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  • Maine diocese’s food distribution ministry connects farmers with jobless residents,…

    first_img Assistant/Associate Rector Washington, DC Rector Martinsville, VA AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to PrintFriendlyPrintFriendlyShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis TryTank Experimental Lab and York St. John University of England Launch Survey to Study the Impact of Covid-19 on the Episcopal Church TryTank Experimental Lab Assistant/Associate Rector Morristown, NJ COVID-19, Food and Faith Seminary of the Southwest announces appointment of two new full time faculty members Seminary of the Southwest Submit an Event Listing Bishop Diocesan Springfield, IL An Evening with Presiding Bishop Curry and Iconographer Kelly Latimore Episcopal Migration Ministries via Zoom June 23 @ 6 p.m. ET In-person Retreat: Thanksgiving Trinity Retreat Center (West Cornwall, CT) Nov. 24-28 [Episcopal News Service] The Diocese of Maine and Episcopal volunteers have been key players this summer in a solution to two parallel problems brought on by the coronavirus pandemic: Maine farmers’ unsold surplus food, particularly potatoes, and unemployed state residents’ struggles to put food on the table.With the help of federal COVID-19 relief money, the diocese has served as a sort of intermediary, accepting large shipments of individually boxed agricultural goods from northern Maine and then getting them into the hands of people who need them in the southern part of the state. Church volunteers have now helped distribute thousands of boxes of food, and more are expected if the federal program is extended this fall.“It’s not a small initiative,” Bishop Thomas Brown told Episcopal News Service. The feeding ministry involves “major systems, companies, agencies, people coming together to do a lot of good.”It all started with a glut of Maine potatoes, said John Hennessy, the diocese’s director of advocacy and networks.In the spring, diocesan officials learned from a parishioner that northern farmers were suffering from processors’ reduced demand for potatoes. About 65% of Maine’s potatoes are processed, according to the Portland Press Herald, meaning they end up as french fries, potato chips and other fast-food items sold at restaurants and ballparks. When those businesses closed or cut back due to the coronavirus, the farmers were willing to sell the potatoes at a loss.Initially, the diocese raised about $3,000 in donations to buy 30,000 pounds of potatoes – “almost a tractor trailer full,” Hennessy said – and Episcopal officials contacted food pantries in the more populated communities in southern Maine to receive them.Those initial connections established the structure for a more robust feeding ministry through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since April, the program has provided “direct relief to producers who faced price declines and additional marketing costs due to COVID-19,” according to the department, and about $3 billion of that relief is being distributed through its Farmers to Families Food Box Program.The family-sized food boxes are filled by food producers, who are reimbursed by the federal government. The boxes are distributed by the farmers’ community partners, such as food pantries, faith-based organizations and other charity groups. The Episcopal diocese is among the participating organizations in Maine.“None of this was costing the diocese any money,” Hennessy said, only the time and effort to coordinate distribution and line up volunteers.Each food box has contained about 18 pounds of Maine farm products: 5 pounds of raw potatoes and 6 pounds of frozen mashed potatoes, as well as 3 pounds of cheese and a half gallon of milk, Hennessy said. The diocese arranged for delivery locations, such as the parking lots of municipal buildings, and the boxes arrived in refrigerated trucks. The distribution events were advertised locally, and residents interested in receiving the food could pull up and have volunteers place the food boxes in their car trunks.It has been welcome assistance at a time when Maine’s unemployment rate is at nearly 10% and tens of thousands of workers in the state are receiving jobless benefits.“Many families in the greater Biddeford area are continuing to face food insecurity and other economic challenges associated with COVID-19,” Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant told News Center Maine after a July distribution in his coastal community, just south of Portland. “Thanks to this program, many more York County residents in need will have a simple way to access fresh, locally grown food.”Hennessy estimates the diocese has helped distribute about 4,500 such boxes to people since July, and last week, an additional 800 boxes filled with fruits and vegetables were distributed separately.The diocese’s effort follows other ministries connecting food producers with food consumers in need. St. Francis by the Sea Episcopal Church in Blue Hill, for example, began this year organizing a bulk lobster buy so parishioners could purchase lobster and support a local lobsterman.The diocese’s current round of food box distribution has wrapped up, Hennessy said, but he anticipates it will resume in the fall.The diocese also has money remaining from its fundraiser for the initial potato purchase. It hopes to create a long-term anti-hunger program in the state, when the federal money eventually runs out for good.“There will always be a need for neighbors to be helping neighbors,” Brown said, “and the more that The Episcopal Church in Maine can be known as a community of followers of Jesus who are committed to helping one another, it seems the more faithful we will be.”– David Paulsen is an editor and reporter for Episcopal News Service. He can be reached at [email protected] Tags Associate Priest for Pastoral Care New York, NY Rector Bath, NC Rector Pittsburgh, PA Featured Events Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Hires Reverend Kevin W. VanHook, II as Executive Director Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York Rector Collierville, TN Remember Holy Land Christians on Jerusalem Sunday, June 20 American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Director of Music Morristown, NJ New Berrigan Book With Episcopal Roots Cascade Books Rector Shreveport, LA Curate (Associate & Priest-in-Charge) Traverse City, MI By David PaulsenPosted Aug 25, 2020 The Church Pension Fund Invests $20 Million in Impact Investment Fund Designed to Preserve Workforce Housing Communities Nationwide Church Pension Group Rector Hopkinsville, KY Virtual Celebration of the Jerusalem Princess Basma Center Zoom Conversation June 19 @ 12 p.m. ET Priest-in-Charge Lebanon, OH Maine diocese’s food distribution ministry connects farmers with jobless residents, both hit by COVID-19 Cathedral Dean Boise, ID center_img Submit a Job Listing Curate Diocese of Nebraska Associate Rector for Family Ministries Anchorage, AK Course Director Jerusalem, Israel Press Release Service The Church Investment Group Commends the Taskforce on the Theology of Money on its report, The Theology of Money and Investing as Doing Theology Church Investment Group Rector Albany, NY Rector Tampa, FL Ya no son extranjeros: Un diálogo acerca de inmigración Una conversación de Zoom June 22 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector Washington, DC Assistant/Associate Priest Scottsdale, AZ Rector (FT or PT) Indian River, MI Inaugural Diocesan Feast Day Celebrating Juneteenth San Francisco, CA (and livestream) June 19 @ 2 p.m. PT Family Ministry Coordinator Baton Rouge, LA Join the Episcopal Diocese of Texas in Celebrating the Pauli Murray Feast Online Worship Service June 27 Featured Jobs & Calls Episcopal Migration Ministries’ Virtual Prayer Vigil for World Refugee Day Facebook Live Prayer Vigil June 20 @ 7 p.m. ET Rector and Chaplain Eugene, OR Director of Administration & Finance Atlanta, GA Rector Belleville, IL Youth Minister Lorton, VA Canon for Family Ministry Jackson, MS Rector Smithfield, NC Rector Knoxville, TN Submit a Press Release Priest Associate or Director of Adult Ministries Greenville, SC Missioner for Disaster Resilience Sacramento, CA This Summer’s Anti-Racism Training Online Course (Diocese of New Jersey) June 18-July 16 Associate Rector Columbus, GA Rector/Priest in Charge (PT) Lisbon, ME last_img read more

  • Eye on Recent Delinquency Rate Increases

    first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Eye on Recent Delinquency Rate Increases November 29, 2019 1,496 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Black Knight Delinquency Foreclosure 2019-11-29 Seth Welborn Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Foreclosure, News Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago This week, Black Knight will be releasing its newest Mortgage Monitor report. In the First Look at October data, Black Knight improved delinquency rates both month-over-month and year-over-year, but rates have been increasing in recent weeks. According to Black Knight, the modest increase in 30-year rates in recent weeks, coupled with seasonal slowing in home sales, may dampen prepayment rates in the coming months.For now, Black Knight notes that mortgage prepayments continued to rise, climbing another 16% from September to hit the highest level since May 2013. That puts prepayments up 134% since this time last year as the refi surge continues.Despite the slight setback, the delinquency rate is now within 0.03% of the record low set back in May at 3.39%, down 3.8% from September and nearly 7% from last year.Meanwhile, serious delinquencies (all loans 90 or more days delinquent but not yet in foreclosure) continue to improve as well. Down 10K from last month and 66K from last year, there are now 433K serious delinquencies, a more than 14-year low.Black Knight also identified the top five and bottom five states by non-current percentage. The top states, with the highest percentage of non-current mortgages, were Mississippi (10.18%), Louisiana (7.72%), Alabama (6.68%), West Virginia (6.34%), and Arkansas (6.13%). Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas all also posted the highest percentages of loans 90 days or more delinquent, along with Tennessee.The bottom five states were Colorado (1.73%), Washington (1.81%), Oregon (1.86%), Idaho (1.96%), and California (2.01%). Washington and California also saw some of the biggest improvements in delinquency rates, with rates dropping by 10.89% and 10.58%, respectively. Alaska saw the biggest improvements in the nation, as delinquency rates in the state dropped by 15.67% in October.Here’s what else is happening in The Week AheadCensus Bureau Construction Spending Report (December 2)Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Hearing (December 5)Consumer sentiment index (December 6)BLS Employment Data (December 6) Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago  Print This Post Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Black Knight Delinquency Foreclosure Related Articles Share Save Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Seth Welborn Previous: The Asset Generating Power of SFR Next: Investment Update: Rents on the Rise Eye on Recent Delinquency Rate Increases Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

  • ‘Children Are The Wealth Of This Nation’, Patna HC Issues Slew of Directions For Providing Immediate Relief To Children In Bihar [Read Judgment]

    first_imgNews Updates’Children Are The Wealth Of This Nation’, Patna HC Issues Slew of Directions For Providing Immediate Relief To Children In Bihar [Read Judgment] Sparsh Upadhyay19 Sep 2020 1:38 AMShare This – xOn 6th July 2020, the Patna High Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the plight of children in the District Bhagalpur, Bihar due to non-availability of mid-day meals following shutting of schools and Anganwadi centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar had taken cognizance of the matter based on a news report run by the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOn 6th July 2020, the Patna High Court had taken suo moto cognizance of the plight of children in the District Bhagalpur, Bihar due to non-availability of mid-day meals following shutting of schools and Anganwadi centres amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. Kumar had taken cognizance of the matter based on a news report run by the Indian Express which pointed out that children had been forced to indulge into begging, garbage picking and scrap selling, due to non-availability of food.On Friday (18th September), the Court, after taking note of the unfortunate situation concerning the children in the State of Bihar, deliberated on the following issues:-A. Whether the State is fulfilling its statutory and constitutional mandate of providing food and nutritional security to children who have been adversely impacted by the closure of schools and Anganwadi centres due to the COVID-19?B. What measures can be undertaken to ensure that the right to education of children in the State is not adversely impacted during this time, and to prevent school children from indulging in begging and garbage collection?Child’s Right To Food- In The Times Of PandemicThe Court was of the view that the Right to Food is an implication of the right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It encompasses the right to have regular, permanent, and unrestricted access to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food. This emanates from the right of every human being to live with dignity and freedom from hunger.The Judgment of the Apex Court in the cases of Francis Coralie Mullin v. UT of Delhi (1981) 1 SCC 608, Shantistar Builders v. Narayan Khimalal Totame (1990) 1 SCC 520 and Kapila Hingorani v. State of Bihar, (2003) 6 SCC 1 were taken into account by the High Court to conclude that, although the right to food does not feature directly as a fundamental right under Part III of the Constitution of India, but various pronouncements of the Top Court have read the right to food into Article 21 of the Constitution.Accordingly, the Court held that it is the legal and moral obligation of the State, under the constitutional provision and international treaty obligations to ensure that the children and their families are provided with means to feed themselves so as to not, owing to their substandard conditions, be forced into activities like beggary and rag-picking.Child’s right to education- in the times of pandemicThe Court was of the view that the importance of education is highlighted by the fact that the Right to Education is enshrined as a fundamental right under Article 21A of the Constitution of India as well as Directive Principles of State Policy under Articles 41 and 45 of the Constitution of India.Right to education is also recognized as a statutory right under the provisions of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.In the State of Bihar, as observed by the Court, more than 1.19 Crore children cannot attend school on account of Covid-19. To keep them engaged, as the learned Advocate General informed the Court, the State has come out with programmes of imparting teaching through the platform of television.However, the Court was concerned about the feasibility of these programmes and questioned the state as to whether the Children are able to avail the benefit of such programmes.The Court acknowledged the fact that State has a responsibility to prioritize its efforts in building capacity to support the system and citizens that are Below Poverty Line (BPL) and lift them above the poverty threshold.In the context of children, the Court’s reference to BPL was not in purely economic terms, rather the idea of a life of deprivation which exists below a certain accepted level of wellbeing.Further, the Court observed that,”For a child, BPL has to be something more than meeting a nutritional threshold and be extended to include capacity building towards holistic development, which includes nutritional, educational and psychological needs of the child. Unless the State can empower these children to think independently and choose their path in life, it would be a significant failure of our developing society.”The amicus curiae averred before the Court that the economic hardship imposed by the ongoing pandemic is putting millions of children at risk of being forced into child labour, which could lead to the first global rise in child labour after 20 years of progress.To this, the Court remarked,”Rag-picking is one of the worst forms of child labour plaguing our society. This deplorable activity exposes young children to a host of health and psychological issues. It increases the children’s susceptibility to frequent injuries, chemical poisoning and infections, which when coupled with malnutrition, leads to disease, and stunted growth.”Further, the Court noted,”Despite the fact that India has passed a number of constitutional protections and laws abolishing and regulating child labour, including the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, it still persists in our country, hindering the growth and development of our children.”The Court observed,”Children are the wealth of this nation. Our failure, or delay in acting on the present situation could lead to incorrigible long-term consequences on the health, development, and general well-being of our children.”Further, the Court also remarked,”Malnutrition in young children leads to chronic health diseases in the long term, as well as runs the risk of underdevelopment of the mind along with the body. Other than the detrimental increase in illiteracy in the country increased dropout rates of children would also lead to a consequent increase in the instances of child labour, rag-picking, child marriages of girls, and other forms of exploitation.”Directions given by the Courta. Continue schemes like the Mid Day Meal Scheme and the Sarwa Shiksha Scheme to provide meals or ration as feasible along with textbooks and notebooks to government school students.b. Ensure that statutory benefits under the Food Security Act are disbursed in a timely manner, and updated records are maintained for the same.c. Monitor the nutritional health of children by leveraging the reach of Anganwadi workers, who can keep track of children’s growth by recording the weight and height of children at regular intervals.d. Work with the experts to procure and prepare digital lectures for students of all classes and age-groups.e. Enhance the role of Anganwadi and NGO workers in every district, to help spread the message of the importance of continuing education via remote learning platforms. Parents to be educated, for ensuring the child’s continuous engagement in education during the pandemic.f. Install community-level television sets and distribution of radio sets, ensuring the increase of reach of remote learning platforms. Perhaps, at the community level, small batches of children can be shown lectures on televisions, while maintaining social distancing norms.g. With mobile handset penetration and telephone penetration in the State of Bihar being greater than Television and radio set penetration, the concerned authorities to consider, devising and implementing an action plan to utilize these mediums. To ensure engagement, consider expanding the possibility of waiver of telecom charges on the mobile handset or telephone being used for accessing educational programmes.h. Use Telecom/digital infrastructure to mark the daily attendance of students. A call placed on the designated toll-free number may be programmed to record the daily attendance of the concerned student.i. Organize a robust “Back to School” campaign in the wake of this pandemic, to ensure that a minimal dropout rate is achieved.j. Further, workshops and training for teachers ought to be provided to ensure that they are well equipped in dealing with post-pandemic psychosocial needs of children.Lastly, the Court said that,”The above directions, if implemented well, have the potential to provide immediate relief to more than 1 crore 19 Lakh school-going children across the State, also tuned to establish long term machinery which shall support their development and care. We have no doubt that any elementary issues of data protection owing to the monitoring that may arise would be dealt with adequately by the authorities.”Case Details:Case Title: Court on its own motion v. State of BiharCase No.: CWC No. 7124/2020Quorum: Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice S. KumarClick Here To Download Judgment[Read Judgment] Next Storylast_img read more

  • Citizen scientists study polar bears with Oxford researchers

    first_imgThe project runs on Zooniverse, a platform for citizen science, hosting over 2 million volunteers who assist researchers in analysing and organising data. The Zooniverse website shows that there are currently 1358 volunteers supporting the research. The Arctic Bears project asks these volunteers to study batches of photos alongside a field guide. The volunteers provide the researchers with information on the number of bears or cubs, their genders, and multiple other factors. There are five trail cameras installed at three different field camps, as well as another eight located at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre. These cameras have captured over 600 different polar bears. Whilst all the cameras are located in Wapusk National Park in northern Manitoba, the sites are almost 200 kilometres apart which ensures the data provides information on varying environments. The project is the first of its kind and hopes to broaden current knowledge on polar bear behaviour. When it began in 2011 the primary aim was to answer whether the creation of field camps had worked to attract or repel polar bears. The aims of the project have now expanded in scope and hope to answer important questions including: What drives polar bears to visit human infrastructure or activity? Do observations of polar bears change over time? Oxford University scientists are working alongside a group of Canadian researchers to involve citizen volunteers in a project which aims to examine polar bear behaviour. Utilising 10 years worth of images volunteers will assess a series of photos which will reveal trends in polar bear behaviour.  Image: Hans-Juergen Mager via unsplash.comcenter_img The unique approach taken by the Arctic Bears Project carries many benefits. The process is very efficient and without the support of volunteers the labour intensive work could take years for the researchers to complete. Creating ‘citizen scientists’ also encourages active participation from those who would otherwise be detached from the process. Individuals are able to become more involved as well as gain a greater understanding of the issues. Finally the process is non-invasive, meaning it is not stressful for the animals being studied.  One of the project’s most notable discoveries so far is capturing black bears, grizzly bears, and polar bears living together for the first time. The cameras have also confirmed the pattern of polar bears moving from the sea to land in Summer and Autumn, when the ice melts.last_img read more