Oser Communications Group

Restaurant Daily News May 23

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R e s t a u r a n t D a i l y N e w s M o n d a y, M a y 2 3 , 2 0 1 6 8 2 COMMISSION RECOMMENDS SOLUTIONS FOR HUNGER By Lorrie Baumann The U.S. doesn't have a shortage of food or a shortage of food assistance pro- grams. Despite that, in 2014, 5.6 percent of American households – that's about seven million households – had experi- enced hunger in the past year, for an average of about seven months, accord- ing to a new report from the National Commission on Hunger titled "Freedom from Hunger: An Achievable Goal for the United States of America." The commis- sion was created by Congress to recom- mend ways to use existing USDA funds to combat domestic hunger and food insecurity. Hunger in the United States isn't a result of famine; it comes from many fac- tors that mean that, while there's food available, many people can't afford enough of it. The percent of households facing hunger rose from 4.1 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession, to 5.4 percent in 2010, and it's been holding steady around 5.6 percent ever since, despite six years of economic recovery. Some of that's because not enough Americans are working or are underem- ployed. Labor force participation has been declining since its peak in 2000, which means that many people who could work aren't doing so. Structural changes in the American economy, away from manufacturing and toward more service jobs, have meant that there are fewer job opportunities for people who don't have a college education. If you graduated from high school and went right to work, you're more likely to hold a job that pays low wages and is part- time, unstable or seasonal. The job may not have much opportunity for career advancement and may not offer benefits such as sick leave and family leave. These jobs are also associated with major income instability, and these are the kinds of conditions that can cause a household to experience hunger, accord- ing to the report. "We hear every day loud and clear from all areas of the state that people can't support their families," said Donna Yellen, Chief Program Officer from Preble Street, which oper- ates eight local soup kitchens in Maine, in her testimony before the Commission. "They can't get food because they can't find decent jobs." The costs of hunger include greater health care expenditures, reduced worker productivity and greater rates of worker absenteeism. Senior adults are among the most vulnerable to hunger, and the num- ber of older adults is expected to rive over the next few decades. Compared to seniors who don't experience hunger, those who are hungry are three times as likely to suffer from depression, 50 per- cent more likely to have diabetes and 60 percent more likely to have congestive heart failure or a heart attack. Hunger also has indirect costs, including impairment of childhood health and development, which exacts a price in their academic achievement and even their mental health. About 4.4 mil- lion of people in households that include children under six are in households that report hunger, and households headed by single parents are particularly vulnerable. Adults in these households frequently go without food so they can feed their chil- dren, but that affects their ability to jug- gle parenting, work and self-care, according to the report. Hungry adults have higher rates of obesity and diabetes. While the government can't solve the problem of hunger within our borders alone, improvements in government pro- grams can play a part. The government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the program formerly known as Food Stamps) needs to get better, as do child assistance programs. Those pro- grams are neither as effective, coopera- tive or as efficient as they should be, according to the Commission. The U. S. spent $103.6 billion on food and nutrition assistance programs in 2014, with one in four Americans having participated in at least one of the govern- ment's 15 food assistance programs at some point during the year. The largest of these government programs are SNAP, WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Summer Food Service Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. WIC provides food, health care referrals and nutrition education for low- income pregnant or post-partum women and to infants and children under five who are at nutritional risk. In 2014, more than half of all newborn children in the United States participated in the WIC program, which has been credited with a 68 percent reduction in hunger among families with young children. WIC is associated with healthier births, more nutritious diets and improved cognitive development as well as a greater likeli- hood that children will be immunized, according to Kate Breslin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy, who testified before the Commission. SNAP is the country's largest food assistance program. It works by giving low-income individuals and households additional income to buy groceries. SNAP provided assistance to 46.5 mil- lion people in an average month in 2014 and is credited with decreasing the per- centage of households experiencing hunger by 12 percent to 19 percent. In households participating in SNAP, chil- dren are 16 percent less likely to be at risk of developmental delays, and they have lower rates of hospitalization com- pared to children in similar households that don't participate in SNAP. The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs operate in more than 100,000 schools and residen- tial institutions and served more than 30 million students in the 2014 fiscal year. In 2014, nearly 22 million school chil- dren received a free or reduced price school lunch. In addition to these government pro- grams, a variety of individuals, nonprofit organizations, faith-based organizations and corporations are engaged in hunger relief efforts in their communities. These include Feeding America, the largest umbrella organization for food banks and food rescue organizations. In 2010, Feeding America-affiliated agencies dis- tributed food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children. More recently, in 2015, the Specialty Food Association donated more than 97,000 pounds of food at last Summer's Fancy Food Show with the help of 324 City Harvest volunteers and another 100,000 pounds of food at the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show in conjunction with Feed the Hungry. "Stonewall Kitchen, like a lot of other companies here at the Fancy Food Show, is a small company. We're not a faceless corporation. We know the people in our communities. We donate food, and we work at our local soup kitchens in Maine and New Hampshire, so donating our food here at the show is just a logical extension of that," said John Stiker, Chief Executive Officer of Stonewall Kitchen. Most of the Commission's recom- mendations for improving government food assistance programs without addi- tional spending relate to improvements in either SNAP or child nutrition pro- grams. For SNAP, the Commission recommendations are intended to pro- mote work, improve nutrition and enhance well-being. In particular, the Commission recommends that Congress and the USDA should require states to encourage SNAP applicants who are able to work to do so by sup- porting them in their efforts to seek employment or participate in work- related activities that might realistical- ly lead to available jobs. The Commission also recommended that individual states should have more flexibility in how they use employment and training funding tied to SNAP, so that, for instance, a state might use some of its SNAP money to provide substance abuse and mental health treatment if that's what will help a SNAP recipient get back to work. The Commission also recommends that Congress and the USDA should find ways to encourage SNAP recipients to purchase fruits, vegetables, high-quality proteins, whole grains and other healthy foods and to disallow the use of SNAP benefits for purchases of sugar-sweet- ened beverages. These might include requiring grocery stores and other stores that qualify as SNAP vendors to devote more prominent shelf space for healthier foods and vegetables. STREAMLINE CASH MANAGEMENT & REDUCE CASH LOSSES In April of 2016, the Federal Reserve indi- cated that are 1.45 trillion U.S. dollars in circulation. In February 2016, the European Central Bank indicated that there are over 18 billion Euro notes in cir- culation. Eight-five percent of all world- wide retail transactions are made with cash. Within hospitality, 37 percent of all transactions are cash based and in transac- tions under $10, that number rises to 66 percent. The bottom line is that cash is going to be around. Retailers and restaura- teurs will need to develop tools to reduce the cost of taking and managing cash. Get Control of Your Cash Management Costs As the cost associated with managing cash continues to rise, retailers and restaurateurs are being forced to look for cost effective cash management solu- tions. The costs associated with accept- ing cash transactions can be broken down into three major groups: employee theft, operational logistics (in both the front end and back office) and cash in transit. The SMARTtill™ Intelligent Cash Drawer is a cash management solution that helps restaurants improve their cash loses while reducing the in-lane and back office labor costs. The SMARTtill solu- tion immediately counts the cash con- tents of each individual coin and note compartment after every transaction and reconciles the cash to the sales transac- tion. The information is then made avail- able electronically allowing the restau- rant to automate its audit process. 10,000 unique offerings ranging from general application solutions to total custom offerings for major retailers in 75 counties worldwide. Cash drawer formats include slide out, flip- top and cassette styles – paired with 25 possible interfaces. Connectivity options include Bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet, Serial, USB and various printer interfaces which create a deep portfolio that meets any retailer's busi- ness needs. It constantly strives to pro- duce innovative solutions that deliver personalised value to its customers; the emphasis is always on supplying what the customer actually needs and not just a 'close fit.' For more information, stop by booth #6775, email sales@us.cashdrawer.com, go to www.cashdrawer.com or call 763.571.5000. Restaurants that deploy the SMARTtill solution experience cash loss reductions between 70 percent and 80 percent and can save up to 30 minutes a day per till reconciling while generating a ROI in between 11 to 14 months. Innovative Solutions for Retail and Hospitality NRA brings food and hospitality retailers and solution providers together. The food industry is a dynamic and customer cen- tric segment and we all face similar chal- lenges – how do we develop and deliver an experience customers will love at a sustainable cost? Restaurants that imple- ment innovative cash management solu- tions will deliver the best customer serv- ices to build and solidify consumer rela- tionships. APG/Cash Bases is a leading manu- facturer of cash management solutions supporting a product range of over

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