-flung places in between, their mission is to educate everyone about the power of a plant to help young people achieve academic and personal success, improve community health and wellness, and address economic and food justice.

Penn Medicine Researchers Find Link Between Food Insecurity and Cardiovascular Death Risk

According to preliminary research conducted by Penn Medicine, increasing rates of food insecurity in counties across the U.S. are independently associated with an increase in cardiovascular death rates among adults between the ages of 20 and 64. This is one of the first national analyses to evaluate changes in both food security and cardiovascular mortality over time, and to see if changes in food insecurity impact cardiovascular health.

Food insecurity and schools during the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has brought a number of challenges to schools, which were forced to close in the spring to help slow the spread of infection. One major challenge for schools was ensuring that students’ nutritional supplementation needs were met when they were not attending school in person.As schools across the country begin to welcome students back in person or for virtual learning, equity must be at the forefront of decisions pertaining to school emergency food services, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Study: Why U.S. Black Entrepreneurship Lags & How Banks Can Help Fix It

A steady stream of media reports detailing the deaths of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of police. False 911 calls aimed at bringing harm to African Americans engaged in innocuous, everyday activities. Street protests calling for an end to discrimination and police brutality.  As racial tensions swirled this summer, so did calls on social media for those who support the social justice movement for African American civil rights to amplify Black voices and support Black businesses.

How to Tackle Climate Change, Food Security and Land Degradation

How can some of world’s biggest problems – climate change, food security and land degradation – be tackled simultaneously? Some lesser-known options, such as integrated water management and increasing the organic content of soil, have fewer trade-offs than many well-known options, such as planting trees, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Global Change Biology.

Food for Thought

Some people must make the difficult decision whether to put food on the table or spend money on other necessities, such as a utility bill or rent. In a recently published paper, Jean McDougall, PhD, and colleagues report the results of a 400-person survey that assesses food insecurity before and after cancer diagnosis

NMU Launches Indoor Agriculture Program

Northern Michigan University will begin offering an indoor agriculture associate degree program this fall. Through a hands-on, multidisciplinary approach, graduates learn equally about plant biology and the construction/maintenance of indoor growing systems, preparing them for a variety of career opportunities.

Lack of Information Impedes Access to Food Pantries and Programs in Utah

Utah residents who have difficulty keeping their families fed could be missing a key ingredient: information. A University of Utah Health study finds that poor communications in at least 22 Utah communities could be hampering efforts to connect those in need with food stamps, food banks, soup kitchens, and other food resources. Researchers say the finding could help refine future community food distribution efforts.